Geek Trivia

What Plant Is Even More Irresistible To Cats Than Catnip?

Silver Vine
Passion Fruit
Adder's Tongue
Lemon Grass
The Appearance Of The "Big Daddies" In The Video Game BioShock Were Inspired By?

Answer: Silver Vine

Millions of North American and European cat owners buy, and even grow, catnip for their cats as the animals find the plant very attractive. When exposed to crushed fresh or dry catnip leaves, cats typically become very interested in the substance and active for 5-15 minutes before they become fatigued of the scent.

Catnip isn’t the only plant that is a feline attractant, however, cats are also attracted to (and enjoy rubbing against and chewing on) other plants like Valerian and Tartarian honeysuckle. Neither catnip nor these other plants can hold a candle to the allure of Silver Vine (Actinidia Polygama), a climbing vine native to Japan and China. The plant, which derives its name from the way its leaves turn a whitish silver color, is a powerful feline attractant that puts cats into a euphoric state that lasts around 30 minutes.

Although hardly known outside of Asia, it’s the most popular cat treat in the region. While not indigenous to regions outside of China and Japan, it is cold hardy to -22F and can be grown nearly anywhere, much to the delight of cats across the world.

Image courtesy of the USDA.