We Had Catnip All Wrong

Apr 6, 2021
918 505 Views

Why do cats love catnip so much? Researchers have found a possible evolutionary answer to this adorable feline phenomenon!
Hosted by: Rose Bear Don't Walk
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Sources:
advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/4/eabd9135
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480656/pdf/canvetj00079-0049.pdf
bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-017-0987-6
Image Sources:
www.istockphoto.com/photo/maine-coon-kitten-on-white-gm1126981190-296885680
www.istockphoto.com/photo/impatient-cat-asking-food-gm1040405006-278524384
www.istockphoto.com/photo/cute-tabby-cat-sniffing-dried-catnip-gm1143329867-307010982
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_070906-8819_Nepeta_cataria.jpg
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Actinidia_polygama_02.JPG
www.istockphoto.com/photo/fisheye-cat-rolling-in-catnip-gm1178809065-329624433
www.istockphoto.com/photo/white-cat-with-catnip-mouse-gm1093103238-293346682
www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/253761.php
www.istockphoto.com/photo/cat-and-nepeta-cataria-gm1097317452-294660107
Animal Park at the Conservators Center (www.animalparknc.org)
www.istockphoto.com/photo/aedes-aegypti-mosquito-close-up-a-mosquito-sucking-human-blood-gm604022000-103738665
www.istockphoto.com/photo/mosquito-on-cats-nose-gm91703101-6902231
www.istockphoto.com/vector/mosquito-icon-on-black-and-white-vector-backgrounds-gm699087038-129486315
www.istockphoto.com/vector/cat-silhouette-pet-animals-set-gm1141896184-306103509
www.istockphoto.com/photo/dna-sequence-gm143175623-19334089

Comments
  • it's a good theory... but why do cats act weird then? the rolling around in it I get.. but why the change?

    opisexopisexHour ago
  • I feel bad for the control group who got all the mosquitoes :/

    raig sraig s2 hours ago
  • Japanese Researchers basically came up with a way to get paid to play with cats and I can't fault them for that. Meowvelous.

    Jake LambuthJake Lambuth2 hours ago
  • My cats eat it

    Kyle W.Kyle W.3 hours ago
  • I never give my cats catnip or silvervine. It’s a gateway drug.

    CCCC4 hours ago
  • Still no mention of different responses for different metabolic pathways of inhaling or smelling catnip and ingesting catnip and having it broken down in the stomach and intestines. As cats have an upper effect when smelling, but more of a downer effect from eating it.

    rdizzy Crdizzy C5 hours ago
  • All the little kitties were singing this song there’s a skeeter 🦟 on my peter knock it off there’s a dozen on my cousin can’t you hear them a buzzing.🤔

    Esteban We don’t need no stinking badgesEsteban We don’t need no stinking badges5 hours ago
  • Pretty sure cats just like getting high

    Kay BeeKay Bee6 hours ago
  • So humans are drugging their cats without their consent?

    Eric StaplesEric Staples7 hours ago
  • "what cannabol does to humans" lol

    animegame100animegame1007 hours ago
  • So the cats that didn't roll around in catnip a thousand years ago probably died of mosquito born illness and the cats that got pleasure from it lived

    Jay cJay c7 hours ago
  • Me watching this video: "please be Rose, please be Rose, please be Rose" *ROSE APPEARS IN SCREEN* ME: "YES I'M SHOWING A CAT VIDEO IN CLASS!!" My students love seeing your videos in class!

    Cyndi BergloffCyndi Bergloff8 hours ago
  • Sitting here getting my cat high on catnip while I indulge in some humannip ;P

    Annihilator XAnnihilator X8 hours ago
  • I like her PacMan earrings.

    John GrabowskiJohn Grabowski9 hours ago
  • 2:22 she should have meow meow land

    Ice cream for breakfastIce cream for breakfast10 hours ago
  • Capuchin monkeys do something similar with citrus plants... They chew them up and rub them all over their body in order to ward off mosquitos

    Branddun CasaraBranddun Casara10 hours ago
  • Hopefully the studies are going to be fun for the cats too

    Meriem cabMeriem cab10 hours ago
  • It's great as a mosquito repellant, digestive aid and helps you sleep.

