Beyond Catnip: Alternatives Your Kitty Might Like

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
Catnip doesn’t work on all felines. If you’re looking for an alternative to the popular kitty herb, why not give these products a try?

Whether your cat loves catnip or isn’t a fan of it at all, you might be interested in introducing your kitty to some popular catnip alternatives. If that’s the case, the list below should help you get started.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is just one of a few alternatives to catnip that your kitty could try. Roughly half of the cats that are exposed to this plant will react to it, and it might even be effective when it comes to relieving anxiety in a cat, as it may produce a calming effect after it gets your pet excited. You could purchase dried valerian root, just as you would purchase dried catnip, and then put it inside a cat toy that your kitty could sniff and play with.

Related: Why Do Cats Go Crazy For Catnip?

Silver Vine

Also known as matatabi or Japanese catnip, silver vine is another plant that could get your cat happy and feeling good. In a study published in BMC Veterinary Research, roughly 80% of kitties that were exposed to silver vine reacted to it in a positive way. And, amongst kitties that don’t typically react to catnip, 75% of them reacted to the silver vine, so this might be a good choice if your cat doesn’t really do much when she smells catnip.

Tartarian Honeysuckle

There’s probably a 50-50 chance that your kitty will respond to this plant, but tartarian honeysuckle might be worth a try if you are looking for a good alternative to catnip. You might find that your cat even likes it better than catnip. Tip: if you get the wood of this plant, it might produce even better effects if you wet it first.

Related: Valerian for Cats: A Safe Alternative to Catnip

Indian Nettle

Indian nettle is also often referred to as cat grass or Acalypha indica. Your cat might react quite strongly to this plant, and she might even enjoy it more than catnip because it could have stronger effects. The root is the part of the plant that cats are most attracted to, so it’s best to stick with that.

Other Types of Catmint

Because catnip is actually a type of catmint, your kitty might also react to other types of catmint, so this might be a good choice if you want to give your pet some variety. And if you want to grow your own catmint, you can rest assured that these plants are generally easy to keep in your garden. Just know that, compared to catnip, other types of catmint might not have the same strong effects on a cat.

If your kitty isn’t too keen on catnip, or if you just want to provide some variety to keep things interesting during playtime, consider giving these catnip alternatives a try. You might want to introduce these plants slowly to see how your cat reacts to them. Also, bear in mind that not all cats will react in the same way to all of these plants, so it might take a bit of trial and error before you figure out which ones are your pet’s favorites.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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