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New research is showing that a traditional Chinese and Japanese plant is now being used as a cat stimulant like catnip. In a recent study designed by Dr. Mark Mitchell, of the University of Illinois, 3 out of 4 cats preferred Silver Vine over catnip. Found in the mountainous regions of Asia, Silver Vine, often referred to as silvervine or cat powder, is a non-toxic plant that has been found to stimulate a euphoric response in cats when sprinkled on or infused in their toys.

In this study, Silver Vine and catnip were compared side-by-side using a cardboard “cat scratcher.” One had Silvervine sprinkled on it and the other had catnip. The cats showed a preference to Silver Vine in terms of initial attraction, behavior and time spent at the scratcher. “Not only did the cats tested prefer Silvervine over catnip, but they also played 2 ½ times longer,” states Dr. Mitchell. Another study published by the American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in 2012 reviewed a total of 16 previous articles written on the beneficial uses of Silver Vine and concluded an opportunity for more research on the use of Silver Vine as a positive and safe enrichment aid for felines with no known hazards.

According to researchers, Silvervine contains two cat attractants, making it more potent than catnip. It is highly attractive to cats as evidenced by licking, playful rubbing, rolling and increased activity.

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"My cats went nuts over Silvervine! They rolled in it on a scratch pad, played with the toys and ran around the house with them as happy as I’ve ever seen them! Such a fun thing for kitties! Love it!"
- Tierra Bonaldi, cat owner and foster kitten mom, Reno, Nevada