    Jim EurittJim Euritt11 hours ago
  • It didn't evolve -- it was designed.

    1GodOnlyOne1GodOnlyOne11 hours ago
  • 3:10 Cats are everywhere , even in your DNA. Mos Quito' Repellant, interesting . . . Meow. SPOILER TO VIDEO BELOW! Catnip , and silver vine , must get. Repel Mos Quito' I must. (just imagine this wrote by some cat out there.)

    hdezn26hdezn2611 hours ago
  • Huh, this is neat! :)

    crimsonraencrimsonraen12 hours ago
  • Of course they were Japanese researchers!

    MrMcCharityManMrMcCharityMan12 hours ago
  • Puppydogs are cooler.

    NeverMetTheGuyNeverMetTheGuy13 hours ago
  • Two phenomena that have nothing to do with one another. There are millions of chemicals in nature, one or another is bound to make you feel good while having nothing to do with "evolving" along with you so you can compete for food or reproduce. That same chemical probably does other things, like repelling mosquitoes.

    nakrat11nakrat1114 hours ago
  • This proves nothing 😅

    Derpy The LegendDerpy The Legend16 hours ago
  • Japanese love cats too much. True story.

    Pete JohnsonPete Johnson16 hours ago
  • I love how people have mispelt cat mint over the last 200 years. It's cat mint as it's a mint.

    sebastian stewartsebastian stewart16 hours ago
  • Now do "Spankies" on cats!

    Sindarin721Sindarin72117 hours ago
  • Alright... so... Cats are basically doing the human equivalent of huffing insect repellent, but if the insect repellent was harmless.

    connor vaughnconnor vaughn18 hours ago
  • No one else picturing a cat in a box of mosquitoes 🦟 🐈 📦

    BenthedaddyBenthedaddy18 hours ago
  • Dream up the purrfect experiment...

    Graham SmithGraham Smith19 hours ago
  • Please tell me about liquid metal robot please please please

    TanyaTanya20 hours ago
  • catnip= cat marijuanas

    reeyees50reeyees5020 hours ago
  • The cat in the thumbnail looks like me after a month long bender.

    yoursoultasteslikebaconyoursoultasteslikebacon22 hours ago
  • Acacia rats are better than cats. As are dogs and squirrels.

    StitchesStitches22 hours ago
  • Nepetalectone

    Walter SobchakWalter Sobchak23 hours ago
  • Kitties!!!!

    Thomas BusseThomas Busse23 hours ago
  • My cat pees on me while im gaming to get my attention. Or when he crys to go outside. Then i let him outside and he still crys then runs off like a crackhead. He crys when his bowl isnt over filled. Ughhhh needy. Stands on my phone when im laying in bed as well. Ugggggh

    Jordan McEvoyJordan McEvoyDay ago
  • My cats do not give a poop about catnip haha

    Jessi Neilsen CarreñoJessi Neilsen CarreñoDay ago
  • Curious if similarly to mosquitos, if that compound is equally repulsive to fleas.

    Sven StevensonSven StevensonDay ago
  • I’m not buying it about the mosquitoes.

    Jamie LancasterJamie LancasterDay ago
  • Really?... all questions answered, great conclusion...

    SanguineSanguineDay ago
  • wonder if they could turn this into an insect repellent for people, just with the warning that cats might find you delicious if you use it...LOL... well as a cuddle buddy.

    Eugene MintonEugene MintonDay ago
  • What if we put catnip in the Colorado grass?

    SavageKingTexas _SavageKingTexas _Day ago
  • Odd that apparently no other branch of animals would have this behavior.

    Mitch JohnsonMitch JohnsonDay ago
  • Correlation is not causation. Evolution doesn't work like that.

    MasterWasp74MasterWasp74Day ago
  • I had a cat that lived 21 year. When my cat was around 19 years old, and having some tummy troubles, I was told, by my vet, that cat nip could help her. So, daily, I gave her a good pinch of cat nip to eat...and it did help keep her food from coming back up. Her name was Ashley, and she passed away in 2005. So I do know there is some real medical benefits to catnip.

