Is your cat not amused by Catnip? Try Silver Vine instead

Let’s say you’re at the pet store to buy some cat food, and you notice a cute catnip. It’s been a while since your sweet furry friend got a new toy, and you’ve always wondered if she’d enjoy catnip. You throw it in your cart. Once you get home, you remove the toy from the packaging, hold it in front of your cat, and take out your phone, ready to film her hilarious antics. She sniffs it, paws at it a few times, and lets out a gasp. So much for this!

Does this frustrating scenario sound familiar? Cats are supposed to love catnip, right? Not necessarily, as it turns out. While a source from 2007 says that 70 to 80 percent of cats react to catnip, recent research indicates that only 50 to 70 percent do. This means that many cats simply do not enjoy this substance. However, this does not mean that your cat is not responding to anything. You may want to try silver vine instead.

What is silver vine?


silver vine (scientific name: Actinidia Polygamma) is a species of plant native to China, Japan and Russia. It is a climbing vine with rounded leaves that come to a point, and the name comes from the silvery white coloration on the tops of the leaves. In early to midsummer, the plant bears small white flowers and fuzzy, grape-shaped fruit. The inside of the fruit is similar to the kiwi (the silver vine is part of the kiwi family) except that it is orange. And while the fruit is edible, raw or cooked, most people would agree that it doesn’t taste good unless eaten with a pinch of salt. The leaves can be roasted or mixed into tea, and have a mild hallucinogenic effect on humans when consumed in large amounts.

What happens to the cats you interact with?

Silver vine in cats produces a euphoric effect (similar to that of catnip). The reaction will begin immediately and last for about 30 minutes—your furry friend may become hyperactive or drowsy, and roll over, curl up at the silver vine, or lick it. After that, your cat will likely return to normal. There are no reports of toxicity or adverse effects in cats, so it is safe to use. Another perk: Silver vine and catnip both act as insect repellents, so it’s likely that cats in the wild benefited from these plants in more ways than one.

Will my cat react to silver vine (and other plants)?

It is very likely. In a 2017 study, nearly 80 percent of all tested cats responded to silver vine. About 66 percent responded to catnip, 50 percent to tartar honeysuckle, and 50 percent to valerian root. (Tatar honeysuckle and valerian root are two other plants that often produce euphoric effects in cats.) Some cat products contain a mixture of two or more substances to increase the likelihood of your cat’s reaction.

Why do cats react to silvervine and catnip?

According to research conducted at Harvard University, silver vine and catnip contain substances that activate the reward and pleasure centers in the feline brain. In silver vine, the active ingredient is nepetalactol, and in catnip it is nepetalacetone. Fortunately, neither of the two ingredients is addictive. The part of the cat’s brain [that activates] It is similar to the opioid system that responds to morphine in humans, the researchers explained, but cats are not at risk of addiction or harm to silver vine.

Where can I buy a silver vine?

You can buy silver chrome sticks, powders or toys online. For some products we love, try: Meowijuana King Sized Silvervine Cat Sticks (Buy from Petco, $12.99) or Meowy Jane’s Silver Vine Powder (Buy from Amazon, $13.95). (Talk about marketing names). As for patterned toys, most companies sell them as a mixture of catnip and silver vine; A popular choice is Hartz Cattraction Fish Cat Toys (Buy from Amazon, $6.97). We hope your cat enjoys it!

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