We Had Catnip All Wrong

9 255 Vistas 946 mil

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
SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It's called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at www.scishowtangents.org
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scishow
Huge thanks go to the following Patreon supporters for helping us keep SciShow free for everyone forever:
Silas Emrys, Charles Copley, Drew Hart, Jeffrey Mckishen, James Knight, Christoph Schwanke, Jacob, Matt Curls, Christopher R Boucher, Eric Jensen, Lehel Kovacs, Adam Brainard, Greg, GrowingViolet, Ash, Laura Sanborn, Sam Lutfi, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, charles george, Alex Hackman, Chris Peters, Kevin Bealer
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook: scishow
Twitter: scishow
Tumblr: scishow.tumblr.com
Instagram: thescishow
Image Sources:
Animal Park at the Conservators Center (www.animalparknc.org)


  1. ad70preterist
    Hace un hora

    The theory of evolution is just that a theory....and in my opinion and other people who enjoy science and the scientific method it’s a very weak theory based upon falsified presumptions.

  2. I.A. Woien
    I.A. Woien
    Hace 2 horas

    Zzzzzz... Did you have catnip in the video?

  3. sobreaver
    Hace 5 horas

    Are you a cat person ? Or a spider person ? Look at that cat stretching himself to comfortable laziness. You don't ever see a spider stretch out it's limbs to sleep on the side (how the hell do they sleep anyways o0 they certainly don't have eyelids oo). Personally, I'm a dog person, I wag my tail every time I see my girlfriend XD

  4. Red Siegfried
    Red Siegfried
    Hace 7 horas

    Hmmmm ... how did they measure that the reward center of the cats' brains were stimulated?

  5. Zen Surfer
    Zen Surfer
    Hace 9 horas

    Isn't catnip in the mint family which is used as a mosquito repellent?

  6. john smith
    john smith
    Hace 12 horas

    Sweetheart this is a good video I liked everything but you need to tell your stage makeup people to give you a little bit more foundation because your acne is showing thru.

  7. ZeroNervE The Purple Mech
    ZeroNervE The Purple Mech
    Hace 19 horas

    -"Tough day at the office?" -"Ugh, tons of paperwork like you wouldn't believe!... We are researching catnip so I had to be around all these cats while they rolled around in the stuff! Anyways, how was your first day at the sewage treatment plant?" :D

  8. Seans Existentials
    Seans Existentials
    Hace 22 horas

    Whisky is Irish nip

  9. Thomas Allison
    Thomas Allison
    Hace 22 horas

    Hipster girl saying "in the history of ever" made me cringe.

  10. MomomeshTV
    Hace un día


  11. Michal samuel
    Michal samuel
    Hace un día

    so why don't we use the catnip as a mosquito repellent?

  12. Matty Way
    Matty Way
    Hace un día

    I love how they tried to underplay animal experimentation with “definitely the least fun part of the study” lol good one

  13. sarah fern
    sarah fern
    Hace un día

    Hey, look at ticks, not a nonstarter for cats like mosquitoes.

  14. ForceTz
    Hace un día

    Catnip is just cat marijuana

  15. _____
    Hace un día

    And only now i discover i chose the completely wrong field. Sml

  16. insAneTunA
    Hace un día

    So basically you are telling us story that you don't have the final answer for as to how and why, and yet you consider that as news?

  17. Leon Black
    Leon Black
    Hace un día

    I don't understand why there HAS to be a reason for the feline response to catnip. Why do us humans respond to so many substances the way we do? No reason, no benefit, we just do, it's probably the same with cats and catnip or silvervine

  18. Ben Stanfill
    Ben Stanfill
    Hace un día

    My cat gets wired with catnip. Runs around scratches, bites, it's terrible. We avoid catnip if we can.

  19. Sentauri
    Hace un día

    So this is all still a theory, yet the video title presents it as fact. :/ I hate people claiming to be scientists these days. No integrity.

  20. Chris Kearsley
    Chris Kearsley
    Hace un día

    Well, if you also smell like catnip makes good hunting scent cover. Considering how musky lions can smell, probably helps a lot.

  21. john booker
    john booker
    Hace un día

    cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick bait. entire video for "we have do to more research" i hate what youtube has turned into.

