I am trying to make some cat toys with Valerian root in them > and from my own observations at home with my own cats it seems that it's affect on the behavior of the cats is time limited . As though the valerian root loses its "stinky" and the cats stop flipping out over it after a few hours. Even if I put the Valerian filled toy up for a day or two and then bring it back out for them they are not affected by it hardly at all. But if I sprinkle some more onto the toy then the insanity, the playing, starts up again... Only to die out again a few hours later, seemingly forever.
What is the deal with this? And how can I extend the activeness of the herb longer?
Since I am trying to bring them to farmers market and to my friends on Facebook and to give to the cats & dogs who languish in pent up isolation and boredom in cages at animal control or even at veterinary offices how would you suggest I package the toys & herb? Already within the toy? Or separately in a little package to sprinkle on or into the toy? And would the dried chopped up plant work better than the powder? (which is what I have used so far only).
I am open to any and all suggestions... Thank you...
I've never used Valerian root for cat toys - I've always used it for a sleep tea? It makes cats hyper? I've used mostly dried chopped root though I transplanted some plants last year and it seems like it is going to survive the winter. I don't know. What do you think? Do the cats just loose interest in the novelty? Are they building up a tolerance? Maybe add some catnip? Catnip is stupid easy to grow. Like it would be a problem if the bees didn't like it so damn much
I have no idea if this would work but if it was me I'd try the following:
--Use the root instead of the powder.
--Use tincture drops instead of the powder.
--If using the root - I wonder if wrapping the toy in a moist cloth and then heating it for a short time (oven or 'wave) would bring out the potency again? (make sure there's no metal if using the 'wave!)
--if the tincture works, can you package a small bottle with the toy?
--does mixing catnip and valerian work in any combo? If so, you could sell 2-3 toys in one bag with your secret feline play formula in the tincture (mixture of catnip and valerian) Don't know the rules on this type of product if it is for use with animals/non-edible (I'd check that out though).
Love the idea! Keep us posted.
Subtropical desert (Köppen: BWh)
Elevation: 1090 ft Annual rainfall: 7"
Based on what you've reported, I'm with Peter, it sounds like it's a matter of the volatility of that which is exciting and stimulating to the creature. If that is the case, I think you would want to make a toy with a velcro opening, so that fresh herb could be exchanged for the used.... The tincture idea sounds like it might work, or selling a jar of the valerian root along with the toy. I have valerian in my garden, so I would not be doing this but it might also work: get some OTC valerian capsules from the drug store, see if they excite the cat, see if when punctured they excite the cat.
I know of a shut in cat, an urban cat with a protective owner. I think I'll send the idea along. The owner has a catnip mouse for the cat, and the cat loves it. They call it "drug mouse" and refresh the cat nip periodically. The cat carries drug mouse around and wrestles with it, which we are all pretty familiar with, but this cat also puts drug mouse in the water bowl, the water at the bottom of the bath tub (which she demands) and in the toilet if she finds it open. She really tries to give drug mouse an exciting life. She'll be a perfect fellow researcher!
I never heard of valerian for cats either.
I will try the microwave idea for sure. I am still trying to figure out the longevity issue for sure. I am hoping I am overlooking something. I have thought about the "refill" to include with purchase but I am working with such a small budget and the stuff is so stinky that I am afraid that for your average user dealing with it might be too much to ask. But all I can do is try I guess.
I thought I would included a pic of what I am calling "Stinky Stix" for cats & "Foochy Pooch" for dogs.
I used to think cat nip was stinky! Now I notice its muskiness, but even drink it as tea. I also first thought valerian was gross smelling, but I think we program each other to find it offensive. It's just valerian, and that's how it smells. I drink it as tea too.
Becoming more self sufficient requires the reintroduction of of things like catnip and valerian. after we get used to them, it's like getting used to coffee, or bitter flavors. That's another function of these pet toys.. reintroduction of valuable plant friends!
I can't even get my vet's staff to truly appreciate that concept. Whenever I brought it in for my cat who had a rather lengthy stay there, they would say "Ick" and giggle. They never quite got used to not "looking for where that smell was coming from" even after a month. (we tend to forget about the v-root being around most of the time and start to sniff our selves before remembering... lol)
But they loved the idea for stimulation and activity and comfort when I would douse his toy in it. Thats how I got the idea for doing these toys. I know they have been done before but I am hoping to introduce the idea of the v-root being used in cooped up or scary situations like at animal control or vets offices or god forbid even puppy mills (poor things... better than nothing for them though).
Kenna Frazier : Thanks for sharing your story, We have a new member of our Family who came to us literally at deaths door as a foundling! Mithril is now
a very healthy Grey kitten who would have been named Smoke if she had been a boy cat !
As a single orphan with immediate problems see did not get much socializing with other cats and does bite as a sign of affection- rather too hard- and is
now Extremely high spirited!
I told my wife about your story of valerian root at they Vets for stimulation and activity - and the smell of things from home - And she and Mithril send their
love, and Martha Wants to know if you have any thoughts for calming a cat down !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan