Hello cat lovers! If you've ever waved a catnip-stuffed toy in front of your feline friend, you've probably witnessed the ensuing frenzy. One whiff of this magical herb, and even the most aloof kitty is rolling around in ecstasy. But have you ever wondered why? Or if catnip is safe? And what about matatabi, the Asian equivalent?
Today, we're diving headfirst into the world of feline highs, dispelling myths, and exploring why these natural stimulants are not just safe but also beneficial for our feline friends.
Catnip: The Feline Party Drug
Catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, is a member of the mint family. It's like the 'cat-champagne' of the plant world. When cats get a whiff of this potent plant, they often exhibit behaviours like rolling, jumping, purring, and generally acting bonkers.
But why does this happen? The answer lies in a chemical compound called nepetalactone. When inhaled, this compound binds to receptors in a cat's nasal tissue, stimulating sensory neurons that lead to a kind of euphoria.
Now, you might be thinking, 'A drug for cats? Is that safe?' Absolutely! Catnip is entirely non-addictive and safe for cats. It's like letting your cat watch their favorite comedy show—they get all the joy with none of the harm.
Matatabi: The Eastern Euphoria
Matatabi, also known as Silvervine, is Asia's answer to catnip. It contains two active ingredients—actinidine and dihydroactinidiolide—that give cats a similar euphoric response.
While Matatabi might sound like an exotic cocktail, it's actually a 100% natural and safe way to stimulate your cat. It's like giving them a joyride around the block—thrilling, but perfectly safe.
Is Catnip Safe for Cats? More Than Just Fun
While watching your cat go gaga over catnip or matatabi is entertaining, these herbs offer more than just amusement. They can act as a form of exercise, enticing your kitty to play, jump, and chase.
For indoor cats, this can be an excellent way to ensure they get their daily dose of physical activity. Plus, these stimulants can help alleviate stress and anxiety, keeping your feline friend mentally healthy too.
Incorporating Catnip and Matatabi into Playtime
To make the most of these natural stimulants, incorporate them into your cat's play routine. Stuff toys with catnip or matatabi, sprinkle some on a scratching post, or use sprays to attract your cat to certain areas. Or of course pop into the top of our wonderful Brush.
Remember, while most cats love these herbs, not all do—and that's perfectly okay. The effect is hereditary, so about 30% of cats are immune. Also, kittens under six months may not respond.
Catnip and matatabi are like the ultimate cat party pack—fun, safe, and beneficial. So don't hesitate to let your feline friend indulge in a bit of herbal ecstasy. After all, everyone deserves a little harmless fun!
So, here's to joyful playtimes ahead filled with lots of purring, rolling, and most importantly, happy kitties!
Kuba & Leia. 😻😻🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾
If you want to dive into the research you check out the open access study by BMC Veterinary Research here. BMC (Biomedical Central) specialise in peer reviewed research studies.