But as it turns out, wildcats look for specific kinds of trees and plants to mark, based on how well those plants natural characteristics will spread the scent of the mark. It was assumed that cats merely mark large objects--marking the biggest tree or biggest rock, for example--but that's not the case. European wildcats favor the juniper tree, not choosing it for its size but selecting it over larger, nearby non-juniper trees. The juniper is a highly aromatic and oily tree (it's a major component in the flavoring of gin, for example) and the cat chooses the juniper because, the study suggests, its natural oils will mesh with the cat's scent to make the mark more powerful than the mark is alone. The study says that therefore, wildcats "select those plants which could enhance the olfactory effectiveness of the mark." It's not totally clear how, chemically, scent marks interact with the volatile organic compounds in the juniper, but it is clear that the cats choose those more than other plants.