Valerian: The Ultimate Catnip Alternative

Are you looking for a natural remedy to stimulate and relax your cat? Look no further than valerian! While most cats respond to catnip, there are still some feline friends who don’t feel its effects. That’s where valerian comes in as a fantastic alternative. Let’s dive into the world of valerian and explore its benefits for our furry companions.

What is Valerian and Why Should You Consider It?

Valerian, native to Europe and North Asia, is a plant with a potent root that has been used for centuries to enhance our well-being. The name “valerian” is derived from the Latin word “valere,” meaning “to be well.” Interestingly, this powerful herb can also work wonders for our cats.

Around 30% of cats don’t respond to catnip, but fret not! Valerian can be their new favorite. The root of valerian contains actinidine, a compound that acts as a stimulant for some cats. It not only provides mental stimulation and increases exercise but also leaves our feline friends with an overall calm and relaxed aura. So why not give valerian a try and see if it’s the perfect match for your cat?

Valerian and Cats

Using Valerian with Your Cat

Using valerian with your cat is simple and fun. Just like catnip, you can fill a resealable toy with dried valerian root or try our Valerian Cloud Toy. Alternatively, sprinkle about a teaspoon of valerian over their play area. Remember, valerian is typically coarsely chopped into small pieces to release a stronger scent, so a little sprinkle goes a long way.

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Safety First: Is Valerian Safe for Your Cat?

Absolutely! Valerian is safe for your beloved feline friend as long as you administer it in the right quantities. Start with roughly a teaspoon of valerian and gradually increase if needed. It’s safe for your cat to smell and ingest in small amounts during playtime.

One crucial point to note is that valerian cannot be metabolized by cats, making it impossible for them to overdose or become addicted. However, make sure not to give your cat valerian supplements meant for humans, as they may contain harmful ingredients and have a dosage that is too strong for our furry pals.

What if Your Cat Doesn’t Respond to Valerian or Catnip?

Cats have an exceptional sense of smell, allowing them to detect stimulants and pheromones that we humans can’t. Whether a cat is responsive or not to valerian or catnip is determined by a mendelian-dominant gene that cats are born with or without. Around 30% of cats genetically lack this gene and are non-responsive to these herbs. However, don’t be disheartened! There are always other herbal stimulants and toys to keep them entertained.

Spider teaser toy

Alternatives to Valerian Root

If valerian doesn’t do the trick for your cat, there are other alternatives worth exploring. Two popular herbs to consider are silvervine and tatarian honeysuckle. In a study by BMC Veterinary Research, catnip, valerian, silvervine, and tatarian honeysuckle were found to elicit positive responses in domestic cats. Almost 80% of cats responded to silvervine, while around 50% responded to tatarian honeysuckle.

Silvervine, native to the mountainous regions of eastern Asia, can evoke a euphoric state in cats similar to catnip. This delightful response can last up to half an hour, providing plenty of joy for your furry friend. Tatarian honeysuckle, like valerian, contains the stimulating compound actinidine. It can be presented as a natural toy made from wood, especially suitable for kittens who are not yet responsive to catnip until after puberty.

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Valerian and Cats

The Adventure Begins!

Now that you know about valerian and its alternatives, it’s time to embark on an exciting exploration of what works best for your cat. Remember to observe your feline companion closely and see which herb or toy brings them the most joy. At Katten TrimSalon, we value the happiness and well-being of your furry friends above all else. So, let us know how your valerian adventures unfold, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions. Happy playtime with your beloved companion!

Katten TrimSalon