If your kitty is one of the 50% of cats that don’t react to catnip, finding fun cat toys can be a challenge. But there is an exciting alternative that cats ABSOLUTELY ADORE.
My cat, Furball, is one of those kitties who doesn’t react to catnip, but he sure loves to play! So I’m always on the lookout for a catnip alternative. Furball’s indifference to catnip made me realize that most cat toys aren’t really that interesting for cats. Many toys simply rely on the catnip to entice cats to play. As a result, I had to create my own cat toys for Furball. I came up with so many toy ideas that I even wrote a book on how to Make Your Own Cat Toys.
So when I first heard about Jacques Le Sock, I wondered if I had finally found a fun alternative to catnip. . .
Silver vine is the latest find being used by cat toy makers. Though not widely used yet in the U.S., From the Field embraces this herb in their new toy, Jacques Le Sock Silver Vine Cat Toy. They stuff their hemp (durable and biodegradable) fabric toy with their Ultimate Blend of silver vine and catnip, and buckwheat hulls for a soft crinkly sound. The cute-named, sock-shaped toy, comes in six rainbow colors—and it’s made in the USA.
I was curious to see how Furball would react to the silver vine so I immediately ordered Jacques Le Sock on Amazon. In order to get free shipping, I had to add more items to meet Amazon’s minimum total, so I added a few office supplies to my shopping cart. A few days later, an Amazon box arrived at my home. I opened it up and took out the office supplies, but I completely forgot about the silver vine cat toy.
Minutes later, Furball began digging around in the Amazon box on the floor. I thought to myself, oh cute, he’s playing with the cardboard box. However he was unusually engaged with the box. About a minute later, he emerged triumphant, clutching Jacques Le Sock in his mouth.
As you can see from the video below, Furball LOVED the sock. He drooled all over the sock, he tossed the sock in the air, he wrestled with the sock. He was completely enamored with the sock. Conclusion: Silver vine is a winner for my catnip indifferent cat. Furball pawsitively ADORED Jacques Le Sock.
So What Exactly Is Silver Vine?
Silver vine, or Japanese catnip because it grows high in the mountains of Japan and China, hails from the kiwi family, while catnip belongs to the mint family. Safe and non-toxic, silver vine’s effect is more intense and euphoric—its effect can last up to 30 minutes. Your cat may be ready for more play after a 20-or 30-minute wait. But hold off introducing silver vine to your kitty’s play routine until he passes his sixth-month birthday.
Most cat experts agree that around 50% of cats don’t give a meow about catnip. It’s not about turning up their whiskered noses at the herb. Instead, it’s all about the missing catnip gene–these cats simply don’t have the gene that causes them to react excitedly to catnip. However, it’s different for silver vine. University of Illinois researcher Dr. Mark Mitchell found in a recent study that cats played over twice as long with silver vine than with catnip.
Given Furball’s excited reaction to silver vine, I’m betting that we’ll soon see even more cat toys and products made with this wonderful alternative to catnip.