Valerian for Cats: a Cat Drug?

Catnip and valerian – this duo delights so many cats and hangovers because the plant is full of valuable essential oils. Read here how cats react to valerian.

What is Valerian?

Valerian is one of the many-faceted medicinal plants: scientifically, the plant that sprouts best on moist forest soil is called “Valeriana officinalis”. In ancient times it was a valued remedy for many ailments, later healers concentrated on the positive effects of valerian on eye ailments. Today valerian is popular with people mainly because of its calming properties: The scent of valerian is said to help calm excited minds. As a tea before going to bed, valerian makes it easier for many users to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The decisive factor here is not the flower of the approximately 1.80-meter high plant, but the root: This is where the active components are. In addition to the positive properties, valerian roots also cause nasal wrinkles: Many people find the smell unpleasant: it reminds them of old, unwashed socks. That is why valerian is nicknamed “stinky root”.

This is How Valerian Affects Cats

Anyone who offers their cat a valerian pillow to let them slumber blissfully will be amazed: What calms people down has the opposite effect on the cat. Even cozy house tigers sniffing out dried valerian roots are downright ecstatic. They rub and lick it, jump through the apartment, purr, and scramble for the tempting valerian object. Valerian contains valeric acid: this smell reminds cats of pheromones, i.e. attractants that play a major role in mating. This is also the case with many neutered cats. Some kitties, on the other hand, leave catnip and valerian completely cold. We do not know why this is so.

Sexually mature male cats, in particular, react violently to valerian: Aggressive behavior should be a warning. For example, if you pee in places where you can smell the scent, you should stop using valerian.

Valerian to Attract Cats

If you want to make certain places such as a new scratching post or the cat transport box attractive to your cat, you can try valerian. The easiest way to do this is to use valerian spray, which you spray onto the appropriate areas.

Valerian Drops to Calm Down

You should never give your cat products to humans without consulting the veterinarian. This also applies to any kind of “sedative”, for example before a long trip or when a new cat moves in. In addition: Valerian has no calming effect on cats! If you would like to help a stressed velvet paw to relax in certain life situations, find out about pheromones that have a calming effect on cats. These are available as sprays or atomizers. Find out how you can calm a stressed cat down here.

Valerian Against Cats

Some gardeners who want to protect their green oasis from neighbors’ cats with valerian experience a fluffy miracle: The new plants attract even more cats. We now know: Valerian makes a garden particularly attractive for cats! Incidentally, the effects of valerian have even been proven in big cats.

What Does Valerian Do in the Litter Box?

Some cat owners report valerian in the litter box of unclean cats, which was successful. A few puffs of a spray can encourage cats to find the unloved quiet place more interesting. For adult cats who are unfamiliar with a litter box, it is worth a try but requires additional measures. However, valerian is not a guarantee that cats will be house trained.

Where Can I Buy Valerian for Cats?

Valerian roots are available in many pharmacies. Pet supply retailers also have the dried roots or valerian sprays on sale. You can find loads of valerian cat toys in stores or online pet supply stores. Often it is a combination of valerian and catnip. One advantage of catnip toys is that they smell neutral to us humans.

Valerian Pillows and Toys

There are countless valerian pillows and other toys with valerian for cats. With simple means, you can offer your fur nose homemade valerian fun.

Make Valerian Pillows Yourself

You can make valerian toys yourself with valerian root and some scraps of fabric: Sew dried valerian root mixed with a harmless filling material such as rice grains or wool into the fabric. It’s even easier if you fill old socks and knot them together at the top. It is best to stay close during the game: this way you can intervene in good time if your cat gets to the tempting content. Because valerian is non-toxic, but ingested filling material such as cotton wool can lead to serious stomach problems.

How Often Does the Cat Get Valerian Pillows?

Cats usually play with their valerian toys for a few minutes and then devote themselves to other things. If you leave the pillow in the apartment, your velvet paw will find it interesting, but will probably soon walk past it unmoved. It is better if you move the object of short-term desire to a safe place for a few days after the first game. When hermetically sealed, valerian retains its aroma without bothering you. If your cat has drooled on the toy, let it dry thoroughly beforehand.

Can Cats Eat Valerian?

Of course, you should be careful that your cat doesn’t get the chance to eat valerian. That means you should keep loose herbs in a safe place. When it comes to toys, look for high-quality workmanship that can withstand vigorous tugging and biting. If the velvet paw eats some valerian, it is not poisonous and there is nothing to worry about. If it happens frequently or if she swallows a large amount, it can cause stomach irritation or diarrhea. Caution is advised, especially if the filling material is swallowed.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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