Kalico Kush. Photo credit: Meowijuana.
Highs aren’t only for humans. To ensure our feline friends are also reaping the benefits of plants, Meowijuana, an organic catnip company based in Kansas City, Missouri, developed “kitty dope” for felines.
Meowijuana’s family of products sound suitable for people — but these are strictly for our four-legged friends. Their lineup includes everything from munchies (treats), to paraphernalia (toys, etc), to a variety of additive-free, hand-trimmed catnip buds and blends. From Purple Passion to Meowi-Waui, to medical ID cards and Dogginip for dogs — Meowijuana is seemingly a one-stop dispensary shop for pets.
While certain dosages of hemp or CBD are shown to be effective and safe for pets, these cleverly named Meowijuana products do not contain any cannabis whatsoever.
But, they do contain other leafy greens that cats are known to enjoy — such as catnip, silver vine and Valerian root.
Catnip is one of hundreds of species of plants in the mint family. While humans have used catnip for centuries as a repellent or even a sleep aid, it can create a “high” effect for cats. In fact, according to The Humane Society of the U.S., “nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, can turn even the laziest couch potato into a crazy furball—if said furball happens to have inherited the sensitivity to its effects,” the organization adds. “The trait doesn’t emerge until a cat is between three and six months old; until then, a kitten will not have a response. Catnip sensitivity is hereditary—an estimated 50 percent of cats have no reaction.”
For felines that do react, however, they may start rolling, drooling, running or growling when they eat or sniff it.
“The most intense catnip experience starts with the nose—one whiff of the stuff and your cat promptly goes nuts. Researchers suspect that catnip targets feline “happy” receptors in the brain,” the Humane Society of the U.S. further explains.
Like catnip, humans have also used Valerian root as a sleep aid for centuries. When given to cats, it has a similar effect. According to the vet-reviewed site, PetMD, it can help reduce anxiety and stress, and make cats sleepy — which may be helpful for vet appointments, or stressful moments.
Additionally silver vine also stimulates cats. For example, in one study which compared felines’ response to different plants found that: “almost 80% of the domestic cats responded to silver vine and about 50% to Tatarian honeysuckle and valerian root. […] Of the cats that did not respond to catnip, almost 75% did respond to silver vine and about one out of three to Tatarian honeysuckle.”
Both of my boys — Goose and Fabio — respond to catnip. They both also responded to different Meowijuana products, including the company’s SIlvervine Sticks and Kalico Kush.
Goose and Fabio got Silverine Sticks in their stockings for Christmas last year. Once we opened up the package, our boys were immediately curious. To help release the scent, we scratched the sticks with our fingernails, as directed by the package. Then we gave them each a stick, which are thin and about 4 inches in length.
Once they began chewing on the sticks, it activated the catnip even more, and they went wild. They struggled to keep a hold of it, and chased it around the house before eventually figuring out how to use their paws to hold it.
They were both playful and frisky, then tired. I put the sticks in a safe place for later, and took them out again. Fabio particularly enjoyed the Silverine Sticks, and sufficiently chewed them beyond recognition.
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I usually supervise my cats during these play sessions, and make sure to replace the sticks so they don’t get splinters, or try running or climbing with them in their mouths. It is also important to note that these sticks have a shelf life, so use them up (and toss the old or used ones). They seemed to stay good for a few months, but after that, their effects faded.
The Kalico Kush comes in a container that is reminiscent of a pill bottle, or something customers might buy weed in at their local dispensary (or dealer).
However, the leafy green goodies featured in this blend include organic catnip and Valerian root. It’s ground up, and looks almost like oregano. Before rubbing it between my fingers to activate the smell, I spread some on some toys and on the ground.
Fabio wasn’t a fan of the Kalico Kush, but Goose was drawn to it. He rolled around in it, drooling and purring before he fell into a deep sleep. It’s effects are mainly sedative, as he gets a bit frisky for a minute before quickly dozing off in the pile of Kalico Kush.
Like most products, this also has a shelf life, and effects can fade with time.
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As any cat lover knows, felines are difficult to please. But they need stimulation and variety too. At $10 per product, each was worth the gamble for my indoor cats, as it provided them entertainment (and me too).
While one preferred the Silvervine Sticks, the other preferred the Kalico Kush. Overall, I’m glad I purchased two different products with various types of plants. Additionally, I really liked the Meowijuana branding, and the company’s fun selection of products. Because each of this, and the fact that these organic products got my boys’ attention, they earned a full five emeralds.