    StormyPeakStormyPeakDay ago
  • My cat actually had a very strange response to catnip. He got extremely agitated and nervous. He seemed terrified of everything and basically run up the walls for a few seconds. I wonder what was up with that

    Helena Ferrari FedericoHelena Ferrari FedericoDay ago
  • I’d be interested if fleas also avoided cats who have the chemical transferred too 🤔

    enlathestrangeenlathestrangeDay ago
  • All the way up to the point where 'mosquitoes landed on the cats with nepwhatsitsolactol less that on cats without it' Ummm. Yes but since when have mosquitoes *EVER* bothered cats?

    Christopher BedfordChristopher BedfordDay ago
  • 1.25x playback speed, thank me later.

    Chik Nuggets「тм」Chik Nuggets「тм」Day ago
  • we aint figured out plants yet but we totally know how the universe was created yep mhmm

    Lord CantiLord CantiDay ago
  • So it isn't a reaction like how opiates affect humans dopamine system and brings on pleasant euphoria and separate benefit if pain relief (or tge other way around)......NO.... the cats had to "evolve" to desire this chemical to ward of biting insects. It can't be that this chemical just has a reaction--just because. Humans can eat chocolate but it will kill dogs and cats. Different chemicals affect different species differently. Doesn't mean any evolution for a purpose has to be involved. What does the 2nd instance of the chemical that causes the mosquito repellant have to do with the 1st reaction of "goofy" cat behavior in cats? So what they are saying is for some apparent "reason" over inestimable amts of time, most of the cats that were not exposed to the mosquito repellant chemical died (even though cats don't die from regular mosquito bites anymore than humans) so that only the cats that desired the cat nip etc plants "evolved" to enjoy being bitten "less" by biting insects....Right..... Try to make it way to complicated. Some chemicals react in one species this way & another that. Not that hard to fathom. But if it was a done thru a grant I guess they had to come up with an "acceptable" scientific ( complex) answer!!

    klynn Harrisklynn HarrisDay ago
  • Just like global warming - it was all wrong.

    Ababmer VidAbabmer VidDay ago
  • Right, so Silver Vine is a mosquito repellent and the possibility exists that cats expose themselves to it to repel mosquitos. I do not believe this is the reason, however. I would bet a lot of money on cats loving Silver Vine just as much if it actually attracted more mosquitos to them. It's obvious they love Silver Vine and Catnip and it makes them feel good. I would look in the other direction for a reason. For instance, both plants may have acquired the chemical/s to attract cats for the simple reason that the cats will help survival, moving spores across greater distances will give a better chance that they will thrive in their environments. Cheers

    Blade Runner6997Blade Runner6997Day ago
  • This useless video explained nothing...

    ScorpioScorpioDay ago
  • What a misleading title.

    IzlarikIzlarikDay ago
  • ARE YOU TELLING ME I CAN BOTH ATTRACT CATS AND REBEL MOSQUITOES BY RUBBING MYSELF WITH CATNIP?????

    Cay EnigmaCay EnigmaDay ago
  • So DIY bugspray?

    Thomas ToddThomas ToddDay ago
  • Cat genes: C A T T A C A

    nimroderynimroderyDay ago
  • What a nothing video. Only takeaway is maybe catnip keeps bugs awat

    James KelmensonJames KelmensonDay ago
  • How do i apply for the job to play with 🐱🐈‍⬛ all day?

    I TryI TryDay ago
  • I have two cats, one loves catnip, the other is repulsed by it. Guess it's the Brussel sprout issue us humans have, a genetic disposition to either loving them, or hating them.

    K A LayneK A LayneDay ago
  • Also, wouldn't the reward center activation have an excellent impact in mating prospects, like a really good cologne? A cat who rolls around in catnip would smell like catnip to other cats, and would thus attract other cats to the "catnip" all over them, so if they were looking for a mate...

