Cats and valerian – this is a very good combination of how much cat owners know. The plant seems to cast a spell over the velvet paws. But why do cats love the valerian so much called cat’s herb? We clarify these and other questions here.
It is important to know that valerian is not the same as valerian – there are about 150 different species in the genus of valerian plants. Most domestic tigers react strongly to the plant and to the various valerian products for cats. In addition to scented pillows, which are mostly loved by cats, there are also various cat toys that contain valerian – mostly in a dried form on the inside. Sprays can also be purchased.
Effect of valerian on cats
Most tinctures extracted from valerian have a calming and sleep-promoting effect on us humans. Cats react differently to the plant; while some are turned up and ecstatic, others become very blissful and almost apathetic. Still others react aggressively or as if you had an aphrodisiac between your paws. Then there are also cats on which valerian seems to have no effect at all – why is not clear. Incidentally, it can also be observed that wild animals such as lions, cheetahs or tigers react to valerian. Most, like our domestic cats, are also delighted with the plants. But why does the cat herb work the way it does?
Why does valerian work on cats?
The essential oils and alkaloids in valerian are responsible for the different modes of action of the plant on cats. The alkaloids in particular are said to have a similar effect to sex attractants on cats (and hangovers). The effects of the so-called valepotriates in the roots are comparable to the nepetalactone found in catnip . In addition, the sheer smell of valerian, which we humans consider to be musty, is probably very fragrant for cats.
Is valerian dangerous for cats?
No. According to current knowledge, valerian in cat toys or as a spray is not dangerous for the animals. However, you should not feed valerian, as larger quantities could damage the liver. To avoid your kitty eating valerian, you should always make sure to buy high-quality valerian toys or pillows that won’t break during play and can be eaten by your kitty. It is best if your cat only plays with valerian objects under supervision.
Tips for dealing with valerian – safe is safe
In general, you should make sure that your animals are not under the “intoxication” of the valerian for several hours a day. Toys or scented pillows should be safely hidden from the cat’s senses after some time. An intoxication remains an intoxication and should not become a permanent state, no matter for which living being. Experts advise that contact with valerian should not be permitted more than once a week – even if valerian does not do any direct damage in this way. Here are some tips to follow:
• Use valerian only in healthy cats and if in doubt consult the veterinarian beforehand .
• Offer pillows or toys with valerian only once or twice a week for a few minutes.
• Keep the scented pillow away from other toys so that the scent does not pass.
• Only release valerian products under supervision and hide them safely after use.