Want to give your kitty an enjoyable treat with the best catnip?
Many pet owners don’t even know what catnip is and they tend to think it’s some sort of marijuana for cats. This is not the case!
In this article, you’ll learn what is Catnip and what are the effects it has on your cat. You’ll also discover the six best catnip products for your cat in 2021.
Let’s explore in more detail!
What Is Catnip And What Does It Do?
Catnip is part of the mint family, a wild plant/herb that goes by the scientific name of, Nepeta cataria.
Usually, the plants will have heart-shaped leaves and flowers in white or purple/blue hues. They can grow up to three feet tall in ideal conditions.
Catnip contains a chemical ingredient called nepetalactone which can be attributed to cats acting the way they do when they sniff or eat catnip.
The olfactory bulb is initiated by Nepetalactone, that’s what makes the feline’s brain react in a similar manner to when it senses pheromones coming from another cat.
In catnip, a chemical in the essential oil temporarily alters the brain, producing feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and playfulness. It has been noted to cause mild aggression in some cats.
Every cat’s reaction to catnip is going to be different.
Catnip products come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. The most common are loose dried crushed leaves, sprays, and dental chews.
There is also a large range of scratch pads, toys, grasses and treats.
What Does It Do?
Cats have a gland on the roof of their mouth called ‘Vomeronasal’. When nepetalactone (the ingredient in catnip) passes over that gland it causes a chemical reaction in cats.
This chemical reaction happens in areas that control your cats behavior and that is why we see the range of responses we do.
Pro Tip: A small percentage of cats can be aggressive after ingesting or smelling catnip. If you have a multi-pet home it’s a good idea to separate your pets and give catnip to them individually until you know how they respond.
As soon as your cat feels the effects of catnip they might break out into a bit of a song and dance and after about 5-10 minutes they should become relaxed.
Once the excitement is over and they’re relaxed, cats usually won’t react to catnip again for about an hour.
Give your cat catnip too often and they can lose interest or build an immunity to it.
What To Look For When Buying Catnip
The effects of catnip on your cat depends on its strength. A large portion of the potency of catnip plants is found in the leaves and flowers. The best catnip only uses the flowers or leaves if you want the best potency.
Pro Tip: Even the best catnip could contain some small stems in their mix. It’s incredibly difficult to eliminate 100% of the stems from catnip. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to crush and check the catnip before offering it to your cat.
Keep your catnip in an airtight container to keep its freshness. This will make sure it lasts longer and doesn’t lose its fragrance.
So you can be sure your catnip is completely safe, you want it to be as organic as possible. Look for a natural organic topshelf catnip like the ones in this article.
Storage and Shelf-Life
You should always store your catnip in airtight containers. Check the use by date before purchasing and label the container accordingly.
The longer the shelf life of the catnip the more likely it is it contains preservatives. Preservatives are not the best thing for our kitties to be eating.
How To Use Catnip
You can use catnip as a training aid or an occasional treat. Just make sure you test a small amount first to make sure your cat has a positive reaction.
- To entice your cat to use a scratching post, cat tree or wall hammock, rub or spray catnip onto it.
- Catnip in toys is a great way to encourage play and exercise.
- Catnip is naturally calming to shy cats, which helps cat-to-cat introductions go smoothly.
- Put catnip in your cat carrier or crate while traveling to reduce anxiety.
Most cats will usually lose interest or limit their amount of exposure to catnip in one sitting. It’s important to note that catnip is not at all addictive to cats.
It can be an effective tool for training your cat. Yes it’s possible to train or discipline your cat you just need to know how.
If your cat has weight issues, catnip is also a useful tool for encouraging play. It can also be used to reduce separation anxiety.
Sniffing Vs Eating Catnip
Both have their advantages, and you need to consider the pros and cons of each.
For example, allowing your cat to eat large amounts of catnip can cause an upset stomach. It can also get really messy with the granules scattered all over the floor.
On the other hand, sniffing only catnip can be less potent and your cat might not get the full effects of catnip’s potential.
One of the best uses for catnip is when a trip to the veterinarian is needed! Because of its calming effects, many pet owners will give their cat some catnip about 30 minutes beforehand.
Fresh is BEST! Catnip won’t work if it’s old and stale. Make sure you smell it, if it has no aroma it’s likely not fresh.
Before offering catnip, take a sniff for yourself. The catnip should have a strong aroma. If you can’t smell anything, the catnip is stale and has lost its effectiveness.
Catnip can be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for long-term use to help keep its freshness and fragrance.
If your cat has lost interest in their catnip toys you can try and refill with a different more potent catnip to give it that refreshing smell.
Whether dried or fresh, it’s important to squeeze or press catnip before giving it to your cat. It will help to release the oil and stimulate the aroma making it more enjoyable for your cat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do All Cats Like Catnip?
The truth is, even the best catnip doesn’t entice every cat. According to veterinarians, approximately 50 to 80 percent of kitties are affected by catnip.
Can Cats Have Catnip Everyday?
