By Laura Tran, C2ST Intern, Rush University
Cats and catnip have a strange, age-old relationship. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a plant from the mint family and roughly two-thirds of catsٰٰٰ¹ are intensely attracted to this seemingly innocuous plant. Just the smell of it makes them go paw-sitively wild! They start rubbing against everything, rolling and flipping around, and even zooming around the house before it wears off within a half-hour. On the other hand, ingesting catnip seems to have the opposite effect and mellows out cats. So what gives? What kind of power does chemistry have on our feline friends?