    Theo the DergTheo the DergDay ago
  • Come on we don’t need a study to clearly see catnip is cat pot. 420, kitty. 👍🏻

    Sunny SkyeSunny SkyeDay ago
  • this is like the shittiest most uninformative video i have ever seen

    De Ath Met Al HellDe Ath Met Al HellDay ago
  • So, how does this evolve again? Like, I get that we find a correlation between Catnip and Mosquito repellant. But, how does it evolve? That's the part of evolutionary biology that they can't figure out. More than likely, the traits were chosen by God, as the chance of such a gene mutation happening naturally, and then only being found in cats, is so astronomically high that it might as well be impossible. You might get one instance of it ever occurring throughout all of history, if it's by chance. Instead, we try to explain an entire world where things like this, and much more wondrous, have happened. And even if there are a few other species that do this, it's nearly impossible to account it to evolution. There'd have to be millions of years worth of cats rolling in catnip prior to this happening, and then one of them magically develops a reaction to it. And then all the cats want to mate with that particular cat, with that particular genetic marker. It just starts to break down, really. For the marker to even occur, why do the genes decide to evolve in such a way? It can only be intelligence that gives them the trait. For it to evolve, it evolved because of the need. And that's why it's hard for me to believe in science apart from the Living God. Like, scientists are reversing cause and effect. They're like, "The cat evolved this," without questioning how the gene would develop naturally by chance. Or really any of it for that matter. It's impossible, unless something intelligent is dictating how these traits get passed on. Like isn't it putting the cart before the horse, to say that the thing evolved simply because of the need? That they evolved that way because it's a mosquito repellent? Well, how do the genes know it's a mosquito repellant, and then decide to manifest to help the cats? And really, we have billions of other species with even more unique and specific mutations. It's almost impossible to believe in evolution, without first believing in an Intelligence. And I happen to know that intelligence is named Jesus. Also, why don't we ask why humans developed the biological response to Opium or Marijuana? Like, this whole thing falls apart again. It gets answered when you account that God created the Earth, and wanted there to be medicine.

    Brandon NeifertBrandon NeifertDay ago
  • Unfortunately scientists studying animals often end up dissecting them. Or worse

    CG AccountCG AccountDay ago
  • Ugh, thanks for my stupid thumbnails for little to no payoff

    MeekoSoupMeekoSoupDay ago
  • the smell of bleach makes cats nuttier than catnip

    michelle grindermichelle grinderDay ago
  • The reasoning applied by these researchers to cats doesn't seem to make much sense if you try to apply it to humans. Is there any reason to believe there's some kind of secondary advantage which would justify our evolved response to cocaine? Opium? Cannabis? Sounds absolutely ludicrous to even suggest it.

    Reinier VensReinier VensDay ago
  • If we are to infer "evolution" or natural selection pressures created this response, then i sirrussly doubt that it's from mosquito repelling effects alone. Sure, they carry malaria and other diseases. But if this is such a strong, dopamine response; then either the drug evolved by social pressure of controlling cat slaves, or worshiping cats/breeding cats (like the ancient Egyptians did), or maybe the birdmen of Gobeckli Tepe used giant cats as slaves, millions of years ago: or else the plants and some chemical or chemical combination between them which they have in common or common effect in the biological chemistry of the cat, must be a powerful cure for parasites (or maybe the behavior induced by the naturally evolved "drug" resulted in better success in getting laid by cute, female, kitty cats. Either way: i think it's import to study the potential, medical benefits of these two plants (far beyond the simple start of "mosquito repellant")- and hopefully before the idiots that be make these plants go extinct (or "illegal", or toxic, gmo, etc.).

    Sunsaver FromNHHSunsaver FromNHHDay ago
  • what i took from this is that...marajuana may protect against mosquitos. That's the working hypothesis anyways.

