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The fact that most cats love catnip is no secret, and is a good way to relax your cat, or introduce them to new places, toys or objects. Containing the compound nepetalactone, this magic mint-like herb will perk up your feline and give them a short-lived feelgood factor. And it’s totally safe to use, as long as your cat is one of the approximately 75% of domestic felines that respond to catnip’s enticing aroma.
Whether its fresh, dried or a catnip spray, used in moderation, catnip for cats can be added to their toys, their play area, their pet carrier or parts of your home to elicit a happy, playful response in your pet. So, if you are new to nepetalactone or want to try a new brand, we’ve sniffed out some of the best catnip products you can buy.
All-natural and without chemicals, Cat Crack is a potent catnip your kit will go mad for. Harvested at the peak of the season to ensure the quality of the all-important nepetalactone chemical compound, Cat Crack is a top-end catnip at a good value price, making it our review’s best catnip for all cat owners. And, thanks to the way it’s harvested, dried and packaged, it is also one of the strongest catnip products in our review. The dried herb formula is easy to pinch and spread, whether that’s in your cat’s carrier to entice them or on their cat toys to add an extra fun element to their play. Each plastic tub also has a screw on lid, to ensure it stays fresh, which should keep you and your kitty happy.
Produced in Ohio for over 30 years, you get the reassurance of Our Pets’ successful heritage in its 100% natural catnip. In a keep fresh tub and made without chemicals, this is a high potency catnip with a best value price-tag. The aroma is pretty strong and works well to entice your kit, leaving them happy and feeling good. It can also be used effectively to prevent any destructive behavior – simply sprinkle in the affected area and watch the catnip work its magic! The formula has a rougher consistency than some other catnip products, but it’s still easy to use and for the price, Our Pets Catnip should last a decent amount of time.
Certified 100% organic, SmartyKat have produced a quality catnip that’s safely potent for your cat. Plus, there are no fillers to bulk out the dried catnip flakes, so it has a clean look and feel. We like the shaker-style container which helps spreading the joy of catnip a breeze. In a two-ounce canister that you can either shake or pour, this catnip should also last you well. It’s environmentally friendly too, as the organic catnip is grown without pesticides or chemicals. This is an excellent formula to add to your cat’s toys or to sprinkle in his pet carrier to relax him before a long journey.
In an excellent value three-ounce canister, this 100% natural catnip from Pet Craft is a good choice for a multiple cat household. Grown and harvested in the north west US, there are no artificial nasties in this dried formula and while it does contain some stems, the bulk is leaves and flowers. And the potency is decent too, with a good level of aroma that cats love. We were impressed with the quality control when packing this catnip, with each tub hand-packed and the lid hand-tightened before dispatch. The plastic canister is also air-tight so a great way to seal in the freshness and prolong the life of your catnip.
This is the same 100% organically grown catnip used in Yeowww’s range of catnip toys and a great addition to your cat care kit. Use it to top up the catnip in your kit’s toys or sprinkle in a space where they can settle back and enjoy the feelgood catnip effect. And this organic catnip smells fantastic, with a strong, fresh minty leaf odor to catch your kit’s attention. And you can up the odor quota by simply pinching or rubbing the dried formula to release more of those fun-filled nepetalactone oils. The lid on the tub isn’t a screw on, but snaps into place, just take extra care that the seal is all the way round to keep this organic catnip fresh.
Made from quality ingredients and dried to preserve its freshness, Cat Dope is safe enough for older and younger cats. A good catnip for kittens, Cat Dope is 100% natural and has a fine blend formula that’s easy to measure and scatter. And, as it’s harvested at the peak of the season, the oil quality is impressive. The result is an enticing aroma to draw your kit in, producing that feelgood euphoria that drives them happy crazy. This catnip can also be used as a training aid, for when your kit needs to learn boundaries as well as how to play or use their cat tower or scratch pole. And contained in an airtight plastic container, you can ensure this quality catnip stay fresh, ready for your cat’s next nepetalactone treat.
KittyKrack combines two natural odors to create a powerful combination that they say gives a longer-lasting experience compared to conventional catnip. Made from organically grown silverine, this alternative to catnip has the same feelgood and is 100% organic. Silverine is a native plant from the mountains of east Asia and gives a temporary euphoric effect and is totally pet safe. But the difference to catnip is that the happy effects of silvervine can last up to half an hour due to the fact that silvervine has two ‘attractants’ while catnip has one. In a ground powder, you use silvervine as you would conventional catnip, sprinkling a small amount on their toys or the space you want them to relax or play. Available in a smart tin, the packaging also keeps the contents airtight and fresh, making it a worthy alternative to the best catnip.
Catnip is a natural plant that can temporarily prompt positive behavior changes in cats, as well as leave them with a lovely euphoric feeling. It’s non-toxic and non-addictive and safe for your cat. The official name of catnip is Nepetaria cataria and is a member of the mint family, giving it its lovely fragrance.
