Honeysuckle is part of the genus Lonicera and is in the Caprifoliaceae family. It typically grows between 15 and 20 feet tall and has bright yellow or white flowers when blooming. Approximately 30 per cent of cats find honeysuckle especially attractive, and have the same reaction to it as catnip; however, it is important to use caution when exposing your cat to honeysuckle wood, as parts of the plant are toxic.
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When cats are exposed to honeysuckle wood, they have nearly the same reaction as exposure to catnip. As there are catnip toys on the market, there are also honeysuckle cat toys. You may see your cat rubbing his face over the toy, licking it, or rolling his back over it, as if trying to coat himself with the scent. According to Plain Brown Tabby, the 30 per cent of cats that are attracted to honeysuckle have little or no reaction to catnip.
Raw Honeysuckle Wood
Raw honeysuckle wood can be purchased from cat toy supply companies, or taken from your backyard. Honeysuckle wood is extremely fragrant. The aroma of the wood is brought out more by misting the wood piece with water. Then, place the dampened wood in a small canvas bag or a piece of heavy cloth, making sure to close the ends so the wood does not fall out. Honeysuckle sawdust can be substituted for wood. Give the homemade toy to your cat for his enjoyment.
One of the issues that some people have with giving their cats honeysuckle is the possible exposure to toxins. Although honeysuckle wood is not poisonous to cats, the berries that grow on the plant are. Although toys purchased from pet stores do not contain berries, if you are making your own honeysuckle toy, it is important to exclude the berries. Honeysuckle berries cause vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy when ingested by cats. If you think your cat has ingested the berries, bring him to a veterinarian immediately.
Raw honeysuckle wood is a choking hazard for cats, which is why it is important to encase the wood in a cloth barrier. If the wood contains bark, the jagged edges may injure your cat if he bites or chews on the wood. Also, wetting the wood increases the risk of growing mould and fungi, which are detrimental to your pet's health. According to Kooky Kat Catnip Company, one type of mould found on wet honeysuckle wood was Aspergillus niger, a type of mould that grows on bread.
If you are wary of giving your cat honeysuckle wood, buy honeysuckle toys instead. Many cat toy suppliers have soft, fuzzy cat toys that are infused with honeysuckle fragrance. This provides your cat with a safe, fun alternative. Or, use honeysuckle spray to lightly mist your cat's existing toys. Make sure to consult the manufacturer about the ingredients, as ligin, which is from wood fibre, promotes mould and fungi growth. Find out what type of honeysuckle plant the manufacturer uses. There are more than 300 species of honeysuckle, some of which are dangerous to animals.
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