How the New Feline Science Can Make You A Better Friend to your PeteBook - 2013
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"Not all cats respond to [catnip].... The behavior released by catnip is a bizarre mixture of play, feeding, and female sexual behavior, whether the cat itself is male or female. Cats may first play with a catnip toy as if they think it is a small item of prey, but they quickly switch into bouts of a seemingly ecstatic combination of face-rubbing and body-rolling, reminiscent of a female cat in season. Most cats also drool and attempt to lick the catnip. This behavior may continue for several minutes at a time, until the cat eventually recovers and walks away.... / A few other plants elicit the same response, notably the Japanese cat shrub or silver vine, and the roots of the kiwifruit vine, which despite its name originated in southern China.... Most species in the cat family, from lions to domestic cats, respond to these plants the same way, so the gene must have evolved several million years ago. Why it did so remains a mystery." (p. 115)
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