The effect on your cat comes from nepetalactone, a compound found in the flower tops and leaves of catnip which wields its intoxicating power when your cat smells its scent. Used fresh, as a dried herb or as a catnip spray, it not only stimulates and calms, it also makes your kit feel playfully happy. However, not all cats are naturally tuned into catnip and it only affects the behavior of 60-75% of felines.
What Does Catnip Do to Cats?
Catnip is a ‘happy herb’, with the nepetalactone temporarily altering the chemicals in a feline’s brain, leading to a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. It can also sometimes cause aggression.
You will often also see your kitty getting excited around the best catnip, sniffing, licking, even chewing, and rolling around in the herb. These reactions are short-lived however, typically lasting no longer than 15 minutes, after which your kit should become relaxed and content. They will also be immune to the effects of any more catnip for around two hours.
Things to Consider When Buying Catnip for Your Cat
With catnip perfectly safe for your cat, there are some key things to consider when buying it for your pet:
Quality: The potency of the catnip will influence its effect on your cat so make sure you are buying a product with high quality ingredients. As the leaves and flowers of catnip have the highest levels of nepetalactone, look for products that only contain these parts of the plant and is not bulked up with the stems or seeds.
Organic catnip: To be sure you’re giving your kit the best catnip that’s free of pesticides and chemicals, opt for an organic catnip product. Organic catnip can be found in fresh, dry, spray and oil forms.
Dry or spray: The form of catnip you buy will depend on how you want to use it. Dried catnip is easily to scatter around, but your cat can have a little nibble (it’s safe to eat but too much catnip can upset your kit’s tum). If you are buying dried catnip, look for a formula that has minimal stalks and is predominately made up from leaves and flower heads. Sprays or oils are less visible and can offer a lighter concentration if your cat can over-react to the dry form.
No preservatives or additives: You want your catnip to be as natural as possible so you can be sure it is totally safe for your cat. So, look for a natural or organic catnip that is labelled all-natural ingredients.
Shelf-life: Depending on whether it’s fresh, dried or a catnip spray formula, catnip will have a best-before date to ensure it’s in tip-top condition for your cat. If you opt for dried catnip, make sure you store it in an airtight, lidded container in-between uses to ensure its freshness. And always replace the lid on any catnip spray you use.
How to Use Catnip
There are several ways you can use catnip, depending on your kit’s preferences.
Served fresh: Fresh catnip is easily grown at home and can be cultivated in your own herb garden. This means you have access to the leaves and flower tops, which can be cut fresh and a handful crushed or pounded to release the nepetalactone oils your cat will be attracted to.
Use dried: The most common way to use catnip is to buy it pre-dried and ready to use. Dried catnip is pretty potent so it is best to slowly introduce your cat to its effects so they can get used to it.
Whether you use fresh catnip or dried, the plant has a host of beneficial uses, for both you and your cat. It can be used to introduce your kit to new things, such as beds, toys, rooms or even a new home. Simply sprinkle or use a catnip spray in the area you want your kit to happily go and let the heady scent drawn them in. The dried herb can also be packaged in catnip sticks. Catnip can also be used in their carrier or crate if you have a cat that is reluctant to travel. And for enhancing their play or relaxation time, add sparsely to their cat toys, scratcher post or tower for an irresistible experience.
A: Not all cats will actually react to the nepetalactone in catnip. It is thought that between 60-75% of felines are sensitive to the product and will get that lovely feelgood. And as this reaction is inherited, some breeds or individual cats will simply not respond and will be totally indifferent to the catnip charm.
Q: How much catnip do I give my cat?
A: While there is no chance that your cat can overdose on catnip as it is non-toxic, even if eaten, too much all at once can make them feel a little queasy. It can also reduce the positive effect it has on your cat. Small doses -are the only way to go – a few pinches of the dried herb is enough – as it doesn’t take much to give your kit that catnip buzz. For the best results, always follow the instructions on your catnip product and never exceed the recommended dose.
Q: Is it bad to give it every day?
A: Moderation is essential when giving your pet catnip. Although catnip is perfectly safe for your pet, you can dilute the pleasurable effect on your cat by giving it to them every day. Used too often and the catnip ‘high’ won’t be as good and it is meant to be a treat. So, avoid getting into the habit of giving catnip to your feline every day; once or twice a week will ensure the catnip has the desired potency to benefit your kit. If you do give them catnip more than this, they can develop an ‘immunity’ to its effects.
Q: How long do the effects of catnip last?
A: Although the feelings in your cat created by catnip can be quite intense, they are short-lived, typically lasting no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Once the euphoria created by catnip has passed, your cat will not be receptive to the herb for at least two hours before they can experience the same pleasurable feelings.
Our Top Pick
All-natural and with a higher level of nepetalactone thanks to the way it is harvested and packaged, Cat Crack Catnip scoops our best all-round Top Pick. The dried formula is easy to use, and with just a few pinches needed, will go a long way. Sprinkle on their toys, in their cat bed or around the home to help keep your cat calm, playful, and happy. And as it comes in a resealable tub, you get a long-lasting product for your money.