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9 Beneficial Plants Your Feral Cat Will Love

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Plants provides many health benefits— not just for humans but even for cats! After some digging, cat owners will be amazed to learn what several plants can do for their kitty. The best and safest plants or herbs for cats are proven to positively stimulate cats, reduce stress, aid with ailments, and boost immunity.

We've compiled an assortment of nine beneficial plants that can be used to improve your furry friend's lifestyle.

1. Catnip

Catnip is no stranger to cats as you've seen this popular stimulant make cats 'go bananas.’ Historically, Catnip originated from Africa, Europe, and Asia before spreading to the whole world. Over the years, has been used by humans to treat nausea and more so to provide calmness and relaxation.

Catnip contains several volatile oils, specifically Nepetalactone which causes stimulation in a cat's sensory neurons once inhaled. As such, cats exhibit behavior such as rolling around and drooling, sometimes become more active and hyperactive. But that’s okay, that just means they like it! However, it's important to note that not all cats respond to Catnip.

2. Silver Vine

Silver Vine is yet another plant that stimulates a cat's emotions with similar effects to Catnip. Research suggests that Silver Vine contains more and different compounds that cats react to compared to Catnip. As such, cats that may not respond to Catnip have a higher reaction chance to Silver Vine.

Typically, a cat's response to Silver Vine involves rolling around on its side or back in excitement, giving cheek or chin rubs, gentle kicks, or even minor drooling.

3. Valerian Root

A lesser-known substitute to Catnip and Silver Vine, Valerian Root is a popular herb used by humans to reduce the effects of insomnia, anxiety, and to lower blood pressure.

In cats, Valerian Root provides quite the opposite effects, acting as a stimulant in some cats. In fact, this pungent herb is known to reenergize lazy acts into the active, friendly feline friend you expect.

The substance in the Valerian Root believed to stimulate cats is
Actinidine. And while it's not guaranteed that all cats will respond, it may raise a reaction in cats that don't react to Catnip.

4. Witch Hazel

Impressively, witch hazel is a plant that aids with feline acne. Simply apply a small amount of witch hazel on a cotton swab and rub it on your cat's chin once or twice a day. It acts as an astringent, removing oils while tightening pores and may prevent future acne outbreaks.

5. Echinacea

Echinacea is known to help support good health and immunity health in cats. For cats that experience frequent upper respiratory infections, echinacea is the go-to herb. It also helps the body rid of microbial infections.

6. Licorice Root 

Licorice Root supports different body functions in cats such as endocrine and digestive issues. It aids with allergies (given its anti-itching properties) as well as some respiratory problems.

7. Goldenseal

Goldenseal features antibacterial properties and may be used as a natural disinfectant on cat wounds.

8. Calendula

Boasts some strong anti-inflammatory properties, which suggests that it can accelerate wound healing in cats.

9. Cat's Claw and Dandelion Root

Last but not least is this pair of herbs that help with feline allergies. Importantly, cat's claw can help boost a cat's immune system by fighting diseases, while dandelion root can help promote healthy digestion and liver detoxification.

So, there you have it! Those are some of the cat-friendly plants that are commonly recommended for cats. Remember to always consult your vet prior to using any of the above plants. Excessive use of any remedy – natural or pharmaceutical - may harm your cat. Your cat should benefit from these plants, but only under strict supervision. Lastly, ensure that your supply of the herb is from a reputable provider.

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