When many of us think of enrichment for our cats, we think of physical and mental types of activities. Think harness walks, stroller rides, food puzzles, and cat trees.

But don’t forget a cat’s sense of smell! Olfactory stimulation is also a form of enrichment.

Probably the best known source of olfactory stimulation for cats is catnip. But many cats do not respond to catnip. That’s where honeysuckle, silver vine, and valerian root come in. 

A study was conducted to determine cats’ responsiveness to catnip, silver vine, Tatarian honeysuckle, and valerian.

The results indicate that “Nearly all domestic cats responded positively to olfactory enrichment. In agreement with previous studies, one out of every three cats did not respond to catnip. Almost 80% of the domestic cats responded to silver vine and about 50% to Tatarian honeysuckle and valerian root.”

Entire article on the study: Responsiveness of cats (Felidae) to silver vine (Actinidia polygama), Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and catnip (Nepeta cataria)