Taking Care of Your Cat's Teeth with Matatabi Chew Sticks

September 15, 2017 4 Comments

Taking Care of Your Cat's Teeth with Matatabi Chew Sticks

Are Matabi Chew sticks the right option to solve your kitty’s dental issues?

Actinindia Polygama, as it’s known scientifically, is a deciduous climbing plant that grows best in mountainous areas of China and Japan at elevations between 900 and 1500m. The plant bears small yellow and white flowers in season and then small, kiwi-like fruits with orange flesh.

Most notably, however, Matatabi is also the most popular cat treat in Asia.

It’s frequently cited in Japanese manga comic books, but its use as a cat pleaser goes back much further than that.

In this blog post, I’ll talk about taking care of your kitty’s dental health problems with the help of Matatabi chew sticks and share a few things you should know about this plant with you.

Let’s begin, shall we?

What Is Matatabi and How it Affects Cats?

There is scientific research to back up the use of Matatabi/Silvervine as a cat stimulant.

Unlike traditional catnip, which contains only one ingredient that acts as a cat attractant – Nepetalactone – Matatabi contains two.

  • The first is Actinidine, a pyridine derivative which invokes a similar response to nepetalactone
  • The second is dihydroactinidiolide, which has a light, sweet smell and is also said to act as a cat stimulant

How Matatabi Affects Cats

The effects usually last 5-30 minutes and cats have been observed in returning to Matatabi/Silvervine within 20 minutes.

The product appears to invoke a more intense euphoric response in cats than regular catnip – fun behaviors such as rolling, licking, drooling, increased playfulness and a general increase in cat activity have been noted.

Dr. Mark Mitchell of the University of Illinois conducted an in-depth of the use of Matatabi/Silvervine as a cat stimulant.

The key to the study was that the cats involved played two and half times longer with the toys associated with Matatabi than those sprinkled with regular catnip.

He also found that 3 out of every 4 cats preferred the toys covered in Matatabi/Silvervine overall, considering a variety of aspects such as initial excitement, behaviors exhibited and time spent with the product.

Cats tend to chew Matatabi to strengthen the effects and it has been widely reported that this can help to clean cats’ teeth and reduce the amount of plaque.

There are no known hazards of Matatabi, the plant has long been used in Chinese and Japanese traditional medicine, and is becoming more well-known for its health benefits, which include high levels of vitamins and minerals.

So it’s win-win for our feline friends all round!

The Advantages of Giving Your Cat Some Matatabi

In this section of the blog, I will share some of the advantages of giving your kitty some Matatabi.

 

Let’s begin.

  1. Relief of Stress and Anxiety

Cats are highly sensitive to stress (not just theirs, but ours, too) and like us, they require consistent periods of relaxation to maintain good health.

Hiding, hissing and growling, and litterbox problems are just a few symptoms of stress that erroneously cause us to label a cat mean or spiteful.

But in reality, cats are strict creatures of habit and can become stressed by seemingly innocuous conditions such as a new cat in the neighborhood or even new furniture in our home.

We must remember that cats do not have the same choices in minimizing or managing stress like we do. Therefore, using catnip or silver vine on a regular basis – in conjunction with toys and play – can significantly lessen these stressors.

  1. Sharpens Natural Hunting Skills

Indoor cats can become lethargic, leaving their hunting skills dulled and unused.

This is problematic because the instinctive urge to hunt remains an integral part of a cat’s genetic make-up.

Being unable to act upon those urges can add to a cat’s stress. Toys and playtime provide some relief, but the mild hallucinogenic properties in catnip and silver vine are thought to allow cats to act upon their hunting skills in a different way altogether.   

  1. Alleviation of Medical Ailments

Catnip and silver vine possess illness fighting properties for humans.One study at NYU’s Langone Medical Center suggests that catnip can treat digestive issues, anxiety, insomnia, and colds in humans.

Similarly,silvervine may alleviate hypertension, arthritic pain, and act as a sedative in humans.

While no comprehensive data exists on the subject, it’s very plausible that cats may derive many of these same medical benefits from the herbs. Consider how cats are, in some cases of severe stress, prescribed anti-anxiety medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or alprazolam (Xanax).

Just as pharmaceuticals can help cats the same way they do humans, it makes sense that catnip and silver vine can, too.

  1. Increased Bonding with Humans

When the hyperactive effects of catnip and silver vine wear off and the cat enters his stage of sublime tranquility, he is more amenable to bonding with his human caretaker.

The cat is now fully relaxed and free of stress, which makes it easy for us humans to cuddle, massage, and talk to him. This is an especially important bonding activity for cats that are skittish or shy.

Many cats who are not “lap cats,” or that feel uncomfortable being cuddled, can experience quality bonding during this relaxed period of contentment.Cat-human bonding has long been associated with mood and quality of life improvement in both the animal and human.

Matatabi Chew Sticks for Cats

Cats tend to chew Matatabi to strengthen the effects which is why some gardeners have found precious blossoms destroyed by their kitty neighbors!

It has been widely reported that this can help to clean cats’ teeth and reduce the amount of plaque. There are no known hazards of Matatabi – indeed, the plant has long been used in Chinese and Japanese traditional medicine and is becoming more well-known for its health benefits, which include high levels of vitamins and minerals.

So it’s win-win for our feline friends all around!

Final Words

Actinindia Polygama, as it’s known scientifically, is a deciduous climbing plant that grows best in mountainous areas of China and Japan at elevations between 900 and 1500m. The plant bears small yellow and white flowers in season and then small, kiwi-like fruits with orange flesh.

Cats tend to chew Matatabi to strengthen the effects which is why some gardeners have found precious blossoms destroyed by their kitty neighbors!

There are no known hazards of Matatabi – indeed, the plant has long been used in Chinese and Japanese traditional medicine and is becoming more well-known for its health benefits, which include high levels of vitamins and minerals.

Do you have questions? If so, leave them in the comments, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 


4 Responses

Diane Lee
Diane Lee

March 28, 2018

Do these have any flavor ? I bought another brand of chew stick and my cat has no interest in them at all.

Iris
Iris

March 24, 2018

Hi! I try today matatabi sticks with my cat, and she loved it. But i wonder, cana she eat it?

Kate
Kate

December 05, 2017

Karinda, you can get them at Catman’s World :) check it out www.catmansworld.com ;)

Karinda
Karinda

September 22, 2017

Where can I buy some of theses?

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