Tigers are the teetotalers of the cat family.
March 21, 2017 10:15 PM   Subscribe

With 100 different cats, 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. Catnip Ain’t the Only Plant That’ll Send Your Kitty to Blissville posted by ActingTheGoat (33 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
11pm and I'm trying to figure out where I can get silver vine.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:51 PM on March 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

I guess this tiger is an outlier, then. (Second tiger at 2:21 is more into it.)
posted by AFABulous at 11:00 PM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I usually mix valarian and cat nip together for my buddies.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:13 PM on March 21, 2017

What won't my cat use to get high, is more like it. Sure, he loves the nip. But I've also seen him get loopy about:

* Strawberries. I can't leave them on the counter, he knocks them to the ground so he can bite them. (Not eat them, just bite them.)
* Roses
* Peppermint/spearmint
* Found out a new one this week: THE LEAVES OF CELERY
posted by foxfirefey at 12:38 AM on March 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

Cats are basically off their radar most of the time.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:08 AM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

As expected, the tigers turned their noses at both the silver vine and the nip—they are the teetotalers of the cat family.

I would love to get confirmation that tigers have a reputation in the big cat biology world as just total prudes, the vegan Mormons of Felidae.
posted by Panjandrum at 1:15 AM on March 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

My girl cat... I can take a pinch of catnip and crumble it onto a hard floor and she will sit there and eat it small lick by small lick until it is gone, like a compulsion. The boy cat, he will roll his face in it and spread it all around the floor. Neither of them get truly goofy.

I lived with a cat for a while many years ago who, if you put a pinch of catnip on the ground, would roll in it all over his body and go cross-eyed and then do that creepy thing where that second eyelid is pulled halfway across his eyes and then you could do a slow hand-wave in front of him and he would bat at your hand, in slow-motion, about a second too late. The first time I saw this, it was alarming.
posted by hippybear at 1:48 AM on March 22, 2017 [5 favorites]

Ricky, my resident feline, goes gaga for silvervine. She's been on the 'vine for 9 of her 11 years, more or less, so she's a pretty seasoned user, but it still gives her that high.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:06 AM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

But how do they feel about cilantro?
posted by theora55 at 4:38 AM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

One of our cats goes nuts for nori. That's right, Japanese seaweed paper. He seems to like the texture as much as the taste/smell and really enjoys chomping away at it whenever we offer him a bite.
posted by thecjm at 5:52 AM on March 22, 2017

My understanding is that silvervine is basically what cats in Japan use instead of catnip.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:02 AM on March 22, 2017

Way way back when I smoked I had a cat that went bonkers nuts over sniffing (unlit) Kool Filter Kings. Any cig laying around on the table would get soaked by nose dampness.
posted by Chitownfats at 6:54 AM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Our female cat goes nuts for paprika, but we're not sure if it's harmful for cats, so she doesn't get it. We accidentally discovered it when she was still flexible enough to jump on the counter, and we spotted her rolling and drooling in our groceries. An elimination test IDed a packet of paprika we'd bought from the bulk section of the grocery store.
posted by telophase at 7:05 AM on March 22, 2017

Psst--they sell a mixture of catnip and silvervine at Petcos now, near the big jars of loose catnip. We bought it on a lark for the three cats last Christmas and were slightly astonished at how aggressively everyone responded. As in "the little plastic baggie of silvervine and catnip must be kept not only in its sealed cardboard roll but also in some other sealed container, because the cardboard roll by itself is enough to cause cats to start getting contact high." Just taking the roll out of a sealed container, with no cats in the room, is apparently enough to draw all their attention to wherever I am.

My roomie's mom is big into extracts and essential oils, and about a month ago she left a sealed glass mason jar of valerian extract on the side table for my roomie to... use in some way, I guess. One of the cats got very interested and deliberately knocked it off the counter once he noticed, and when it inevitably broke open and spilled everywhere he seriously spent the next several hours rolling blissfully stoned everywhere it spilled. We had a bit left over after cleaning up, and I've noticed that wiping a kleenex soaked in that stuff on a toy will make the same cat suddenly amp up his interest in that toy. The other two responded to the spill, but don't give a shit about lesser amounts of the valerian extract. Anyway, until that had happened, I'd had no idea they respond to valerian too.

Peter is, of course, also the cat who is most into catnip and the cat who responds with the most joy to the silvervine extract. I sort of suspect he might be in that category of "I DON'T CARE WHAT IT IS, IF IT WILL GET ME HIGH, I'M DOWN."
posted by sciatrix at 7:15 AM on March 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

“Cats that are left alone with little stimulation are at a greater risk for obesity, which can lead to many other health problems.” Cats love novelty, and spending part of their day blissed out on plant matter might help them cope with the sensation of living with a hairless, erratic ape.

So does this mean that cats do not get the munchies when they're stoned? :-)
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 7:20 AM on March 22, 2017

one of my previous cats would get goofy on freshly removed corn husks from corn on the cob.

