Matatabi: A Catnip Alternative
Every cat parent is akin to their cat's unique personality - while most of them are feisty, fearless, and flexible in ways we can't even imagine, this doesn't stop us from wanting to have a wee bit more fun with them! And that is what catnip brings to the table, but what if catnip has no effect on your cat? In that case, have you tried Matatabi?
What is Matatabi?
Matatabi or silvervine is a plant indigenous to many countries in eastern Asia. It is used extensively by cat parents in Japan, China, and Vietnam as a preventative health aid and as a cat stimulant. A study from the University of Illinois showed that most cats preferred silvervine over catnip in terms of attraction to the object containing it and the time spent with it.
What effect does Matatabi have on cats?
Silvervine helps cats enter a 'euphoric' state, thereby displaying behaviors such as rolling, cheek rubbing, low, deep meowing, drooling, and licking. Although reactions vary from cat to cat, almost all cats go nuts for this plant!
How long do the effects last?
Silvervine's effects can last anywhere between five and thirty minutes. This again varies from cat to cat, and most often, younger cats respond to it faster than older cats.
Why introduce Matatabi?
Unlike catnip, Matatabi is not addictive, i.e. your cat will not feel what we call 'withdrawal' symptoms such as frothing or feeling jittery when Matatabi isn't given to them. Moreover, Matatabi is beneficial to a cat's emotional well-being - oftentimes, we bring home cats who have undergone severe trauma, enough to make them stressed and skittish. In such cases, silvervine helps to alleviate such stress and makes them feel calmer than usual. In addition to this, Matatabi is known to sharpen a cat's hunting skills, i.e. make her more focused and encouraged to channel her energy onto something productive like toys, instead of indulging in stress and boredom based destructive behaviour. Certain studies show that Matatabi also has the potential to reduce feline obesity, especially in older cats who spend most of their time indoors. Lastly, and most importantly, silvervine promotes a deep bonding with parents and kitty, especially among shy kitties.
How to give your cat Matatabi?
Matatabi is best enjoyed in toys which come in a variety from those with feathers or tassels or as chewies. However you choose to present this magical plant, we guarantee you that you will end up with the warmest of snuggles and deepest of purrs from your feline friend.
How often to give your cat Matatabi?
You can give your cat Matatabi anywhere between twice to four times a week. It is best to give this as a treat and not as a substitute for any meal. In fact, keeping Matatabi playtime close to feeding times can cause a cat to look forward to only that, thereby grazing or picking at her meal. Hence, Matatabi playtimes are best kept one or two hours after mealtime.
Now that you know of Matatabi, what are you waiting for? Get your secret stash of silvervine, and watch your kitty fall in love with it, over and over again!