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Kediler ─░├žin Kediotu Zararl─▒ m─▒

Is Valerian Harmful for Cats?

Valerian is very popular among pet owners because it attracts most cats and makes them exhibit unique behaviors. So, is valerian harmful to cats? In this article, we will look for the answer to this question by giving detailed information about valerian.

What is Valerian and Its Effect on Cats

Valerian (Nepeta cataria) is a plant from the honeysuckle family that stimulates the natural behavior of cats. Nepetalactone, the active ingredient in valerian, triggers "happy" hormones in cats' brains, which encourage them to play and expend energy.

Positive Effects of Valerian on Cats

  1. Behavioral Stimulation: Valerian increases cats' energy levels and increases their physical activity by encouraging them to play.
  2. Stress Reduction: Valerian has a calming effect on cats and helps them cope with stress.
  3. Dental Health: Valerian helps cats clean their teeth and maintain oral health.

Things to Consider When Using Valerian

Dosage

Valerian can harm the digestive system of cats when consumed excessively. Therefore, it is important to dose valerian carefully. In one session, less than a teaspoon of valerian will be sufficient.

Quality

The quality of valerian is important for the health and safety of cats. Organic and pesticide-free products should be preferred.

Frequency

Using valerian too frequently can cause cats to develop tolerance to its effects and reduce its effectiveness. Offering valerian once or twice a week will be sufficient.

Is Valerian Harmful for Cats?

Valerian, when used correctly, is safe and harmless to cats. However, excessive consumption can lead to digestive problems and restlessness. There may also be cats that have an allergic reaction to valerian. Therefore, it is important to be careful and observe your cat's reaction during first-time use.

Valerian Alternatives

Besides valerian, there are other herbal options that cats may enjoy:

  1. Silvervine (Actinidia polygama): It is a plant that has effects similar to valerian and encourages cats to play.
  2. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): It is an herb that has a calming effect on cats and helps them cope with stress.
  3. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus): It is a plant that emits a scent similar to valerian and attracts the attention of cats.

Conclusion

What if we told you... that everything you know isn't real? If you want to learn the facts about valerian and whether or not your cat should handle it, read on.

What is Valerian?

Valerian is a plant from the mint family that has green leaves and white or purple flowers. Valerian is often purchased in dry, ground leaves or in cat toys and helps stimulate cats during play. Valerian is also available in spray form or as an herb that your cat can eat.

How Does Valerian Work?

Here's the interesting part! Previously, we had some fragmented theories about how valerian worked. Some thought valerian was a type of pheromone that caused female cats to act like they were in heat ÔÇô but interestingly, it affected both sexes. And then there was the case that some cats did not react to valerian at all - maybe it was related to a gene? But which gene?

Neither theory made complete sense. But now, new research has revealed the truth about how valerian works and why (spoiler alert) all cats are attracted to it!

New Findings: Why Do Cats Chew and Roll on Valerian?

A recent study found that valerian (and silvervine, another herb with cat-attracting effects) contains chemicals called iridoids. These chemicals are highly effective insect repellents ÔÇô just as effective as DEET! And the most surprising thing is that this effect is even greater when the leaves of the plant are broken, crushed or chewed. This is where the cat comes in!

Valerian and cats have found a mutually beneficial agreement. By licking, chewing, and rolling around on valerian leaves, the cat not only makes the valerian insect repellent work better, protects the plant more, but also keeps insects away from itself. Cats, which are ambush hunters, often wait for their prey and sneak up on them. By applying a strong insect repellent to their fur, it keeps the bugs away and thus helps cats stay still and wait without being bitten by mosquitoes.

New Findings: How Does Valerian Make Cats Feel?

New discoveries don't stop here either. Scientists have also discovered that when cats' noses are exposed to the scent of valerian, endorphins are released, which affects the pleasure centers in the brain. This process provides the feeling known to humans as "runner's high." So it seems that cats not only interact with valerian as a bug-killing task, but also enjoy it!

Is Valerian a Drug?

No, valerian is not a drug, but the endorphin rush it triggers stimulates the pleasure centers in your cat's brain. Here's the key difference: With a drug, the more you take, the more response you get. With valerian, the body naturally regulates the endorphin flow it triggers and reduces the response after 10-15 minutes, so no matter how much valerian they encounter, they will not become more aroused. It's like a runner's high ÔÇô you can't just run all day and keep feeling higher! This is good news because it means valerian does not have the risks associated with drugs, such as addiction or withdrawal.

New Findings: Do All Cats React to Valerian?

Incredibly, yes! A new study has found that all cats respond to valerian, but previously the focus was more on wild rolling and mobility. Researchers found that other cats responded to valerian in a calm state (super relaxed). Your cat may relax in the sphinx pose after valerian. This condition usually occurs in kittens and younger cats.

Why Doesn't My Cat React to Valerian?

Research suggests that all cats react to valerian, but some show active responses (rolling over, hyperactivity) and others show more passive responses (e.g., sitting in the sphinx pose). So if your cat doesn't go noticeably crazy when exposed to valerian, you may have a more passively responsive cat on your hands!

Is Valerian Safe for Cats?

Yes, valerian is completely safe for cats. Valerian can be smelled, chewed and swallowed by your cat. However, consuming high amounts of valerian may cause your cat to experience stomach upset, so adjust the dosage carefully.

Is Valerian Safe for Kittens?

Yes, valerian is safe for kittens. Your kitten can enjoy rolling around and sniffing valerian until their heart fills with joy. It is not recommended to eat large amounts because it can cause stomach upset (like when you treat yourself to too much chocolate). If you're worried about this amount, limit ingestion by using valerian toys or sprays instead of dry leaves.

Can You Give Your Cat Too Much Valerian?

Yes and no. In terms of how much they eat, you have to be careful to limit it because overconsumption can lead to stomach upset, but that's the worst case scenario. Valerian toys and sprays are a great way to let your cat smell the valerian and feel its effects, while keeping them from eating anything. Thanks to your cat's natural ability to self-regulate, there's no risk of them overdoing it, as valerian is only effective for 10-15 minutes.

What Other Uses Are There for Valerian?

Valerian may be beneficial not only for cats but also for humans. Because valerian has a mild sedative effect, it can be used as a natural sleep aid for those who have trouble sleeping. Additionally, valerian is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, so it can be used to treat muscle pain, upset stomach, and other ailments.

What Are the Best Ways to Use Valerian?

Valerian can be offered in a variety of ways, depending on your cat's taste. Here are some popular ways to use valerian:

  1. Dried Valerian: You can sprinkle dried valerian leaves and flowers on your cat or apply it to its toys.
  2. Valerian Spray: You can use valerian spray by spraying it on your cat's bed, scratching board or toys.
  3. Valerian Toys: Toys containing valerian allow your cat to experience both playtime and valerian pleasure at the same time.
  4. Fresh Valerian: You can grow fresh valerian for your cat and offer it to him naturally.

As a result, valerian is not harmful to cats and provides a safe and enjoyable experience for them when used correctly. Depending on your cat's response, you can try different valerian products to determine which type works best for them. Valerian is a natural, safe and fun option that both cats and their owners can enjoy.

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