Viewers Go Crazy for Large Jaguar's First Reaction to Catnip in Viral Video

Viewers went wild over a jaguar's intense reaction to catnip spray in a viral video.

The TikTok, uploaded by Safari Sammie, or @safarisammie, received more than 22.5 million views and 22,000 comments, many of which called Tank cute even though he is the third-largest cat species in the world and the strongest bite out of any other big cat.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, jaguars are able to tear through alligator hide and turtle shells. Adult male jaguars can get up to roughly 265 pounds and are about five-and-a-half feet long.

In the video captioned "Tank's reaction to spray catnip!" Sammie sprays a few times from a small spray bottle next to a large jaguar. Tank instantly puts his nose near the catnip and begins loudly sniffing.

Jaguar smells catnip in viral TikTok
Viewers were obsessed with Tank the jaguar who had an intense reaction after his caretaker sprayed catnip. Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images

After a few sniffs, Tank opens his mouth and closes his eyes, looking as if he is smiling. The jaguar then opened his mouth wide before licking his lips and diving his nose back in.

He continued to sniff as his ears twitched and at one point laid his whole body down in the area that was sprayed.

Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is a leafy plant that contains the chemical nepetalactone, which causes cats to have an intense reaction. Research shows that even large cats, including jaguars and leopards, are susceptible to the strong effects of catnip.

"The key intoxicating chemicals in the plants activate cats' opioid systems much like heroin and morphine do in people," one group of researchers wrote in a study.

For most cats, the effects only last for about 10 minutes and it will take about two hours before they will be able to feel the catnip's effects.

However, an estimated 30 percent of felines do not feel the effects of catnip and kittens are not affected by catnip until about six months old.

In the video, Tank continued to smell the catnip and rubbed his nose and face in the area where it was sprayed.

More than 22,000 viewers commented on the video, many expressing their admiration for Tank's beauty and "sweet" face.

"If danger why heart nose," one user commented receiving 125,000 likes.

"If no can pet, why soft," another added.

"Why do big cats have to be dangerous," another asked. "They're SO CUTE."

"My toxic trait is thinking I could snuggle him," one commenter wrote.

Newsweek reached out to Safari Sammie for comment.