Silvervine: a Potent Alternative to Catnip
Published over 7 years ago by Olivia Canlas
Please note: This article was written for informational purposes only and we are not medical professionals. As every cat has unique needs, we recommend always consulting your vet before introducing a new food, substance or material to your kitty.
A cat’s life can be downright stressful. Figuring out where and when to sleep, whose lap to sit on, what to scratch, who to ignore…it can take its toll. Luckily the planet has engineered ways to provide kitty with an escape from all the pressure.
If you’ve never heard of silvervine, this is your cat’s lucky day. A plant native to the mountainous regions of eastern Asia, silvervine has been used in Asia for centuries as a preventative health aid. It’s also widely used in Japan and China as a cat stimulant. When exposed to powdered silvervine, cats enter a euphoric state that involves behaviours like rolling, chin and cheek rubbing, meowing, drooling and licking. Reactions vary from cat to cat, but the bottom line is that they all go nuts for the stuff. Effects generally last from 5-30 minutes.
Sounds like catnip, right? Well yes, it does, except it’s more potent due to the presence of two cat attractants as opposed to catnip’s one. A study from the University of Illinois found that cats showed a preference for silvervine over catnip both in terms of initial attraction to an object containing the substance and time spent interacting with it. If your cat doesn’t respond to catnip or has grown bored of it, silvervine may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Silvervine comet toy, the meowbox shop
Silvervine marshmallow toy, the meowbox shop
Why, you might ask, would you want to introduce your cat to something that effectively drives them crazy? Well first of all, like catnip, it’s not toxic or addictive. Your favourite furball won’t start frothing at the mouth and getting all jittery when you run out of the stuff. Second, it can benefit your cat’s overall health. Spending just a few minutes in the euphoric state induced by silvervine can positively impact a kitty’s emotional and physical wellbeing. It can relieve stress and anxiety, sharpen natural hunting skills and may even provide medicinal benefits. Furthermore, silvervine can promote deeper bonding with you, your kitty’s loving parent. After the hyperactive effects of the plant wear off and your cat enters a state of content tranquility, he’ll be more willing to cuddle – especially cats that tend to be skittish or shy.
Silvervine can be sprinkled on toys and scratching posts or offered in the form of a silvervine chew stick. Easy does it though – a little goes a long way. Whatever the presentation, we’re sure your feline housemate will be eternally grateful to you for introducing this magical plant into their life. Your reward will be the epic snuggles you receive after she calms down and remembers who you are.
You’ll find silvervine toys in many past meowboxes and can check out our online shop for more silvervine goodies!
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