This article was published on 6th June 2010 and is as applicable today as it was then: This is about herbs for a cat — 6th June 2010. I have just received an email from Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs. She went to the herb festival in Ponca City, Oklahoma, USA, where she bought some baskets with mint, lemon balm and lavender. Savannah cat Focus (first generation wild cat hybrid) and the other f2 Savannah cats went, “absolutely crazy over the smells”. Many safe herbs are like a magnet for cats and it keeps them occupied for hours. We often work with herbs here to provide the cats some entertainment.
When weeding the herb garden, I often throw twigs and tubers in the cat runs. It’s fun to see the reactions of the cats. They do everything from rubbing and rolling in it, to mouths open for better scent recognition to ears down and growling at it, it’s hilarious.
If people want to really make their cats happy, they should substitute the plastic toys with some fresh herbs once in a while, they will be rewarded with a festival of expressions and a happy rejuvenated cat.”
Here are some photographs taken by Kathrin of her Savannah cats enjoying the herbs:
The cat eating a leaf is FOCUS a beautiful F1 Savannah cat. The cat on the right is Tripoli a beautiful F2 Savannah cat.
O.K. cats like herbs. There are such things as herbs for a cat. They are stimulated by them and it doesn’t have to be catnip. That is a great tip. Thanks Kathrin.
Are there any other benefits for the cat that come from herbs? Well, yes. There are herbal therapies. “Herbal therapies are often used to correct body functions and are given as short courses”1.
Two warnings if using herbs for a cat medicinally1:
Herbs must be used under veterinary guidance. Only use herbs that are known to be safe for cats
Be wary of Chinese herbs as they may be contaminated with toxic herbs
Here are some common herbal therapies1:
|Urinary Tract Disorders|
Herbs not only entertain cats and make them happier; they can calm a domestic cat. My research on herbs is that veterinarians approve of them. I also believe that not enough cat owners consider the benefits of herbs. They have heard about catnip, valerian and silvervine but I would doubt whether they consider the other herbs.
Catnip, in fact, can help to calm down a cat. Valerian which mimics catnip helps calm cats. In humans it is a herb which is used as a remedy for insomnia and it has a similar effect on cats. It can seriously chillout a cat.
Chamomile is linked to tea for humans when they are looking for a restful night’s sleep. The same anti-anxiety properties can be effective for domestic cats as well. You can expose your cat to dried flowers for these stress relief benefits. Studies have found that substances in chamomile act on the brain in the same way as anti-anxiety drugs do.
In terms of applying the benefits of herbs to cats my research indicates that the dried forms of herbs are the safest way cats to enjoy them. To prevent a cat eating the leaves and flowers you should put them inside a tube collar or make a pillow out of the herbs.
Herbs for a cat – Notes:
1. Natural Health Care by Dr Bruce Fogle DVM MRCVS – my thanks to the author of this book.
There are some more articles on catnip below.