If you have a cat, you’ve definitely heard about catnip, but have you heard about silvervine? Like catnip, silvervine is a plant that has some notable effects on a cat’s mood. It is 100% natural, non-toxic, and perfectly safe for your cat to use to unwind. Silvervine is actually more potent than catnip, but fewer people know about it. Here are a few things about this amazing cat attractant, its effects and uses, and, most importantly, how cats react to it.
What is Silvervine?
Silvervine (Actinidia polygama) is a species of kiwifruit that grows in the mountainous areas in China and Japan. It is a climbing plant that can reach up to 5-6 meters in length. Silver vine has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to treat a wide range of issues including cystitis and kidney disease, rheumatism, cardiac and circulatory problems, liver disease, and high cholesterol.
But aside from its many uses in medicine, silver vine has a very powerful euphoric effect on cats. In fact, it is more intense than the effect of catnip. The active substance that cats react to in silver vine is called actinide, but this plant also contains similar substances to nepetalactone, which is the active substance in catnip. This is why more cats are bound to respond to silver vine than to catnip.
How do cats respond to silver vine?
The effects of silver vine are very similar to those of catnip and they may include the following:
- Meowing – cats become very vocal when exposed to silver vine.
- Rolling around – this is a very common effect – the cat will roll around the silver vine.
- General excitement – almost immediately after interacting with silver vine, cats become very excited and energetic.
- Dilated pupils – this can also be seen in most cats, but it is not pathologic.
- Drooling – this can be seen in some cats and it is due to the sudden excitement – it is not pathologic.
- Loving mood – cats become very affectionate when exposed to silver vine.
How long does the effect of silver vine last?
Silver vine has an immediate effect on cats. When they are exposed to silver vine powder or wood, cats will become euphoric very quickly because the active substances get metabolized very easily.
When cats smell the silver vine, the neurostimulants in the plant are absorbed via the olfactory nervous system and the response is immediate. However, the effect of silver vine only lasts between 5 and 30 minutes, after which it will stop. Then, for the next 20-30 minutes, the cat will not be interested in the silver vine.
If you want to take a closer look at how a cat responds to silver vine, then take a look at the Floppycats Charlie and Trig reacting to Dezi & Roo Cloud Nine Silver Vine by All-Natural, a top-notch silver vine product:
Do all cats respond to silver vine?
No, not all cats will respond to silver vine. According to a study conducted by BioMed Central Veterinary Research in 2017, approximately 80% of cats respond to silver vine, while only approximately 66% responded to catnip. Moreover, out of the cats that did not respond to catnip, almost 75% did respond to silver vine, which means that this is a very good alternative for catnip.
While 80% of cats do respond to silver vine, the exact effects that it will have depend on the individual. Some cats will be extremely affectionate, while others will be more energetic than affectionate, and others will be only vocal and excited. The exact response depends on the specific features of a cat’s metabolism. Moreover, the same cat may display different responses when exposed to silver vine in separate instances.
The main types of silver vine products
There are two main typed of silver vine products you can find on the market and each of them comes with several advantages:
Silver Vine Powder
The powder is made from the silver vine fruit. The Dezi & Roo Cloud Nine Silver Vine is an excellent choice because it is made exclusively from fruit, without any leaves or sticks. It comes in a 0.5 oz tin can and you can sprinkle it on your cat’s favorite toy to help it engage in some serious playtime.
It is veterinary approved and completely safe for your cat. While the silver vine powder is not meant to be added in the cat’s food, if your cat happens to eat some of it while it is playing, it will be in no danger whatsoever.
Silver Vine Sticks
When using silver vine powder, you have to sprinkle it on toys, carpets, or cat beds, but if you want to take the easy way out, you can try silver vine sticks. These are made from the woody part of the plant and they have the same euphoric effect on the cat.
Take a look at the Floppycats interacting with silver vine sticks! These are an instant success and they can be a toy in themselves. As a tip, dipping the silver vine stick in a bit of water will make it more potent.
Why use silver vine on your cats?
Silver vine can be extremely beneficial for your cat because it will put it in a very pleasant mental state. Aside from this general purpose, here are a few more reasons to use silver vine:
Get your cat to exercise – sprinkle some silver vine powder on your cat’s toys and it will be thrilled to run around after it.
Get your cat to relax – whether it’s silver vine powder or sticks, your cat will feel very relaxed when exposed to it and afterward. This can be extremely useful for cats that spend a lot of time alone while their masters are at work.
Use silver vine for training your cat – silver vine can be extremely useful if you want to teach your cat some tricks because it can be the ultimate reward.