Andrew Marttila has been a professional animal photographer for the past five years and most of that time has been dedicated to photographing cats exclusively. With his set-up he's able to capÂture wonderful split-second images of'cat's most abandoned expressions as they enjoy every cats favourite treat, catnip. Andrew resÂcues and raises orphan kittens with his partner Hannah Shaw (the internet's famous Kitten Lady), and many of the models were hand-raised by Andrew and Hannah from newborns.
Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, grows wild in many parts of the world and is extremely easy to grow at home in most climates. It's part of the mint family and contained within the bulbs, stems, and leaves is an oil called nepetalactone. Once eaten, rolled on, or crushed, the oil binds to the cat's nasal receptors and stimulates a response that affects a number of areas in the brain, includÂing the hypothalamus and amygdala, two regions that are key in regulating emotional and behavioral responses to stimuli. This produces a mild euphoric effect and typically lasts about ten to twenty minutes.
Catnip is non-addictive and harmless and provides a temporary respite from your cat's gruelling workload of napping all day.