Just like peanut butter and jelly, cats and catnip go as easily together. ‘Cat’ is even in ‘catnip’! However, there’s a “new kid in town” when it comes to satisfying your cat’s playful side, and that is Silvervine. If you haven’t heard of this new competition, The Refined Feline has gathered all you need to know about this new addictive plant.
What Is Silvervine?
Found primarily in Asia, it’s often referred to as the “Matatabi dance” as cats will get the same response as they do to catnip. While catnip is a herbaceous plant that can be grown in any garden, silvervine is actually a fruit-bearing vine. And most of the US hasn’t known about it as silvervine grows in mountainous regions of China, Korea, Japan and Eastern Russia. The vine grows little white flowers with yellow centers for about a month in the summertime. And come October, the vine sprouts egg-shaped fruit for a month. Asian regions have been using silvervine for a long time as it’s more prominent in those regions. Silvervine has only recently become more common within the last few years in the United States. Japanese Kampo medicine uses silvervine leaves as remedies for human’s back pain, cancer, urinary tract infections and kidney disease.
Silvervine & Catnip: Similarities and Differences
Researchers are discovering that nearly half of all domestic cats don’t have a reaction to catnip. Silvervine elicited a reaction from nearly 80% of cats who tried it! This may be due to catnip only having one chemical that gives cats their playful edge, called nepetalactone. Silvervine contains two main chemicals that cats respond to, called actinide and dihydroactinidiolide. And in addition to those two main chemicals, silvervine also contains around six other active ingredients similar to the chemical found in catnip.
So, knowing this information and seeing your cat not react to catnip may be giving you a clue to try something new. Silvervine is also available in sticks, which can decrease the amount of tartar on your cat’s teeth from regular chewing. Silvervine also has medicinal applications for cats with anxiety, arthritis, nausea and high blood pressure. And with your cat reacting to silvervine more than catnip, this vine can help your chunky cats lose some unwanted weight.
How Is Silvervine Available?
Silvervine is available ground up just like its counterpart, catnip, but has other choices as well. There are multiple parts of the vine that you can purchase ground or whole for your cat’s playtime. Most cats seem to respond to the fruit galls the best, and these can be purchased as-is or ground up. The buds, fruit, stems and leaves of a silvervine plant can be dried out like catnip. There are a few circumstances where a cat won’t respond to silvervine, and those are kittens under eight months old and pregnant females.
If you’re interested in the silvervine sticks, these promote a cat’s dental health but are not a part of the actual vine, though. These are basic sticks designed to be infused with the scent of silvervine to entice your cats to chew on them. If you do decide to purchase the silvervine sticks, just keep an eye on your cats when they’re playing with them as parts of the stick can break off, becoming a choking hazard. Getting the actual silvervine plant and giving that to your cat will elicit a much stronger response than the sticks, though.
What Are The Responses To Silvervine?
Very similar to that of catnip, silvervine will make your cats drool, roll around, climb, jump and bounce off the walls (especially if you have cat shelves). The first thing you might picture is your cat becoming hyperactive and zooming around the house, but some cats may do the opposite and become more relaxed! No matter how your cat reacts, most felines will thoroughly enjoy any form of silvervine, and you’ll enjoy bonding with your cat. The “high” your cat encounters will typically last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, but it’s not unheard of to last as long as an hour too.
Is There A Limit To Silvervine?
Just like catnip, there is no cap or limit to how silvervine can be used everyday. Sprinkle it on their food, toys, scratching posts, favorite beds and more! There is no excess to silvervine usage, so don’t worry about your cats getting too much. Indoor cats especially will benefit from all of the entertainment and activity that silvervine can provide them.
Buy Some Silvervine Today!
There’s really no reason not to give your cats silvervine. The worst that can happen is that your cat simply doesn’t react to it! While the best case scenario is that they’ll have some great playtime with their favorite human and get extra exercise