Catnip clothes, anyone?

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Mollycat
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Catnip clothes, anyone?

Post by Mollycat »

Caught Molly doing something very strange this morning. She was all over the top I wore yesterday which was casually tossed on the floor as my clothes very often are, but it's only a handful of times she has done this. When I say "all over" the top, I mean as if it was stuffed with catnip - rolling, biting, head rubbing, cheek marking, the lot. And super exciteable, the slightest move from me making her leap up and run off, only to come back and have another go at it.

The first time I observed this behaviour was on the removeable lining of my partner's motorcycle jacket, which he had just bought second hand. So we assumed it had some scent on it and thought nothing much of it, just noting that Boo also took great interest in it. I don't remember any other cat doing this but couldn't be sure.

Any ideas what this could be about? After she left it I did give her some catnip as I remembered she hasn't had this treat for a while, she did the same and is now asleep.
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Ruth B
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Re: Catnip clothes, anyone?

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I've had several cats that like to rub up against dirty clothes, at one point I decided to get a laundry basket to put the dirty washing in rather than just having a pile on the floor to try and stop a cat rolling around on them, it just meant she tried to get the clothes out of the laundry basket, often pulling it over to do so. The other one I've seen cats go for is rucksack straps, the ones that go over your shoulders and under your arms, particularly in the Summer when I don't wear a coat under the the rucksack.
My thought is that they are intend on mingling your scent with theirs, the same as they do when rubbing up against you. Any sweaty clothing will have a really strong scent on it, the same as the rucksack straps after a brisk walk in hot weather, and I would imagine the removable lining of a motorcycle jacket would also have absorbed a fair amount of sweat in its usage.
I don't see it as anything to worry about really, more that the cat is wanting to cover themselves in your scent and spread their scent in amongst yours, a way of saying 'we belong together, this is the scent of home and I'm happy here'. I would also say it is why one of the common suggestions to help a lost cat get home is to hang dirty washing outside, the cat recognises it as the scent they know as home and can use it to guide them back.
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Mollycat
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Re: Catnip clothes, anyone?

Post by Mollycat »

Oo Ruth I like this explanation, though the jacket didn't have our scent so maybe she liked the smell of it's seller more than us! It's so rare she does it that I hadn't made any connection at all, and can't think now that it matches up with any time when she feels especially close to me or insecure - not when she came home from hospital, for instance. But I wasn't concerned, just interested as I always am.
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Ruth B
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Re: Catnip clothes, anyone?

Post by Ruth B »

Possibly the jacket's seller had a cat or dog, and she just wanted to make sure it had her scent all over it rather than another animals.

I will add, that Patch was the tortoiseshell that upturned the laundry basket, Tiggy has a thing about getting her nose into armpits and always has enjoyed rolling around on clothes and rucksacks, and now Freyja has taken to rolling around on my rucksack straps and the fleece top I wear when I'm out. Freyja and Tiggy are also catnip mad (I never really tried Patch on catnip), so from our very small study, it seems to be linked to the the female gene and catnip cravings.
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