    Es GeeEs GeeDay ago
  • My cat reacts much less to catnip than she reacts to other minty and similar smells (she LOVES Vicks Vapor Rub). And I just checked and nepetalectol is only found in catnip. I am not sure if it is only this stuff that makes cats go gaga

    J McJ McDay ago
  • Okay, but this doesn't explain why she chose to dress like a ninja.

    underwearskidsunderwearskidsDay ago
  • Cat weed

    TijanTijanDay ago
  • I love how she points out that the hypothesis is in it's early stages & that it requires scientific method over time, for us to be truly confident of it's assertions. Meanwhile the title of this video declares definitely "We had it all wrong about Catnip". 🤦‍♀️

    Jeigh NeitherJeigh NeitherDay ago
  • My aunts cat usually rolls the nip into a blunt and passes it around to the other cats!😺

    The Nerd King!The Nerd King!Day ago
  • I don't think that's how evolution works. What we are talking about here has all sorts of weird implications when we talk about something like this with humans with things like sunscreen, OFF, and even condoms and what your telling us evolution itself could do to things like this that protect us in the future. Does marijuana protect us from something and thats why it gets us high? Maybe we can come up with a new theory about alcoholism while were at it...

    Gary RGary RDay ago
  • First video of yours I have watched. Anyone tell you sound like Sarah Silverman ?

    StingrayStingrayDay ago
  • Love the earrings!

    micheal cameronmicheal cameronDay ago
  • this would be similar with cannabis-human relation.

    Surplus KingSurplus KingDay ago
  • It's nice to know cats aren't harmed by catnip, as humans are by alcohol. I've observed, though, that some cats become lovie-dovie, but other cats become mean, enhancing the apparent similarity.

    Peter ConwayPeter ConwayDay ago
  • ah the Japanese and cats. name a meowr iconic dio. i'll let meowself out.

    Angus UchihaAngus UchihaDay ago
  • An insect-repellant with nepetalactol would have the dual benefit of repelling mosquitoes and attracting lovable cats.

    Peter ConwayPeter ConwayDay ago
  • There doesn't need to be a reason that cats will like this. If it is not harming the cats/preventing them from reproducing, then it would just remain in population

    HelioHelioDay ago
  • "This compound directly activated a reward system in the feline brain.". Ok , so the cat is high af. I had it right already.

    A KewlenA KewlenDay ago
  • hey everyone.. my cat looks EXACTLY like the cat on this videos thumbnail. can anyone PLEASE help me discover what type of breed that could potentially be. . .

    FOCUS.ALCHEMYFOCUS.ALCHEMYDay ago
  • If you read the comments first. Cats inherently like catnip and silver vine. Mosquitos don't. More research is needed. Possibly saved you 5 minutes of your life.

    noobpro 97noobpro 97Day ago
  • This show has gotten boring over the past year.

    James WallaceJames WallaceDay ago
  • But these herbs are equally available to other creatures in the wild. Do other animals also show similar behaviour or association with these plants ??

    Shreyan RayShreyan RayDay ago
  • For humans, just don’t rub this on you in the woods to ward off mosquitoes, you may just fine you have traded the mosquitoes for large cats aka cougars in the PNW... 😄

    Auspicious CloudAuspicious CloudDay ago
  • Someone should invent substance like catnip for humans.

    HaploHaploDay ago
  • Sure, there are other animals that do this and get high off it, like ripped, lol. There is a species of Lemure that targets a species of Centipede for the same purpose. They bite them, but not kill them, to get the Centipede to excrete it's toxin defence (which is basically Cyanide). And the Lemures then rub the Centipede all over themselves as an insect repellent, while getting high on it's toxic effects more each bite until they are falling down, wasted. Stoned Lemures are funny, they looked like stoned humans, lol.

    Bill Does StuffBill Does StuffDay ago
  • HOW ABOUT KERMIT AND IRISH SOAP

    ezzyezzyDay ago
  • Dumb idea: do ticks react to nepatelactol?

    Stephen MStephen MDay ago
  • Activating the reward center of the brain doesn't sound like it'd have no negative effects.

    CasualTwist51CasualTwist51Day ago
  • effect on flees?

    earnmyturnsearnmyturns2 days ago
  • "the way into intoxicating substances can in humans" lol many other substances. an cause brain damage in cats, and many drugs dont cause any damage in humans, for example weed, shrooms or lsd

    The Earth Is a DonutThe Earth Is a Donut2 days ago
  • who writes this crap?

    Charles HultquistCharles Hultquist2 days ago
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