Skip to main content

Table 1 Ethogram of domestic cat and bobcat behavior [6, 39] observed during a positive response to catnip, silver vine, Tatarian honeysuckle or valerian root

From: Responsiveness of cats (Felidae) to silver vine (Actinidia polygama), Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Behavior Description
Sniffing The cat smells the plant material by inhaling air through its nose.
Licking The cats tongue protrudes from its mouth and strokes the plant material.
Shaking head The cat rotates its head from side to side with the plant material in its mouth.
Rubbing (chin) The cat rubs its chin against the plant material.
Rubbing (cheek) The cat rubs its cheek against the plant material.
Rolling on back The cat rolls onto its back, with its belly exposed and all paws in the air.
Raking a The cat makes kicking movements with one or both hind legs against the plant material held by the cat, usually with both fore paws.
Drooling The cat produces excess saliva that is visible outside of the cat’s mouth.
Undulating skin (back) Wavelike motion of the cat’s skin in the dorsal lumbosacral region as the underlying cutaneous trunci muscles rhythmically contract and relax. Associated with arousal during play. Not to be confused with feline hyperesthesia syndrome.
  1. a This behavior is also referred to as hind leg kicking or bunny kicking