Matatabi pour chat

Matatabi for cats: Discovery and benefits of a miracle herb

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In this article, discover matatabi, a natural and stimulating alternative to catnip. Learn how it influences the behavior of cats, its benefits for dental health, and receive advice for its use and cultivation, while respecting the particularities of each cat.

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What is Matatabi?

  • Origin and history: Matatabi, scientifically known as Actinidia polygama, is a climbing plant native to East Asia, more precisely to the mountainous regions of Japan and China. Used for centuries in these cultures, matatabi is often called "Japanese catnip" or "silver vine" because of the silvery appearance of its leaves. This plant has a long history of use, both in traditional Asian medicine for its healing properties in humans, and as a stimulant for cats.
  • How to recognize it: Matatabi is characterized by its shiny green leaves, usually edged with a silver tint. In summer, it produces small white flowers, followed by fruits that look like small kiwis. What makes the matatabi particularly recognizable is its climbing vine appearance, which can reach several meters high by wrapping itself around the supports.


Why is Matatabi Unique?

Although similar to traditional catnip (Nepeta cataria), also known as catnip, matatabi has more pronounced effects on some cats. While catnip affects approximately 50-70% of cats, matatabi appears to have a higher response rate. Additionally, for cats who do not react to catnip, matatabi often offers an effective alternative.

The effects of matatabi on cats are primarily due to a substance called actinidin, a volatile organic compound that stimulates cats' sensory receptors. When a cat comes into contact with matatabi, it may experience a range of behaviors from mild euphoria to intense excitement. Cats may roll over, rub, lick or chew the plant, showing signs of intense pleasure. These effects are generally short-lived, lasting from a few minutes to half an hour.

Interestingly, matatabi is not just entertainment for cats; it may also play a role in reducing stress and improving dental health. By chewing matatabi sticks, cats help clean their teeth and reduce plaque buildup.

Overall, matatabi stands out as a unique and natural option for stimulating cats, offering a variety of benefits that go beyond simple euphoria. For cat owners looking for an alternative to traditional catnip or a natural way to enrich their pet's environment, matatabi is an excellent choice.

matatabi cat

What are the Benefits of Matatabi?

  • Effects on Cat Behavior and Physiology: Matatabi acts as a powerful stimulant for cats, causing varied reactions ranging from mild excitement to intense euphoria. Cats can be more playful, active and sometimes even affectionate when exposed to matatabi. These reactions are due to the active substances of the plant which interact with the pheromones and sensory receptors of cats.
  • Dental Health Benefits: By chewing matatabi sticks, cats help keep their teeth clean. This mechanical action helps reduce the accumulation of tartar and plaque, thus promoting better oral hygiene.
  • Usefulness for Cats Unresponsive to Classic Catnip: Matatabi is often an excellent alternative for cats who do not react to traditional catnip. Its different chemical composition can stimulate cats who remain indifferent to other euphoric plants.

How to Use Matatabi?

Matatabi is available in various forms, such as chew sticks, powder to sprinkle on toys or scratching posts, and even toys infused with the plant's essence.

For safe use, it is recommended to introduce matatabi gradually and monitor your cat's reaction. The sticks can be offered to chew under supervision, while the powder can be sprinkled in small amounts.

It is advisable to use matatabi in moderation, usually once or twice a week, to maintain interest and avoid overexposure.

Can you grow matatabi at home?

Growing matatabi at home is possible. This climbing plant can be grown in gardens or indoors, under certain conditions.

To successfully grow matatabi, choose a sunny location with support for climbing growth. Make sure you have well-drained soil and be careful of extreme temperatures, as the plant is sensitive to frost.

This article aims to provide detailed and practical information on matatabi, addressing its benefits, methods of use, and cultivation possibilities, thus providing a useful resource for cat owners.

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What Precautions Should You Take with Matatabi?

Each cat reacts differently to matatabi. While some may show great excitement, others may have a more subdued response. It is important to observe your cat during first use to understand their individual reaction.

Overuse of matatabi can lead to reactions such as excessive agitation or symptoms of malaise. If you notice a change in behavior or health after use, it is advisable to reduce frequency or discontinue use.

Matatabi should be stored in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight. In general, its lifespan is quite long, but it can lose its power over time.

How to Choose and Where to Buy Quality Matatabi?

Look for natural, pure products without additives or preservatives. The quality of matatabi is reflected in its smell and texture. The sticks should be firm and smell fresh.

Matatabi is available in pet stores, some specialized online stores, and even in some pharmacies or health food stores.

Conclusion: Is Matatabi a Miraculous Solution for Cats?

Matatabi offers many benefits for cats, but it should not be considered a one-size-fits-all solution. It is important to use it with caution and to respect the individual reactions of each cat. As a cat owner, encourage responsible and informed experimentation to ensure your pet's well-being.

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