The common one: catnip
Catnip is a green herb native to Europe and Asia. When cats give the crushed stem or leaves of this plant a sniff, they become euphoric and can often be spotted rolling around blissfully.
The exotic one: silver vine or matatabi
The silver vine is a plant of the kiwifruit family that naturally grows in China, Korea and Japan, where its effect on cats didn’t go unnoticed. The Japanese refer to the euphoric behavior that cats display after sniffing the plant as “the matatabi dance”. This is why silver vine products for cats are sometimes referred to as matatabi.
How do these herbs work?
While catnip and silvervine both make cats euphoric, they each contain a different active substance. In catnip, the active substance is nepetalactone, while silver vine contains nepetalactol. The latter is more potent and appeals to more cats, which is why it’s a great alternative to catnip!
The many convenient forms of catnip and silver vine
Many cat toys contain catnip or silver vine so your cat will be more likely to play with them. If you love some DIY, you can spoil your cat by buying loose catnip and/or silver vine and inserting it into homemade toys. Another option would be to sprinkle the herbs over your cat’s cardboard scratcher for extra fun.
Catnip spray is definitely the easiest to use as it can be applied on vertical surfaces. Simply apply a layer on Fluffy’s cat tree or scratching board to make sure they steer clear of the curtains and sofa. You can, of course, also use the spray on cat toys.
Whether you have kids or you just want to awaken your own inner child, catnip bubbles are the perfect product! You will have countless hours of fun blowing bubbles, while your cat can chase them and enjoy their delicious scent.
How long does the effect of catnip and silver vine last?
A cat’s euphoric mood will last for about 5 to 15 minutes. After the effect has worn off, cats become temporarily immune to the substances in catnip and silver vine. It can take up to a few hours before your cat will be interested in some more.
How much catnip or silver vine should I use?
Every cat responds differently to catnip or silver vine, so adjust the dosage according to your cat’s reaction. We recommend starting off slowly, as the sudden energy boost can cause some cats to attack your hands or feet. If the effects are absent or too weak, you can still increase the amount of cat herbs provided.
Can my cat get addicted to catnip or silver vine?
There is no such thing as catnip or silver vine addiction or dependency. Once the effects of these plants have worn off, your cat will even become immune to their effects for a few hours. Cats won’t be craving even more herbs, nor will they display any withdrawal symptoms. You can rest assured: you are not drugging your cat.
Do only cats respond to catnip or silver vine?
Even though dogs do not show any response, domestic cats aren’t the only animals that feel euphoric when coming into contact with catnip or silver vine. Tests have shown that besides cats, catnip also affects leopards, cougars, lynxes, servals, and even some lions and tigers. We can only imagine the fun these researchers must have had watching these big cats roll around in catnip.