  22. ErmirMusic
    Hace un día

    “...more research needs to be done....” Really?? Does it?

  23. Blitzkrieg Bryce
    Blitzkrieg Bryce
    Hace un día

    Lemurs do the same with millipedes, I wonder how many other species get high for the sake of insect repellent.

  24. Ash Kitt
    Ash Kitt
    Hace un día

    Legalize Nip

  25. aisha shisha
    aisha shisha
    Hace un día

    I feel like if cats were smart enough to roll around in plants to ward infestations off, they’d occasionally roll around in rosemary. But no, so..

  26. aisha shisha
    aisha shisha
    Hace un día

    Why do they scream for food they won’t eat? Maybe because they have tastebuds and they don’t wanna eat the same garbage every day? Get that cat some real life chicken, or cod. Occasionally.

  27. Axe Guy
    Axe Guy
    Hace un día

    Hi, my name is Mister Whiskers Fuzzbeef and I have a catnip problem. I've been catnip-free for thirty days now...

  28. stefon wefon
    stefon wefon
    Hace un día

    so not only did she come to say we have it all wrong. . . . but also they have no idea what it is either. . and still looking

  29. Stephen Jacks
    Stephen Jacks
    Hace un día

    Have read that Catnip induces a sexual response. Note kittens not yet sexually mature usually ignore catnip.

  30. Kenos Entity
    Kenos Entity
    Hace un día

    yeah I thought so.

  31. opisex
    Hace un día

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

  32. raig s
    raig s
    Hace un día

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

  33. Jake Lambuth
    Jake Lambuth
    Hace un día

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

  34. Kyle W.
    Kyle W.
    Hace un día

    My cats eat it

  35. CC
    Hace un día

    I never give my cats catnip or silvervine. It’s a gateway drug.

  36. rdizzy C
    rdizzy C
    Hace 2 días

    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.

  37. Esteban We don’t need no stinking badges
    Esteban We don’t need no stinking badges
    Hace 2 días

    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.🤔

  38. Kay Bee
    Kay Bee
    Hace 2 días

    Pretty sure cats just like getting high

  39. Eric Staples
    Eric Staples
    Hace 2 días

    So humans are drugging their cats without their consent?

  40. animegame100
    Hace 2 días

    "what cannabol does to humans" lol

  41. Jay c
    Jay c
    Hace 2 días

    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

  42. Cyndi Bergloff
    Cyndi Bergloff
    Hace 2 días

    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!

  43. Annihilator X
    Annihilator X
    Hace 2 días

    Sitting here getting my cat high on catnip while I indulge in some humannip ;P

  44. John Grabowski
    John Grabowski
    Hace 2 días

    I like her PacMan earrings.

  45. Ice cream for breakfast
    Ice cream for breakfast
    Hace 2 días

    2:22 she should have meow meow land

  46. Branddun Casara
    Branddun Casara
    Hace 2 días

    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

  47. Meriem cab
    Meriem cab
    Hace 2 días

    Hopefully the studies are going to be fun for the cats too

  48. Jim Euritt
    Jim Euritt
    Hace 2 días

    It's great as a mosquito repellant, digestive aid and helps you sleep.

  49. 1GodOnlyOne
    Hace 2 días

    It didn't evolve -- it was designed.

  50. hdezn26
    Hace 2 días

    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.)

  51. crimsonraen
    Hace 2 días

    Huh, this is neat! :)

  52. MrMcCharityMan
    Hace 2 días

    Of course they were Japanese researchers!

  53. NeverMetTheGuy
    Hace 2 días

    Puppydogs are cooler.

  54. nakrat11
    Hace 2 días

    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.

  55. Derpy The Legend
    Derpy The Legend
    Hace 2 días

    This proves nothing 😅

  56. Pete Johnson
    Pete Johnson
    Hace 2 días

    Japanese love cats too much. True story.

  57. sebastian stewart
    sebastian stewart
    Hace 2 días

    I love how people have mispelt cat mint over the last 200 years. It's cat mint as it's a mint.

  58. Sindarin721
    Hace 2 días

    Now do "Spankies" on cats!

  59. connor vaughn
    connor vaughn
    Hace 2 días

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

  60. Benthedaddy
    Hace 2 días

    No one else picturing a cat in a box of mosquitoes 🦟 🐈 📦

  61. Graham Smith
    Graham Smith
    Hace 2 días

    Dream up the purrfect experiment...

