Valerian for Cats: A Natural Solution for Stress Relief

Video valerian root and cats

Are you concerned about your cat’s anxiety and stress? Just like humans, cats can experience these emotions due to changes in their environment, overstimulation, or even boredom. As a responsible cat owner, it’s important to understand the signs of stress and take steps to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. One effective solution that you may not be aware of is valerian. This herb, well-known for its stress-relieving benefits, is not only safe for cats but also offers a range of positive effects. So, let’s dive in and learn more about valerian for cats.

What is Valerian?

Valerian is a beautiful purple flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. However, when it comes to the benefits we’ll discuss, we focus specifically on the root of the plant. Valerian root extract has been used for centuries to treat various conditions in humans, including insomnia, digestive issues, menopause, and muscle fatigue. But here’s the exciting part: cats can also derive magical benefits from valerian root extract.


Please note that valerian is often mistakenly associated with catnip. However, they are different plants with different effects on cats. Valerian root extract contains unique chemicals that attract and affect our feline friends, such as Actinidine. This makes it a fantastic alternative for cats that don’t respond to catnip.

How Can I Give My Cat Valerian?

There are two main ways to administer valerian to your cat: orally or olfactorily. If you want your cat to consume it, the best method is to use a tasty Cat Calming Treat or crush a cat-specific tablet into their favorite meal. On the other hand, if you prefer your cat to sniff valerian, you can stuff it inside a toy or use it in a spray. The decision between ingestion and inhalation depends on your desired outcome, which we’ll explore in the next section.

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Remember, it’s important to avoid giving your cat human-grade valerian powder or tablets, as these may contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, such as garlic. Additionally, do not give your cat neat valerian, as it could pose a choking hazard. If your cat has any underlying medical conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before introducing any kind of stimulant. Your vet will be able to advise whether valerian is compatible with your cat’s existing medication.

How Do Cats React to Valerian?

Cats can have different reactions to valerian depending on how they encounter it. If your goal is to keep your kitty calm and relaxed, it’s best for them to consume valerian rather than simply sniffing it. When ingested, valerian can induce a sense of euphoria, making your cat purr with contentment and even fall asleep. On the other hand, if your cat smells valerian, the effects may resemble those of catnip. Your furry friend might become extra playful and hyperactive, rubbing against the valerian and running around like a loonatic. However, after this initial burst of energy, valerian leaves most cats feeling calm and relaxed, which is why it’s often preferred over catnip.

Does Valerian Affect All Cats?

No, it doesn’t! You may have noticed that we use words like “can” and “may” regarding the impact of valerian on cats. The reason for this is that not all cats are affected by valerian. Cats only develop the “valerian gene” between 3-6 months of age, so if your kitten is younger than this, valerian may have no effect. Even after this age, only about 50% of cats are known to react to valerian, according to a study. So, don’t worry if your cat doesn’t respond to valerian—it’s perfectly normal, and there are other solutions to explore.

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The Bottom Line

If you notice that your cat is stressed or anxious, you undoubtedly want to help them in any way you can. Valerian alone may not be a complete solution, but when combined with behavioral and environmental changes, it can significantly contribute to your cat’s overall well-being. Soothing your kitty’s worries and providing them a happier, stress-free life is within your reach.

While you’re here, why not explore some other interesting reads about cat care:

  1. Fireworks and pets: 10 ways to help reduce their anxiety
  2. Dreamies Cat Treats: Are they good or bad?
  3. 5 cat calming tips to ease anxiety

Remember, your cat’s well-being is our top priority. So take a moment to explore these informative articles and discover even more ways to care for your feline companion.

Katten TrimSalon – Your trusted partner in cat care.