Most kitties agree that silvervine is the next best thing since sliced bread. Similar to catnip yet more potent and effective, silvervine gets two paws up from cats and their owners alike. Like all plants and herbal treats, silvervine is best consumed in very small doses. If your cat got into your silvervine stash and decided to take a “more is more” approach, will it hurt him? Can cats eat silvervine, and if they do, is it possible to overdose on it?
What is silvervine?
Silvervine, a plant which finds its home in the eastern mountain areas of Asia, is a beautiful flowering vine. The leaves of the plant are tipped with silver thus giving rise to the plant’s name. A powerful herbal remedy popular in Chinese medicine, silvervine has been used for centuries to prevent and treat common health ailments in humans.
Silvervine is most commonly dried then ground into a powder for cat use; however, it is also available in leaf or stick form. Intensely fragrant, cats are as drawn to silvervine by its aroma as they are by its stimulant properties. Though many wonders if this natural drug-like effect makes silvervine bad for cats, quite the opposite is true. Though similar results can be achieved through the use of catnip, silvervine has proven to be preferred by most cats and also to elicit stronger responses from its feline partakers.
How does it work?
The leaves of the silvervine plant contain a compound known as actinide. This non-toxic substance induces many positive responses in cats including feelings of euphoria, improved mood, and increased playfulness. To achieve the best silvervine effects on cats, the powder or dried crushed leaves can be sprinkled over toys or cat scratching posts. A small amount is sufficient to maximize results. Many cats will sniff the irresistible aroma to enjoy the benefits of the silvervine plant, but some will eat it as well.
Which leads us to the next question…can cats eat silvervine?
Cats can safely consume silvervine without any ill effects. Typically, most kitties know when they’ve had enough to achieve the results they are looking for and will stop well in advance of the point of satiation. Though many owners wonder if cats can overdose on silvervine, there is no need to fear as silvervine is not a poisonous substance even if consumed in excess. Most typically, your cat will lose interest long before eating more than a small amount. Silvervine’s appeal for cats is concentrated more in its heady fragrance and results on the body than on its actual taste, thus greatly reducing the odds of overconsumption.
What to do if your cat eats silvervine?
Armed with the knowledge that silvervine is not bad for cats, you can have peace of mind that even if your cat seems a little too “zen” after his silvervine feast that the coma-like effects will not last. Still, if your kitty seems bent on setting a world record for consumption of this natural cat stimulant, it is quite normal to feel concerned. Experts agree that silvervine effects on cats last for as little as five minutes or for as long as thirty. So if your kitty has gone a little hog wild on your silvervine stash, the best course of action is to wait it out. The results of silvervine use will begin to wane within a short period, returning your cat to his old self in no time!
Though cats can eat silvervine without any negative repercussions, it is not recommended for silvervine to be added to food or cat treats. Silvervine is best used as an addition to toys or activities intended to promote physical and mental stimulation in cats.
Did your crazy cat get into your silvervine stash?
Not to worry; cats can safely eat silvervine without any lingering ill effects. To learn more about how silvervine can benefit your cat’s daily life, learn more from our silvervine library here! Your kitty will thank you for it!