Are Silvervine Sticks Safe for Cats? A Fun Alternative to Cat Nip!

Is there anything funnier than watching a cat roll around in catnip?

Meowing, flopping onto their belly, drooling, racing around the house…these are all signs that your cat is enjoying the “high” that comes with inhaling nepetalactone, also known as the chemical component in catnip.

However, there is another plant-based alternative to traditional catnip. 

It’s called silvervine. 

And it’s even more potent than catnip! 

In this guide, we will answer all your kitty parent questions about Silvervine Cat Treats as a safe and effective stimulant guaranteed to make your cat purr with pleasure and feel calmer during stressful situations. 

What are Silvervine Sticks?

A stack of Silvervine Chew Sticks for Cats

To start, you have probably sprinkled leafy green catnip on the floor before. Or bought felt mice stuffed with catnip pouches. Silvervine is similar in some ways. Like catnip, it is also a plant. Scientifically, it is known as “Actinidia polygama.” This is a species of kiwifruit native to China, Japan, and Russia. The leaves are white and silver, hence the name. 

According to Pet MD, silvervine sticks are the natural stem parts of the plant. 

They are long, thin, and brown in colour. 

Why Cats Go “Crazy” for Silvervine Sticks 

So, how does silvervine affect cats?

Is it truly safe? 

First and foremost, to understand the physiological effects of silvervine, we must look at the two active ingredients: actinidine and dihydroactinidiolide. 

Together, these two compounds activate the part of a cat’s brain responsible for pleasure, happiness, and reward, as explained by Harvard University. The result is a eutrophic feeling, which some people describe as being similar to how the human opioid system responds to medical morphine. 

But unlike morphine, silvervine is NOT addictive! 

Actually, it’s perfectly safe. 

There is no toxicity. It is impossible for a cat to accidentally overdose on a silvervine stick. Just be careful to remove any small pieces (potential choking hazards) if broken off. Always supervise play sessions. 

Some of the many additional benefits you can expect to see in your cat include the following:

Great for Cats Who Love to Chew

Silvervine sticks are a wonderful treat for cats with a chewing habit. Not only do they promote polite and acceptable biting behaviour (on sticks instead of fingers!) but they also improve dental health by rubbing tartar off teeth.   

Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Only One Treats also loves the calming effect of silvervine. Sadly, nearly half of all cats experience an emotional disorder at some point in their life. This could be separation anxiety, fear, stress during events like veterinarian checkup, holiday family visits, car rides, etc.

Luckily, silvervine sticks can help.

Encourage Play and Hunting Behaviour 

@purrfectly.amber enjoying silvervine sticks for cats

Next, these sticks are great for bringing out your kitty’s inner warrior. Indoors cats don’t have the opportunity to hunt insects, birds, mice, and so on. That is why it’s so important to offer toys and other stimuli, like silvervine sticks. This encourages playful behaviour and acts as an outlet for their natural prey drive, letting them chew, rub, roll, and bat at sticks with their paws. 

Reduce Obesity 

Lastly, overweight cats who live sedentary lifestyles should absolutely try silvervine sticks. 

Because they cannot roam freely outdoors, most cats don’t get enough exercise. Over 60% of North American cats are overweight – uh oh. To get kitties up and moving, use a silvervine stick. The nepetalactones in the silvervine give cats a sudden burst of energy. Jumping, rolling, and running are all common reactions that burn excess calories. 

Long-lasting Chews for Hour of Fun 

As you can see, there is plenty to like about this miraculous little stick! 

Another great thing silvervine characteristic is that one stick will last for multiple chew sessions. This means your feline friend gets maximum enjoyment, entertainment, and exercise. Researchers at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University report that while 33% of cats don’t even like catnip, 80% of cats respond to silvervine sticks! So if your cat isn’t a fan of catnip, silvervine might be a great alternative!

I want to make sure that this math makes sense to the consumer, because respond to makes sense, but then dislikes is not the same thing and does not respond to.

Even though the effects of silvervine only last about 30 minutes, every stick can be enjoyed again and again. 

This makes it a cost-effective and long-lasting treat.

Can Kittens Enjoy Silvervine Sticks? What About Dogs? 


Silvervine has no known ill side effects. Kittens, adults, and senior cats can all enjoy silvervine sticks. However, very young kittens will likely not feel the full effects of silvervine until they mature. 

If your dog gets a hold of a stick, don’t worry. Fido won’t feel the same effects, but he won’t be harmed either.  


Add our bestselling Silvervine Cat Treat Sticks to your cart now!