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Send Your Kitty Into Bliss

February 5, 2018

Catnip and Catnip Alternatives

You're probably familiar with catnip and the reaction it can create in cats. But what if your kitty doesn't seem to like catnip? There are alternatives!

Types of Plant Effects on Kitty? Does Every Kitty Respond? Safe to Eat? Parts Used Notes
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) Euphoria, rolling around, running/playing, drooling, rubbing, kicking toys or the air, looking wide-eyed, usually followed by a relaxed or sleepy state No, approximately 2/3 of cats over the age of six months with the dominant catnip gene will respond Yes Dried or fresh, all parts contain the oil/active chemical Cats either react to catnip or honeysuckle, not both, based on their inherited genes
Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) Very similar effects to catnip, maybe a bit milder No, the remaining 1/3 of cats with recessive genes will react No Woody stems All part of the honeysuckle plant are poisonous to cats, except the woody stems. Inside honeysuckle toys is basically a bit of bark from the plant
Silver Vine (Actinidia polygama) a.k.a. Matatabi Similar effects to catnip, though usually more intense Generally, yes Yes Fresh, dried or powdered, generally all parts can be used Originally from the mountains of Asia, this vine is in the kiwi family
Valerian Root (Velerina officinalis) More stimulating than catnip or honeysuckle, excitement, "the zoomies," zoned-out effect, drooling Generally, yes Yes, in moderation Mostly root and leaves Many people say this plant smells bad to them, but cats love it!


As you can see, there is no shortage of plants featuring natural chemicals that can enrich, entertain and excite your cat! Experiment with different options and see what your feline(s) prefer! We are proud to stock catnip, honeysuckle, silver vine and valerian root in some form or another–be it in spray, in a toy or loose. With no chance for habituation and no negative side effects, you can have some no-risk fun right at home. After all, if you don't teach your cat about catnip (et al.), who will?