We have all heard about cats' love for valerian. For some, it was enough to watch a couple of funny videos on the Internet with cats gone crazy, while others begin to experience the funny effect of valerian on their own pets. But before experimenting on animals, it is worth understanding the question: is valerian harmful to cats?
What is valerian?
This drug can be freely bought at the pharmacy, and most often there are 3 types of it: valerian herb, tincture and tablets.
Valerian itself is a perennial herb. The Latin name comes from lat. valere - to be he althy. However, this only applies to members of the human species. Valerian has a calming effect on humans, and its extract is used to produce many sedatives that effectively help overcome insomnia.
Not the first generation to use the beneficial properties of naturalsedative. It is believed that valerian was used for this purpose long before the development of modern pharmacology.
The highest content of the active substance is observed in the roots of the plant, from which the extract is obtained. Although this drug is of plant origin, not artificially synthesized at the factory, the tablets still contain ¾ of synthetic excipients, which will be important in a conversation about whether valerian is harmful to cats.
Why are cats so attracted to valerian?
There are several versions why felines like the aroma of this drug so much. One of them is popular and most reliable: the smell of valerian reminds sexually mature animals of a similar aroma of pheromones secreted by cats during estrus. This excites the areas of the brain responsible for reproduction, which is manifested in the violent, sometimes inappropriate behavior of animals.
It is known that wild cats independently look for valerian root and use it, but not for the purpose of obtaining a narcotic effect, but to relieve pain associated with digestive problems.
Cat and cat: who likes more?
Which of the felines is more attracted to the smell of valerian? In fact, according to the theory that the smell of the extract is similar to pheromones, the greatest effect is observed in animals whose reproductive and hormonal systems work more actively.
To study this issue, an experiment was conducted, during which an unmistakable pattern was revealed: kittens of both sexesvalerian does not attract in any form. This is explained by the fact that animals that have not reached puberty do not know about the existence of pheromones, their brain is not yet able to recognize such a signal. Therefore, they have nothing to associate with the smell of valerian. In this case, the question of whether valerian is dangerous for kittens disappears by itself.
As for adult animals, neutered cats are also indifferent to the extract. But young, sexually mature cats and cats that have not undergone a castration and sterilization procedure react very actively. It's time to figure out if it's bad for a cat to give valerian.
The effect of valerian on cats
Despite the fact that in human pharmacology valerian is used as a sedative, on cats and cats the effect is completely opposite. Often, due to lack of awareness, people give their pets this drug in case of transportation, hoping that they will be able to calm the animal and help him sleep. However, from a small dose, cats, on the contrary, become more excited. An overdose can cause prolonged deep sleep or even death.
Is valerian harmful to cats in small doses, how does their behavior change?
The animals are getting more excited than usual. They can arrange a pogrom in the house, run and jump, attack a non-existent enemy, which is explained by ordinary hallucinations. The character of your pet changes beyond recognition. An early calm and cute cat can prove to be an incredible brawler. Will not sufferonly furniture and interior elements, but also family members. The effect will last from several minutes to an hour, after which the tired animal will fall into a dream, restoring strength. In this description, one can easily draw an analogy with the behavior of drug addicts.
Besides all this, in valerian tincture, ethyl alcohol occupies most of the volume. The body of cats is not able to process alcohol. For this reason, animals become addicted literally "from the first glass." In addition, if you overdo it with a dose or pamper your cat with alcohol too often, his liver may not be able to cope at all. You will have to resort to the help of veterinarians and expensive treatment.
Is valerian dangerous for cats in heat?
When your kitty is sexually aroused and ready to mate, her sensitivity is greatly increased. The natural impulse for many owners would be to give the cat some relaxing tincture, which is fundamentally the wrong decision. An already strong tension is worsened by an invigorating extract, a pet can endure such manipulations extremely poorly.
Even if it is not possible to provide her with a mating cat, it is better to wait out this moment without any medication. From valerian, the cat will become even more active, and the nightly “meows” will not let you fall asleep. If you do not plan to breed kittens, it is better to neuter at all.
It is also worth looking into whether valerian is harmful to neutered cats. As mentioned earlier, this drug is of greatest interest in animals with maximumsexual activity. Since castrated cats are not interested in mating, for them the smell of valerian is even unpleasant and not at all attractive, although there are exceptions everywhere. In any case, you should not give the extract to cats on your own.
As for kittens, their body is most sensitive to toxic substances, so giving valerian is dangerous for their lives.
Speaking about how harmful valerian is for cats, it is worth remembering that not only the extract itself is dangerous in valerian tincture, but also ethyl alcohol. With pills, the situation is even worse. In addition to the active substance, the pills contain auxiliary synthetic chemical compounds that can affect the animal's body in a completely unpredictable way.
Danger for your pet is that this drug is highly addictive. If a cat can get to a vial of valerian or pills, he is unlikely to leave them alone. Your pet will turn into a relentless beggar who will not calm down until you give him the coveted "dose".
Maim or heal?
Veterinarians still cannot agree on whether valerian is harmful to cats. In large quantities, it has an irreparable effect on the nervous system, but in small doses it can be a real medicine.
Doctors often prescribe valerian to animals to treat heart failure, gastrointestinal spasms, or other digestive problems.
It is important to remember that only an experienced doctor can calculate the right dosage. On the question of whether valerian is harmful to cats, the opinion of all veterinarians is the same - it is unacceptable to give valerian to a cat on your own. If necessary, consult a specialist.
Safe ways to use valerian
Adhering to the advice of veterinarians, you can still test your pet's reaction to this interesting substance. It is important to be careful not to overdo it with the amount. The maximum that you can do to please the cat is to grease a plate or floor with 1-2 drops and watch. If you are the owner of a young unneutered cat, then he will most likely lick this place and rub against it with his whole body.
Valerian can even help you train your cat to scratch.
To do this, you also need to lubricate the surface with a couple of drops of tincture. After such a procedure, the scratching post will become your pet's favorite toy. So you protect your furniture from regular attacks by the sharp claws of the animal.