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Honeysuckle, the new catnip

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Approximately one-third of cats have no response whatsoever to catnip. However, some of those cats just may respond to honeysuckle and get a comparable reaction. Mixes of the two are also available at Wal-Mart. Many cats love both and some cats prefer the mixing of the two.

There are well over 180 species of honeysuckle vines and shrubs, though only one species, Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tartarica), seems to have a fun, enjoyable effect on cats. Cats who are stirred by honeysuckle tend to display the same unconstrained playfulness and frolics as those who are under the power of catnip.

Tartarian Honeysuckle contains a chemical that is analogous to the active ingredient in catnip. Presumably, it is this substance that puts cats into an enchanting temporary altered state.

While there have been no official studies on the subject, anecdotes propose that 30 percent or more of cats respond to honeysuckle, and many of those cats are very ones who have no interest in catnip. Some cats are fascinated by both.

There haven’t been any reports of negative side effects from honeysuckle toys and spray. Even so, some species of honeysuckle, and perhaps the berries from honeysuckle plants, may be toxic to cats. To be safe, buy only honeysuckle products from trusted, established vendors. Remember, for your own safety, remember that some cats may be more aggressive than normal when under honeysuckle’s dancing spell, and so give those cats plenty of space. Stand back at a distance and watch!!!

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