Also if you were in the garage and touched the gasoline can, she would try to shove your fingers up her nose.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:21 AM on March 22, 2017

My cat doesn't care for catnip, but she loves lemongrass and palmarosa. She doesn't have many teeth left, so I have to chop the lemongrass into little pieces for her to eat. She barfs them up later.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:11 AM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

The celery leaf thing is discussed elsewhere on the internet. My cat also went bonkers for them for a little while. Seems to have outgrown it. Also Valerian root tea bags.
posted by radiosilents at 8:19 AM on March 22, 2017

Years ago I used to work at a health food store, and the most commonly returned item was valerian capsules. People'd break the seal, take one sniff, and decide the whole bottle had gone off, and there was no convincing them that the bad smell was *normal*. If only I'd realized we could've been a hookup for the local kitties rather than dumping it in the trash!
posted by Secretariat at 8:22 AM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mint of most any variety will get cats going. Going to have to check out the silvervine, though. One of my cats definitely needs something to take the edge off of life.
posted by briank at 9:27 AM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

So my boyfriend apparently sweats catnip, which we discovered when my old cat got into a pile of his sweaty gym clothes left on the floor. Cat eventually developed a routine where he'd nuzzle his head into Boyfriend's armpit and lick once, lick twice, lick thrice, and CHOMP! (I thought this was pretty adorable, naturally, since I wasn't the one getting bitten.) The effect seemed to hold true when we tested it out on a few other cats, and I've found some anecdotal reports of the same thing happening to other dudes (always men, it seems). The celery leaf thing makes it extra interesting though because I've often thought that Boyfriend's sweat sometimes smells celery-like to me.
posted by yeahlikethat at 9:43 AM on March 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

my name is cat
with catnip leafe
and sweaty sock
i giv man grief

i lik him once
it smell lyke nip
the man say ow

i bite armpit
posted by yeahlikethat at 11:29 AM on March 22, 2017 [24 favorites]

(obligatory) Cats are weird.
One of our cats goes nuts over my husbands deodorant (old-skool Old Spice scent) - he will rub and rub and RUB on the armpits of his used t-shirts.
posted by dbmcd at 11:33 AM on March 22, 2017

One of our cats has taken to shoving his face into, rolling around on, and hugging blissfully, my just-removed shoes. Cats are weird.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:00 PM on March 22, 2017

Tigers also love water. There's a possibility they're not actually cats after all.
posted by tommasz at 12:23 PM on March 22, 2017

As expected, the tigers turned their noses at both the silver vine and the nip—they are the teetotalers of the cat family.

I would love to get confirmation that tigers have a reputation in the big cat biology world as just total prudes, the vegan Mormons of Felidae.
posted by Panjandrum

No, you have it all wrong, tigers are straight edge. They're super hard core.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 12:32 PM on March 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

why don't they use the darn latin names for the plants.

one of my cats likes something I interact with at work. I've come home a couple of times and he's gone completely crazy for (a) my pants and (b) the part of my hair. I work in horticulture and I still am not sure what it is that he likes. I'm going to take clippings home from the greenhouse this week if I can remember to do so.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:56 PM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

11pm and I'm trying to figure out where I can get silver vine.

Amazon! More expensive than catnip, but totally worth it from my cats' perspective.
posted by longdaysjourney at 2:13 PM on March 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I discovered the attractive potential of Valerian Root by chance some years ago. My cat will struggle like mad to rub her head on a cup of valerian tea, usually overturning the cup and causing quite a ruckus. I've since learned that cups of valerian only survive if they're in-hand and carefully protected or placed on one of the few pieces of furniture that isn't within a cat's jump of the bed. For some reason the raw herb doesn't seem to do much for her. And she doesn't really know what to do with tea except knock it over. So, I think we'll stick with catnip for her and valerian for me.

In related anecdotal speculation, has anyone systematically studied the effect of olives on cats? 'cause that's also an item restricted to tables that can't be jumped upon in our household. She doesn't quite know what to do with them, but she's certainly exited to be near them and to knock them onto the floor. (Unlike peanuts, which she knows exactly how to operate: you gobble them up an then vomit them onto the furniture three minutes later.)
posted by eotvos at 2:34 PM on March 22, 2017

OMG, I had an olive-loving cat once, gorgeous guy who looked like a Maine Coon. He would rub on jars of olives and nuzzle loose ones intensely.
posted by Maias at 2:48 PM on March 22, 2017

I have one cat who is an ass whenever the catnip comes out. He gets amped up and violent and will bite any of the other cats who attempt to get into his pile of 'nip. I have to give him one pile then make a pile for the others. One of the cats is uninterested in 'nip.

Another of my cats goes nuts for cocoa powder - I found that out the hard way when I left the cocoa powder out on the kitchen counter. I walked away for a minute and came back to find the all-black kitty's face and paws coated with the brown stuff. Having hot chocolate when he's around is tough.

I'm going to hunt down some silver vine for the kitty who is uninterested in catnip.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 6:16 PM on March 22, 2017

One of our cats has taken to shoving his face into, rolling around on, and hugging blissfully, my just-removed shoes. Cats are weird.

Peter, the aforementioned stimulant addict, goes nuts for human shoes and also terrible morning breath--if you let him, he'll just huff in whatever you breathe out and go blissful. He's a weird cat.

All three of mine are also utterly in love with my backpack whenever I'm not wearing it--the mesh on the back is very popular to scratch on and the backpack itself is the most popular cat bed in the house. I commute via bus to work, often in Texan summers, and if I can't finangle a ride to or from the bus stop that means about three miles walked while wearing it over the course of the day, so it must get pretty sweaty sometimes. I hope that's it, anyway. Weirdo jerks. My own personal cat--we have Peter who belongs to my partner first, Spock who is my roomie's, Janet who is definitely mine and Ishka who belongs to me and my partner jointly--anyway, Janet crapped in a kleenex box the other day for no apparent reason, so as far as inexplicable feline weirdness goes Pete's habit of trying to buddy-breathe with unsuspecting humans is pretty low down my priority list.
posted by sciatrix at 9:16 AM on March 23, 2017

Fuck WIRED and it's anti-adblocking bullshit. Thankfully I'm smart enough to get around it.
posted by malaprohibita at 2:43 PM on March 23, 2017

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