We all know that catnip is a pretty effective way to get your cat bouncing-off-the-walls high. But if your feline pal is more discerning, good (or maybe bad?) news: there are new ways for them to get wasted.
Molecular biologist Sebastian Bol, who has the literal dream job of running a ranch for rescued cats, wanted to find out why some cats go totally mental on catnip and some...don’t. He tested three other plants on 100 cats – Tatarian honeysuckle, valerian root and silver vine – to find out whether other plants might do the trick.
According to WIRED:
“He rubbed the plant matter on a sock or a square of carpet, and set the material in the cats’ line of sight. Then he waited. If the cat approached and backed away, he considered that a denial... After each success or denial, he’d wait about five minutes for the cat to relax, then try again with another plant type.”
Bol found that around 80% of cats responded to silver vine – which makes it even more potent than catnip – and 40% to valerian root and honeysuckle.
We still don’t know exactly why catnip or silver vine work so potently on cats – but until we do, we can enjoy watching our cats get smashed.