Catnip and silver vine - natural insecticides

Keit

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Last year this research was posted on SOTT that showed how catnip or silver vine act as natural insecticides.

Recently the same team tried to examine why some kitties don't only roll and paw, but also have bouts of tearing or biting the leaves, while under the influence of the herbs. Apparently this behaviour is intentional.


"We found that physical damage of silver vine by cats promoted the immediate emission of total iridoids, which was 10-fold higher than from intact leaves," says lead author Masao Miyazaki, an animal behavior researcher from Iwate University in Japan.

Not only was the total concentration higher in both plant types, the mix of iridoids was more complex in torn silver vine leaves, making for a more potent repellent at lower concentrations.

Cats who were exposed to these mixtures were also affected for a longer duration, suggesting their biology has been 'fine-tuned' to maximize the insect-repelling doses of silver vine.

And to satisfy your strictly scientific curiosity (of course! :-P) here's a video that demonstares exactly how kitties behave while they are busy protecting themselves from insects.;-)

 

A Jay

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And to satisfy your strictly scientific curiosity (of course! :-P) here's a video that demonstares exactly how kitties behave while they are busy protecting themselves from insects.;-)

Very interesting! This new (to me) property of catnip and silver vine got me wondering about all the other feline species out there like lions, tigers, panthers, and so forth. If they're all felines and catnip acts as an insecticide, then do big cats act the same way with catnip as domesticated kitties?

Well, turns out there's curious minds who wondered the same thing and decided to give catnip to some big cats to see what would happen.

 
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