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Cat pheromone

Cat attractants
Nepetalactone Dihydronepetalactone
Epinepetalactone Neonepetalactone
(-)-Mitsugashiwalactone Onikulactone
Iridomyrmecin Boschnialactone
Actinidiolide Dihydroactinidiolide
Actinidine Boschniakine

Cat pheromones are pheromones that are used by cats and other felides for cat communication.


Feline facial pheromone

Feline facial pheromone is a hypothetical pheromone used by cats to mark places, objects, and persons as familiar by rubbing their face on surfaces. It is currently not known if there actually exists a "feline facial pheromone" and what its chemical structure is.


A preparation that claims to contain or to mimic the feline facial pheromone is commercially available under the name Feliway, however, this product only contains Valeriana officinalis essential oil mixed with common fatty acids as a fixative. Valeriana officinalis is known for its behavioural effects on cats, similar to Nepeta (catnip). The active constituents in the oil are apparently the iridoids.

"Cat attractants"


Cat attractants are odorants and constituents of essential oils that have an apparent effect on cat behavior. A cat presented with a cat attractant may roll in it, paw at it, or chew on the source of the smell. The effect is usually relatively short, lasting for only a few minutes after which the cats have a refractory period during which the response cannot be elicited. After 30 minutes to two hours, susceptible cats gain interest again. These compounds might mimic the feline facial pheromone.

The volatile chemicals that are currently known to cause these behavioral effects in cats are actinidine from Valeriana officinalis, nepetalactone from Nepeta (catnip), dihydronepetalactone, neonepetalactone, isodihydronepetalactone, epinepetalactone, boschnialactone, boschniakine, dihydroactinidiolide, actinidiolide, iridomyrmecin, (-)-mitsugashiwalactone, and onikulactone [1][2].

Cat urine odorants

Cat urine-like odorants

Cat urine, especially that of male cats, contains the putative cat pheromone 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol (MMB), a compound that gives cat urine its typical odor. The MMB precursor felinine is synthesized in the urine from 3-methylbutanol-cysteinylglycine (3-MBCG) by the excreted peptidase cauxin. Felinine then slowly degrades into the volatile MMB. [3]

Felinine MMB

See also


  1. ^ Essential oil of Actinidia macrosperma, a catnip response kiwi endemic to China J. Zhejiang Univ. SCIENCE B 2006 7(9):708-712
  2. ^ Catnip and the catnip response. Tucker, A. O. and Tucker, S. S. Economic Botany, 42:214-231 (1988)
  3. ^ M. Miyazaki, T. Yamashita, Y. Suzuki, Y. Saito, S. Soeta, H. Taira, and A. Suzuki (October 2006). "A major urinary protein of the domestic cat regulates the production of felinine, a putative pheromone precursor" (pdf). Chem. Biol. 13 (10): 1071 - 1079. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2006.08.013. PMID 17052611.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cat_pheromone". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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