Valerian Root for Cats | Benefits, Toys, Reactions

Valerian Root: A Feline’s Favorite Herb

Valerian Root for Cats | How to use

Valerian root is a catnip alternative that has a striking smell to excite your feline friend. Over a third of cats are unaffected by catnip, therefore valerian root can be a great fit to excite and calm the everyday cat. 

Here at The Luminous Pets, we use a combination of catnip and valerian root within all our catnip kickers and catnip mats.  If you are interested in learning about catnip, read our Catnip Facts and Alternatives blog. 

What is valerian root?

Valerian Flower and Dried Valerian Root | For Cats

Valerian root is a flowering herb native to Europe and Asia. This large plant has clusters of petite white or pink flowers and a thick set of roots.

For many years, humans used valerian to treat sleep disorders and minor anxiety through teas and supplementation.

In contrast, cats tend to find valerian root as (or more) energizing than catnip. Causing your feline friend to run excited through the house, rolling, playing, licking, drooling and so many more adorable kitty behaviors. 

Is Valerian Safe for my Cat?

Shocked cat with catnip toy

It is estimated that over a third of cats are unaffected by catnip. 

That is so many cats out there looking for an exciting catnip fix but missing out!
That is where valerian root can be a great alternative.

Just like catnip, valerian root is a safe herb for cats to eat, lick and play with. Valerian Root is not a drug, and does not have any long term effects. The oils of the root are speculated to mimic cat pheromones. 

How does valerian root impact cats? 

Cats tend to react one of two ways, either they become energized when given Valerian Root or enter a calm, relaxed state. Which is your kitty when they interact with valerian?

The Playful Cat

Playful cat | Tabby Cat

An energized kitty will be running around and pouncing. It is a great way to increase play activity among indoor cats. Play is also a natural way to stimulate a cat's appetite, if needed, because play mimics a hunt which can result in the urge to eat.

A toy packed with Valerian Root, like our pillow kickers would be a great fit for these playful types. 

The Relaxed Cat

Sleeping Cat | White long haired cat

A cat who experiences a relaxed state when introduced to Valerian Root might start drooling, rolling around and stretching. It is a similar reaction to if they were to ingest the root. This is why many all natural calmatives contact Valerian Root as one of their top ingredients. 

If your cat reacts to Valerian Root this way, our catnip playmats would be purrfect! 

How long can valerian root stimulate a cat? 

The effects of valerian root can last five to thirty minutes. This can be significantly longer than the lasting effects of catnip, which is about ten minutes. After being stimulated by valerian root, it can take about 2 hours to then be re-stimulated by the herb, similar to catnip.

How do I give Valerian Root?

Catnip and Valerian Root Dried and Toy

Valerian root is most commonly dried and chopped up into small pieces. Since the root is so pungent, a pinch can go a long way for your kitty. Do note, that valerian root has a strong odor-like smell to humans. It is most commonly compared to stinky socks. However, our blend is less noticeable to humans because it is combined with catnip. You can get our blend in toy form or a whole ounce in a jar . 

What are the benefits of Valerian root?

There are so many amazing benefits of Valerian Root for your kitty. This herb aids in relieving stress and anxiety. It promotes play and exercise to keep kitty active. 

Since Valerian Root is not metabolized in the body, there is no risk of addiction, withdrawal or lasting effects. 

TLP Cat Toys with Valerian Root and Catnip

Catnip Toys by The Luminous Pets

The Luminous Pets utilizes a blend of catnip and valerian root within all our cat toys. This way a wider range of our feline customers are able to be stimulated by our toys. Especially, since one in three cats do not react to catnip. 

We work with a company that locally grows, harvests, and blends the mixture. You can easily see the difference in the herb blend we use compared to store bought catnip. Ours has a lush green glow, and is rather strong due to it’s freshly dried nature. 

Best cat toys for those Energized Player

We have a range of sizes to fit your cat's play preference. Shop cat toys.

Our minis pillows are great for cats that love batting around small items like your favorite hair band, paperclips, or really anything tiny in your house. 

Our small pillow kickers are great for petite cats that love to bunny kick their toys. Or kitties that love to carry around their toys. 

The regular sized kicker pillows are for a cat that doesn't mess around. They are made big enough to be held on to and kicked.

Best cat toys for the Relaxed Player

The catnip mats have two pouches stored inside, which allows you to refill when needed. The playmats allow space for your kitty to roll around, lick, and even take a nice nap on. Shop cat mats.

What does this all mean?

Adventure Cat in the grass

Cats love catnip, but cats also love valerian root for its energizing and relaxing properties. Still not sold on how awesome this herb is? 

Check out our testimonials from various kitties from around the world who have tried our catnip.



  • Meowth, Jack-Jack and Nami Testimonal
  • Mufasa Testimonial

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