Catnip (Nepeta) is a collective name for more than 200 plants from the lipflower family. The plant has lavender blue flowers and exudes a menthol-like scent. The plant grows naturally in Europe, Asia and Africa. The plant contains substances to which many felines react extremely.
Nepetalactone, the cause of the typical catnip symptoms, has a mild hallucinogenic effect. The plant produces this substance to defend against insects. It is assumed that nepetalactone has the same effect as pheromones.
Cats show different reactions when exposed to catnip and silvervine.
Common behavior is:
Rolling and rubbing
Licking or eating the herb
After playing the cat becomes calmer and the pupils shrink. Often you see the cat go to sleep or wash itself. In general the symptoms disappear after 10 to 15 minutes and the cats are ‘resistant’ to the active substances in the catnip for at least an hour. After fifteen minutes of enjoying catnip the effect disappears and the cat will not react to the catnip for an hour when it is offered again.
Catnip and silvervine for cats can be used in the following (stress related) symptoms:
Multi cat households
We do emphasize, however, that the above symptoms can have various causes. Therefore, always exclude the possibility of a medical cause.
Silver Vine or Matatabi
Silvervine (Actinidia polygama) is an Asian climbing plant that grows in mountainous areas in China and Japan. This plant bears fruits that resemble the kiwi. The plant owes its name to the long green leaves, which have a silver tip at the end. The dried wooden twigs are sold under the name matatabi. Matatabi has been used as a medicine in Asia for years. Cats love this herb with a calming effect, the 2 substances that cause this are called nepetalactone and metatabiliciton.
You should only buy organic silvervine for cats. You can get the best silvervine here.
In addition, the sticks not only have a soothing function but also a teeth cleansing feature when your house tiger is chewing on it.
Although Silvervine for cats and catnip seem to have the same effects, Silvervine seems more attractive than catnip because Silvervine contains 2 attractive substances (Actinidine).
Cats suffering from restlessness, frustration and lethargy can benefit from matatabi. Pure Silvervine sticks offer distraction and rest in uncomfortable situations such as during a trip, moving house, after family expansion, admission to a boarding house or at the vet. Cats play with the stick, some chew it or bite it to pieces. Many cats roll and rub where the stick or its remnants have lain. If the bark of the stick is removed, the effect is even greater.
Although your cat may seem ecstatic by giving catnip, catnip and silvervine are not addictive. Because catnip is a natural substance, it has no harmful effects on the cat. We do advise, however, not to give the cat permanent access to the (toy filled with) catnip or to give the cat catnip daily, because overuse can cause the cat to find the herb less attractive through habituation.
There are various toys available for your cat. Matatabi is available in the form of sticks, cats can play with the sticks or bite on them without harmful consequences. Catnip is available in both liquid and solid form. There are also various (refillable) catnip toys for sale.