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Menthol?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok umm...I put some goldbond on my hands for excema (has menthol in it) and went to pet simba ( new kitty). He started absolutely freaking out! He started rubbing his face all over my couch like a psycho, rolling around, and swatting at me, and trying to nibble my hand. I backed up and he leaned forward towards me and looked like he was going to lunge at me, mouth slightly open.

Being he's a huge cat, and being fond of life, I told my husband to grab him and put him on the floor. He was purring when he was picked up, and didn't do anything to my husband.

After being placed on the floor, He then did a leap at the carpet, dug a little, jumped on the back of the couch and chilled out.

I went to pet him again, and he did the same thing. I gave him a tissue to attack instead of me, and he mutilated it then chilled out again.


It almost seems like a catnip/ psycho response to the menthol! Is this normal?


He's chilled out now sleeping..
post #2 of 19
You know that open-nose feeling you get when you breathe in menthol? Imagine having lungs and sinuses like a car, much more sensitive than humans'. The menthol is most likely burning when he sniffs it in, not to mention it is a very strong smell that he isn't used to in his environment, so it's going to rile him up.
post #3 of 19
Sorry that I won't be of much help, our cats both love the pool water, whether it be salt or the chemicals in the water, I'm not sure. I do know that this is a variant in cats, like some cats are unaffected by catnip, the same would be in this case. As for giving Simba a tissue, I'm not sure if you should, every night we come down stairs to find the paper towels mauled. Ginga is the worse out of my two, they both normally rub and bite softly though, I let them do that on my feet, doesn't hurt as much. I'm sure someone else will be able to properly help you

Jackz, Jazzy & Ginga.

EDIT: I think what rad65 said is spot on, even we humans can smell out chlorine so I'm sure it makes them a little angry so they probably want the smell to stop?
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well I have the flu, and a tissue is the only thing I had to let him take his psycho-ness out on lol. I just tossed it at him.

I'm not sure it's because he doesn't like it. When he chilled out he leaned close to me....

And he just climbed down as I'm typing this, walked up to the bottle, sniffed it, then curled up next to it.

My husband said he looks like he wants to make love to the bottle, lol.
He wasn't trying to bite hard, like a nibble..
Now he's taking an obsessive bath next to the bottle.
Now he's kneading it...
post #5 of 19
I'm not sure about menthol, but I think it comes from a tree??? What I do know is that mint and catnip are closely related, they are in the same family, and cats can have that reaction to mint. Like, whenever I chew gum Jake goes a little crazy sniffing my mouth the first minute or so...
but, that shouldn't apply to menthol
post #6 of 19
Some cats. like my Ari, go crazy over the scent. I have had the same effect when using BenGay.

Wildest was a past kitty who would lick it off my Dad then go and knead my Mom's nightgown until he got sleepy.
post #7 of 19
Menthol is made from a mint, just as catnip is. Same family of plants. Cats have been known to go crazy over peppermint gum, candy, etc.
post #8 of 19
Tolly too LOVES mint and menthol. Especially vicks vapo-rub.

One time I had a muscle cramp and was rubbing some vicks into it. Like always when he smells it, Tolly came hurrying over. He put his paw on my leg and leaned in, I thought, to take a deep sniff, but instead he took a long loving lick.

Poor kitty went berserk. Tearing around the house with me in hot pursuit. By the time I caught up with him he was drooling copiously and panting with distress. I cleaned his mouth out best I could and held him until his heartbeat slowed.

I then released him. Unfortunately he had some on his paw too, which I didn't realize until he, cat like, started to wash his experience away. Another race around the house, and then I washed his feet too, and gave him something tasty to get the taste out.

However this experience has not stopped him from loving vicks, though he is careful to keep his tongue in his mouth when doing the deep sniff. (I use it at night sometimes because my nose gets so stuffy)

PS When I brush my teeth and/or rinse with listerine I always have to lean in and let him smell my breath.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
I'm not sure about menthol, but I think it comes from a tree??? What I do know is that mint and catnip are closely related, they are in the same family, and cats can have that reaction to mint. Like, whenever I chew gum Jake goes a little crazy sniffing my mouth the first minute or so...
but, that shouldn't apply to menthol
Actually, it does apply to menthol. Like with catnip, the smell of it can make some kitties bonk like Simba!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Menthol is made from a mint, just as catnip is. Same family of plants. Cats have been known to go crazy over peppermint gum, candy, etc.
- and the smell of menthol.
post #10 of 19
I too use Goldbond and my Stumpy tries to lick it off my hands every time I apply it. I actually have to fight him off to keep him away. None of my other cats respond to it that way.

Glad to hear that other cats have a reaction to it also. I was beginning to think Stumpy had some weird craving.
post #11 of 19
LOL I have a jar of mentholatum, like vaporub. Dusty want a sniff it and she then backed away with a disgusted look on her face. She did NOT like it at all!
post #12 of 19
Most cats react to menthol. Catnip is a member of the mint family. In fact, if you look at some ingredients in many herbal teas, you will find "catnip" as an ingredient.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Most cats react to menthol. Catnip is a member of the mint family. In fact, if you look at some ingredients in many herbal teas, you will find "catnip" as an ingredient.
Yes, and catnip cross pollinates with other mint. I grow catnip (I use it in the cat toys and cat beds I make) and have to restart the plants every few years because they loose potency as they cross blend with other mints growing wild in the area.
post #14 of 19
We first noticed that years ago when Max was living. My husband rubbed some Flexall 454 on my back. Max went bonkers. I don't have an explanation, but I have seen the same thing you saw. Never try to understand cats and what they do. They are mysterious.
post #15 of 19
Midnightwas the same way with menthol products. I always washed it thoroughly off my hands cause I was afraid it would get in his eyes or something! Slate didn't seem to care.
Don't know about Lucky yet! He is extra sensitive with catnip, if they are related.
post #16 of 19
Benson gets a little to aggressive around this smell. Same thing happened to DH when he used the lotion. The smell is banned from the house unless we can lock ourselves away.
post #17 of 19
Interesting !!! Will have to do a test on my kitties. Only three of my five react to catnip. Menthol,???? Hmmmmm.
post #18 of 19
Oh my gosh, this is an old thread, but I just searched 'menthol' and it came up.

My husband overdid it at work last week and I have been putting mentholated patches on his back for him at night. Pooper has absolutely lost her mind! She has been running around, rolling in the blankets where the patch has touched and just acting like a maniac in general. I had no idea menthol affected some cats like this! My other cats haven't seemed to notice at all.

We also realized menthol is probably the reason Pooper trys (and often succeeds) licking Carmex off my lips when I put it on at night. That little tongue is rough on my lips and it is quite disconcerting to wake up with a cat licking your lips and purring.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by happybird View Post

Oh my gosh, this is an old thread, but I just searched 'menthol' and it came up.

My husband overdid it at work last week and I have been putting mentholated patches on his back for him at night. Pooper has absolutely lost her mind! She has been running around, rolling in the blankets where the patch has touched and just acting like a maniac in general. I had no idea menthol affected some cats like this! My other cats haven't seemed to notice at all.

We also realized menthol is probably the reason Pooper trys (and often succeeds) licking Carmex off my lips when I put it on at night. That little tongue is rough on my lips and it is quite disconcerting to wake up with a cat licking your lips and purring.

Oh my!  One of my cat's growing up had some diseased teeth that gave her AWFUL breath.  She used to rub her face on my nose to wake me up.  If the rubbing didn't work; her breath would have.  Poor kitty.  She has been gone a long time now.  

 

I get a similar response from my 2 with icy hot.  No licking; but they get very intent on sniffing me!

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