Research on the Behavioral Reflection of Cats Due to Touching the Valeriana Officinialis
Student of Veterinary Medicine of the Azad University, Veterinary Faculty of University of Tehran, Iran
The valerian officinal is a greenish vegetable with attitude of 0/5 to 1/5 meter, which grows self-esteem in the forest with not much trees, especially around wafer ways. This grass in found in Iran, In the Moisture areas specially Isfahan. Rhizome of this grass has a special smell which attracts cats towards itself, in such away, cats stat jumping around it for this reason. They call this grass Cat-grass too. This research is to study cat behavior at the time of being around this grass, which is done for the first time in Iran.
In this research, 50 cats have been used to study. 13 of these cats where 2 - 5 month years old and the rest were matured. The young cats were not sensitize to this grass, and didn't show any sensitivity. But among 37 matured cats, 24 of them (65%) have shown sensitivity to this grass. It seems that some special gene is effective for this sensitivity. The sensitive cats after encountering to this grass, first shows their eagerness for getting closer to this grass, small it and touched the route of the grass with mouth and their faces.
They rolled over the ground (probably on sexual reflection). They stood over the lower parts of body jumping up and down. They got excited too much and started playing with the grass, and showed some actions like nailing, throwing and falling around the grass (Hunting reflection). Commonly after eating this grass they showed happiness, good mood, and specially pleasure. As the research were done, became clear that only the smell of rhizome of valerian was generating sensitivity. In any case, cats after smelling the grass, started eating the grass (probably appetite reflection).It seems that cats should be at certain age to be reflexive toward the valerian grass. Cat behavior whether male or female was the same, eating the grass.
In addition if this grass is given to cats contentiously, they will lose their eagerness and show no special sensitivity and reflection.
1. Herbs and Thins, By Rose, Jeanne 2003