Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and the views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the original authors and other contributors and do not necessarily represent those of DOG CENTRAL and their affiliates. Ultimately, we hope that with this article and further research, you are able to learn more about your fur baby and always do what is best for you, your human family and fur family!
Heard about Catnip, but don't want to use it on Kitty? Try Valerian!
You probably have heard about catnip. It’s a popular herb that helps cats feel happy, active, and even euphoric. However, not all cats like catnip. Some even don’t respond to it. Thankfully, there’s an alternative that you can use. Introducing - Valerian!
If you don’t know much about Valerian, then it’s time you get more familiar with it. Valerian might even be the next favorite herb of your cat. So, stick around and let’s learn more about Valerian.
What is Valerian?
Valerian leaves and roots are considered to be natural “valium.” Just like valium, a synthetic drug, valerian has long been used by ancient people to naturally promote serenity and tranquility and improve the quality of sleep.
The scientific name of valerian is Valeriana officinalis. It is native to Asia and Europe. However, it is now grown in the US, Australia, and other continents.
Here’s something interesting to note: the name valerian came from the Latin word valere. It means to be healthy or to be strong.
What Are the Benefits of Valerian for Cats
For the past few decades, valerian has slowly been adopted by pet owners and apply them to cats. To their surprise, it does deliver the same effect to them. Cats who are given valerian enter into a blissful or euphoric state.
So, you might wonder what its benefits to cats. Let me share them here with you.
- Relaxation - the main benefit of valerian to cats is its relaxing effect. Valerian contains a chemical known as actinidine. This chemical is known to promote relaxation to both humans and animals.
- Improved sleep - because of its relaxing effect, cats who smell and digest valerian experienced improved sleep. If your cat is having trouble sleeping or is overactive, then valerian is a great way to calm him down and give him a quality snooze.
- Attractive to cats - sometimes, it is difficult to let your cats use cat posts, toys, and bed. If you are trying to introduce something new to your cat and he doesn’t show any interest to it, try to sprinkle valerian roots or leaves to these items. The valerian odor will attract your cat and grab his interest. This should lead him to use things that are intended for him.
- Decreases aggressive behavior - with valerian keeping your cat relaxed and happy, aggression should inevitably decrease. This helps you control your cat when he likes to be in a fight.
A Few Things to Remember
Valerian comes with a pungent, potent, and unpleasant odor. You might want to keep it in an air-tight container to ensure you and your cat don’t smell it unnecessarily. Not only that, keeping it in the right storage area would help you conserve its odor.
When you introduce valerian to your cat, give it in a smaller dose. Do this so you can get an idea of how your cat responds to it. You can then adjust the quantity of valerian accordingly.
Valerian is no doubt a safe and great alternative to catnip. However, if you have questions or any doubt in giving valerian to your cat, it is always wise to talk to your vet. You may also do your independent research. The more knowledge you have, the better.
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