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Cat Hates Catnip? Try This Instead!

What do you do if your cat hates catnip? Good news — there are a few other plants that might evoke similar reactions.

Jackie Brown  |  Sep 4th 2017


Catnip is a great way to enrich your cat’s environment and stimulate play, but one in three cats don’t react to the dried herb (scientifically known as Nepeta cataria). If your cat rolls his eyes at catnip, fear not. A new study published in March in the journal BMC Veterinary Research identified some other plants that might elicit a similar reaction.

Valerian might just drive your cat crazy.

Valerian might just drive your cat crazy. Photography by multik7/Thinkstock.

Nearly 80 percent of cats in the study responded to silver vine (Actinidia polygama), and about 50 percent responded to Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis). About three-quarters of cats that specifically did not respond to catnip responded to silver vine.

Thumbnail: Photography by pshenina_m/Thinkstock.

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Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you