What pair goes together like peanut butter and jelly? Why, cats and catnip; the word ‘cat’ is even in ‘catnip’! But making itself known through the US is another option available to satisfy your cat’s playful side, and that is Silvervine. If you haven’t yet heard of silvervine, read more about it from The Refined Feline.
What Is Silvervine?
Found in Asia where it’s known as the “Matatabi dance”, since cats react to the vine similarly to catnip. Catnip is a herbaceous plant, while silvervine is a fruit-bearing vine. Silvervine is found in mountainous regions of China, Korea, Japan and Eastern Russia. This vine will produce small white flowers with yellow centers for around a month in the summertime. Then in October, it will bear egg-shaped fruit for a month. Most recently becoming common in the United States, Asian regions have been using silvervine for a long time. Japanese Kampo medicine even relies on silvervine leaves to easily treat back pain, cancer, urinary tract infections, kidney disease and more.
Catnip vs Silvervine
Nearly half of all domestic cats don’t react to catnip, according to researchers. Meanwhile, silvervine will produce a “high” in nearly 80% of cats. One chemical, called nepetalactone, is found in catnip and that’s what gives cats their playful streak. Silvervine, on the other hand, has two main chemicals, called actinide and dihydroactinidiolide, that cats find irresistible. Silvervine also contains multiple active ingredients similar to the single chemical found in catnip.
So, if you see your cat not really reacting to catnip, you’re not crazy to think about trying something new. There are multiple forms of silverine that your cat may enjoy, including chewing on silvervine sticks, which can decrease the amount of tartar on your cat’s teeth. Silvervine also helps cats with medical issues, such as anxiety, arthritis, nausea and high blood pressure. It may even help your overweight cat lose some weight as they’ll be more active with this much more fragrant vine.
What Are The Forms of Silvervine?
Silvervine is usually ground up like catnip to have the same appearance as its counterpart. But when it comes to silvervine, there are multiple sections you can purchase for your cat’s enjoyment. The fruit galls of the silvervine are what cats seem to respond to the most. These fruit buds can be found as-is or ground up, depending on how you want it. All parts of the silvervine, including the fruit, stems, leaves, and buds are dried out similar to catnip. The only cats that have not responded to silvervine in a playful fashion are kittens under eight months old and pregnant females.
If you’ve heard of silvervine sticks, these promote a cat’s dental health, but are not an actual part of the vine, though. These sticks are typically steeped with the scent of silvervine. These silvervine sticks are great toys for your cats, just be sure to keep an eye on them when they’re playing with the sticks. Parts of the stick could potentially break from excessive use and become a choking hazard. If you want your cat to get rid of excess energy, though, give your cat a part of the actual silvervine plant to elicit a much stronger response.
What Effects Follow Silvervine Use?
The effects of silvervine are very similar to that of catnip, as cats will drool, roll around, climb, jump and bounce off the walls (especially if you have cat shelves). When people think of cats on catnip, they’re hyperactive and zooming around the house, but some cats may actually become more relaxed! Regardless of how they act, most cats will thoroughly enjoy silvervine in any form and you’ll enjoy bonding with your cat. And you can expect your cat’s “high” to typically last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, but could even last as long as an hour.
Can I Give My Cat Too Much Silvervine?
Silvervine can be used everyday, even multiple times a day, just like catnip. You can use a small amount on their favorite cat bed, on their toys, food, scratching posts, and more! There is no such thing as too much silvervine, so don’t worry at all about giving out too much of the vine. If your cat is strictly indoors, they will especially enjoy the earthy fun of silvervine and all of the entertainment and activity that you can provide.
Try Silvervine Today!
There really is no disadvantage to giving silvervine a try with your cats. The worst thing that can happen is that your cats don’t react to it! And with the positives including they’ll have some playtime with their favorite human and get some extra exercise, what’s not to like?