Nepeta is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae also known as catmints. The genus name is reportedly in reference to Nepete, an ancient Etruscan city. There are about 250 species. The genus is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, and has also naturalized in North America. Some members of this group are known as catnip or catmint because of their effect on house cats – the nepetalactone contained in some Nepeta species binds to the olfactory receptors of cats, typically resulting in temporary euphoria.