  62. Tanya
    Hace 2 días

    Please tell me about liquid metal robot please please please

  63. reeyees50
    Hace 2 días

    catnip= cat marijuanas

  64. yoursoultasteslikebacon
    Hace 2 días

    The cat in the thumbnail looks like me after a month long bender.

  65. Stitches
    Hace 2 días

    Acacia rats are better than cats. As are dogs and squirrels.

  66. Walter Sobchak
    Walter Sobchak
    Hace 2 días


  67. Thomas Busse
    Thomas Busse
    Hace 2 días


  68. Jordan McEvoy
    Jordan McEvoy
    Hace 2 días

    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

  69. Jessi Neilsen Carreño
    Jessi Neilsen Carreño
    Hace 2 días

    My cats do not give a poop about catnip haha

  70. Sven Stevenson
    Sven Stevenson
    Hace 2 días

    Curious if similarly to mosquitos, if that compound is equally repulsive to fleas.

  71. Jamie Lancaster
    Jamie Lancaster
    Hace 2 días

    I’m not buying it about the mosquitoes.

  72. Sanguine
    Hace 3 días

    Really?... all questions answered, great conclusion...

  73. Eugene Minton
    Eugene Minton
    Hace 3 días

    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.

  74. SavageKingTexas _
    SavageKingTexas _
    Hace 3 días

    What if we put catnip in the Colorado grass?

  75. Mitch Johnson
    Mitch Johnson
    Hace 3 días

    Odd that apparently no other branch of animals would have this behavior.

  76. MasterWasp74
    Hace 3 días

    Correlation is not causation. Evolution doesn't work like that.

  77. StormyPeak
    Hace 3 días

    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.

  78. Helena Ferrari Federico
    Helena Ferrari Federico
    Hace 3 días

    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

    1. Arien
      Hace un día

      bad trip

  79. enlathestrange
    Hace 3 días

    I’d be interested if fleas also avoided cats who have the chemical transferred too 🤔

  80. Christopher Bedford
    Christopher Bedford
    Hace 3 días

    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?

  81. Chik Nuggets「тм」
    Chik Nuggets「тм」
    Hace 3 días

    1.25x playback speed, thank me later.

  82. Lord Canti
    Lord Canti
    Hace 3 días

    we aint figured out plants yet but we totally know how the universe was created yep mhmm

  83. klynn Harris
    klynn Harris
    Hace 3 días

    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!!

  84. Ababmer Vid
    Ababmer Vid
    Hace 3 días

    Just like global warming - it was all wrong.

  85. Blade Runner6997
    Blade Runner6997
    Hace 3 días

    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

  86. Scorpio
    Hace 3 días

    This useless video explained nothing...

  87. Izlarik
    Hace 3 días

    What a misleading title.

  88. Cay Enigma
    Cay Enigma
    Hace 3 días


  89. Thomas Todd
    Thomas Todd
    Hace 3 días

    So DIY bugspray?

  90. nimrodery
    Hace 3 días

    Cat genes: C A T T A C A

  91. James Kelmenson
    James Kelmenson
    Hace 3 días

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

  92. I Try
    I Try
    Hace 3 días

    How do i apply for the job to play with 🐱🐈‍⬛ all day?

  93. K A Layne
    K A Layne
    Hace 3 días

    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.

  94. Theo the Derg
    Theo the Derg
    Hace 3 días

    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...

  95. Sunny Skye
    Sunny Skye
    Hace 3 días

    Come on we don’t need a study to clearly see catnip is cat pot. 420, kitty. 👍🏻

  96. De Ath Met Al Hell
    De Ath Met Al Hell
    Hace 3 días

    this is like the shittiest most uninformative video i have ever seen

  97. Brandon Neifert
    Brandon Neifert
    Hace 3 días

    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.

  98. CG Account
    CG Account
    Hace 3 días

    Unfortunately scientists studying animals often end up dissecting them. Or worse

  99. MeekoSoup
    Hace 3 días

    Ugh, thanks for my stupid thumbnails for little to no payoff

  100. michelle grinder
    michelle grinder
    Hace 3 días

    the smell of bleach makes cats nuttier than catnip