Catnip should be given in moderation, or an occasional treat for your cat. Giving your cat catnip everyday can reduce your cats sensitivity, and eventually they can become immune to the effects.
How Long Does The Effects Of Catnip Last?
Good quality catnip should last about 10 minutes. Some cats feel the effects longer or shorter. Some breeds may not be affected by catnip at all.
What Is The Best Catnip?
Although catnip is easy to find, how can you be certain that you’re choosing the right variety for your cat?
Taking into consideration of all of the above, below are the best catnips.
From The Field Catnip Kitty Safe Stalkless Tub
- CAPTIVATE YOUR CAT with aromatic From...
- SMOOTH, STALKLESS cat nip has been...
- GROWN IN THE USA in picturesque...
KittySafe Stalkless catnip is organically grown in Washington State, USA for the past 20 years.
They ensure each plant reaches full maturity before harvesting. This means the plants are loaded with all the essential oils.
Quality is controlled by only offering catnip that was harvested no longer than the previous year.
You get a choice of leaf and flower, whole buds, ground catnip pellets or essential oil sprays.
They’ve also created 2 blends: Valerian root + catnip and Silver vine + catnip.
- Stem/Stalk Free
- High Potency
- 2 Blends
- Reports of some cats not taking an interest
- Only available in a Large 6oz bottle.
Petlinks Bliss Mist Catnip Spray
- ENERGIZES & STIMULATES: Bliss Mist...
- NO CLEANUPS: Catnip spray offers the...
- PURE & POTENT: Made with natural catnip...
Petlinks Bliss Mist Cat Spray is a 7 ounce catnip spray made with natural catnip oil – no chemicals, pesticides or other fillers.
If you’re looking for a no mess catnip then spray catnips are a great choice.
The quick and easy use of the spray allows you to encourage your cat to play or pay attention to certain areas of your home.
They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee offering peace of mind buying.
- Easy to use and store spray bottle
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- Low Potency
- Blended with water and Emulsifiers
Hartz Just For Cats CatNip
Hartz all natural non-toxic catnip is made from just one single ingredient (dried catnip plant). No fillers needed here.
It comes packaged in a plastic bag so you will need your own storage container after opening.
It’s a very potent mix and cats will go mad for it. Great for just sprinkling around the home or for refilling any catnip toys you have.
- High Potency
- Great for refilling toys
- No Filler
- Comes in plastic packaging. You’ll need to repack for better storage.
SmartyKat Organic Catnip
- 100% NATURAL: SmartyKat catnip is...
- STIMULATING: Catnip contains aromatic...
- EASY TO USE: Lightly squeeze...
SmartyKat has consistently produced a high-quality formula of catnip that is both safe and effective for our feline friends.
With no fillers to bulk out the dried catnip flakes you know you’re getting great value. The shaker container allows great control and makes it easy to monitor the amount of catnip you give to your cat.
It also makes it easy to spread around over their favourite cat tree or cat bed.
They don’t use any pesticides or chemicals making this both good for your kitty and the environment.
- Organic and Chemical free
- No pesticides or fillers
- Easy to use shaker bottle
- Aroma is a little weak
- Shaker can get clogged
OurPets Cosmic Catnip
- PREMIUM CATNIP: 100% Natural Premium...
- HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE: Cosmic Catnip has...
- HIGH POTENCY: Our fragrant catnip has a...
Produced and grown in Ohio for the last 30 years, Our Pets’ 100% natural catnip is a favorite among cat owners.
The high potency, chemical free catnip offers great value for money. Soon as you open the airtight tub you’re greeted with a fresh strong aroma.
The 2.25oz jar should be plenty to refill their catnip toys and have plenty left over to offer as the occasional stimulant treat.
- 100% natural formula
- Made In USA
- High potency
- Strong aroma
- Airtight container
- Large granules can encourage your cat to eat the catnip.
Yeowww! Cat Catnip
Yeowww!, is proudly made in the USA and 100% organic dried catnip.
Made from only premium flower tops and leaves for high potency and packaged in a 2oz resealable tub.
This product would work well on its own or as a refill for any Yeowww catnip toy your cat likes to play with.
It’s always a good idea to check any catnip you buy before letting your cats go nuts with it. Some catnip products will claim to be stem free however cat owners have reported otherwise.
Yeowww, is one of those catnips that are a high quality blend of flowers and leaves but at times have been found to have stems in their product. You can’t hold that against them though as it’s very, very difficult to eliminate 100% of the stems from catnip.
You might want to consider storing the catnip in a more suitable airtight container.
- 100% Organic, Chemical free catnip
- Made in the USA
- Blend of flowers and leaves
- Can contain small stems although they claim to use only flowers and leaves
- Storage tub can lose its airtightness over time
- Can contain small amounts of stem pieces
These days there are all sorts of catnip products available to cat owners in a forever changing market.
It seems no matter how organic and “stem free” a catnip is pet owners have all found small stems in all catnip products.
Taking everything into consideration the Hartz Just For Cats Catnip takes the win!
Last update on 2024-02-26 at 08:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API