The Ultimate Guide to Matatabi Sticks for Cats
If you’re a cat owner, you probably know how much your feline friend loves to play with toys, especially those that stimulate their senses and instincts. You may have heard of catnip, a popular herb that can make cats go crazy with excitement. But did you know that there’s another natural product that can have a similar effect on cats? It’s called Matatabi, and it’s a type of stick that cats can chew, rub, and roll on. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Matatabi sticks for cats, including what they are, what benefits they offer, how to use them, and where to buy them. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to give your cat a new and fun treat that they’ll love.
What are Matatabi Sticks?
Matatabi sticks are derived from the silvervine plant, which is native to the mountainous regions of China and Japan. The scientific name of this plant is Actinidia polygama, and it belongs to the same family as kiwifruit. The silvervine plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its various health benefits. It’s also known for its attractiveness to cats, who are drawn to its scent and taste.
The sticks are made from the dried branches and stems of the silvervine plant, which contain natural oils that contain compounds called actinidine and dihydroactinidiolide. These compounds are similar to nepetalactone, which is the active ingredient in catnip. When cats interact with Matatabi sticks, they release these compounds and trigger a reaction in their brains that makes them feel happy and relaxed.
Matatabi sticks are popular among cat owners because they provide a safe and natural way to entertain and pamper their cats. Unlike some synthetic toys or treats, Matatabi sticks are organic and biodegradable, so they don’t pose any harm to the environment or your cat’s health. They’re also easy to use and store, as you’ll see in the next section.
The Benefits of Matatabi Sticks for Cats
Matatabi sticks offer a range of benefits for your cat’s physical and mental well-being. Here are some of the main advantages of using Matatabi sticks with your cat:
- Dental health: Chewing on Matatabi sticks can help your cat maintain good oral hygiene by scraping away plaque and tartar from their teeth and gums. This can prevent dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease, which can affect your cat’s overall health. Chewing also stimulates saliva production, which helps to cleanse the mouth and prevent bad breath.
- Stress relief: Matatabi sticks can help your cat cope with stress and anxiety by providing them with a soothing and calming effect. Stress can be caused by various factors, such as changes in the environment, separation from owners, or conflicts with other cats. Matatabi sticks can help your cat relax and feel more comfortable in stressful situations. They can also reduce aggression and territorial behavior in some cats.
- Stimulation: Matatabi sticks can stimulate your cat’s senses and instincts by providing them with a fun and interactive toy. Cats are naturally curious and playful animals, who need physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Matatabi sticks can encourage your cat to exercise their muscles, sharpen their reflexes, and enhance their cognitive abilities. They can also satisfy your cat’s natural urge to hunt and chew.
These benefits are not just based on anecdotal evidence from cat owners. There are also scientific studies that support the positive effects of Matatabi sticks on cats. For example, a study published in BMC Veterinary Research compared the responses of 100 domestic cats to four different types of plant materials: silvervine (Matatabi), Tatarian honeysuckle, valerian root, and catnip. The results showed that silvervine was the most effective plant in eliciting a response from cats, with 79% of them showing interest in it. The study also found that silvervine had a longer-lasting effect than catnip, with some cats showing a response up to 30 minutes after exposure.
Another study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science investigated the effects of silvervine on the behavior and stress levels of shelter cats. The study involved 40 shelter cats who were exposed to either silvervine or a control substance for 5 minutes per day for 5 consecutive days. The researchers measured the cats’ behavior using video recordings and their stress levels using fecal cortisol levels. The results showed that silvervine significantly increased the frequency of positive behaviors such as rubbing, rolling, licking, grooming, and playing in shelter cats. It also significantly decreased their fecal cortisol levels, indicating lower stress levels.
How to Use Matatabi Sticks
Using Matatabi sticks with your cat is very simple and straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow to give your cat a Matatabi stick:
- Choose a suitable time and place to introduce the stick to your cat. Make sure your cat is in a relaxed and comfortable mood, and that there are no distractions or potential dangers around. You can use Matatabi sticks indoors or outdoors, depending on your preference and your cat’s personality.
- Gently rub off some of the bark from the stick to release the scent and flavor of the silvervine. You can use a knife or your fingernails to do this. Don’t peel off too much bark, as you want to preserve the stick for future use.
- Offer the stick to your cat and observe their reaction. Some cats may immediately show interest and start chewing, rubbing, or playing with the stick. Others may need some time to get used to it, or may not respond at all. Don’t force your cat to interact with the stick if they don’t want to. Every cat is different, and their response may vary depending on their mood, personality, and genetics.
- Let your cat enjoy the stick for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they lose interest. Monitor your cat’s behavior and make sure they don’t swallow any pieces of the stick or hurt themselves. You can also join in the fun by playing with your cat or giving them some praise and affection.
- Remove the stick from your cat and store it in a sealed container or bag. This will prevent the stick from losing its potency and keep it away from insects or moisture. You can reuse the same stick several times, until it becomes too worn out or your cat loses interest in it.
Some tips and tricks for using Matatabi sticks with your cat are:
- You can try different types of Matatabi sticks, such as thin or thick ones, to see which ones your cat prefers. You can also try other forms of silvervine products, such as powder, spray, or toys infused with silvervine.
- You can use Matatabi sticks as a reward or a treat for your cat, especially when you want to train them or teach them something new. For example, you can give them a Matatabi stick after they use their litter box, scratch their post, or perform a trick.
- You can use Matatabi sticks as a way to bond with your cat and improve your relationship. For example, you can give them a Matatabi stick when you want to cuddle with them, groom them, or take them to the vet.
- You can use Matatabi sticks as a way to enrich your cat’s environment and provide them with some variety and novelty. For example, you can hide a Matatabi stick in a cardboard box, a paper bag, or a toy tunnel, and let your cat find it and play with it.
Choosing the Right Matatabi Stick
Not all Matatabi sticks are created equal. There are some factors you need to consider when buying Matatabi sticks for your cat, such as:
- Quality: You want to choose Matatabi sticks that are made from high-quality silvervine plants that are grown organically and harvested sustainably. You also want to avoid Matatabi sticks that contain any additives, preservatives, pesticides, or artificial flavors that may harm your cat’s health.
- Quantity: You want to choose Matatabi sticks that come in sufficient quantity and size for your cat’s needs. Depending on how often you use them and how many cats you have, you may need more or less Matatabi sticks. You also want to choose Matatabi sticks that are not too thin or too thick for your cat’s mouth and teeth.
- Price: You want to choose Matatabi sticks that offer good value for money without compromising quality. You don’t want to pay too much for Matatabi sticks that are low-quality or ineffective, but you also don’t want to pay too little for Matatabi sticks that are unreliable or unsafe.
One of the best ways to choose the right Matatabi stick is by reading customer reviews and ratings from other cat owners who have tried them. You can also ask for recommendations from your friends, family, or vet who have experience with using Matatabi sticks with their cats.
Another way to choose the right Matatabi stick is by buying from reputable brands and sellers who have a good reputation and track record in the market. Some of the brands and sellers that we recommend are:
- Meowy Janes: Meowy Janes is a company that specializes in natural products for cats, such as Matatabi sticks, silvervine powder, and silvervine toys. Their products are made from premium quality silvervine plants that are grown in Japan and harvested by hand. They also use environmentally friendly packaging and offer fast shipping and excellent customer service.
- Potaroma: Potaroma is a brand that offers various pet products, such as Matatabi sticks, silvervine toys, and catnip toys. Their products are made from natural and safe materials that are tested and certified by third-party labs. They also offer free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee .