For anyone who hasn’t had any experience or interest in caring for cats, catnips are a mystery. If you have zero knowledge about this weed, someone telling you that the best catnip will get a cat high will make you wonder.
First of all, why, as a responsible pet parent, would you want your pet to be drug-addled? Two, wouldn’t a substance that has a strong effect on your cat’s brain be dangerous?
It’s also puzzling just how many people give catnips to their cats. These items are even sold commercially, that those who have no idea how to proceed with catnip may be left wondering whether it’s something their fur babies need.
If you’re interested in this product, but you want to proceed with caution, make sure to read up to learn more about catnip for cats.
Cats and Catnip: What You Need to Know
What is Catnip?
Catnip is a type of perennial herb from the mint family. It has a square stem, just like other mint plants, and a brown-green foliage. Its leaves are heart-shaped with scallop edges. Some also refer to it as catmint and are very efficient in getting cats high.
How Catnip Affects Cats
Most cats are highly susceptible to the hallucinogenic effects of catnip as more than 70% of the species have a hereditary trait that reacts with one of the plant’s volatile oils known as the nepetalactone. This substance is believed to bind to the cat’s protein receptors that are responsible for sensory neurons stimulation causing a chain reaction in their brain.
Some experts say that catnip has a similar effect to marijuana and LSD in cats. Its scent is very attractive to the feline species. Humans, on the other hand, don’t have the same brain structure as cats, so we don’t get “high” on catnip. It has, however, a calming effect that some cultures used to utilize the herb as a natural pain reliever.
However, attraction to catnip is a hereditary behavior in cats. About 33% of their total population don’t react to it at all. Also, cats who have only reached sexual maturity (6 months and older) are susceptible to its effects.
How Cats React to Catnip
The very reason why a lot of people give catnip to their cats is that of their funny and amusing reaction to it. Some people liken their pets’ response to the substance to drunkenness as they tend to vocalize, roll, and drool. Some tend to get energetic and do some jumps and exhibit some aggressive behavior.
There are also some cats that look as if they’re in heat after sniffing this herb’s scent. They’ll yowl, rub, and even slobber.
Haven’t seen a cat high on catnip yet? Check out this video and see just how funny they can be:
Is Catnip Safe for Your Cat?
While cats don’t look like themselves while high on catnip, it should be noted that this is not toxic to cats. It only has an effect on them for five to fifteen minutes. After this, they’ll have some immunity to the effects for about a few hours.
Once they stop getting the “high,” the cats will eventually lose interest in catnip, so you don’t have to worry about your puss overdosing from or getting addicted to it. However, your cat can be over-indulged in catnip.
This will make catnip impotent, and your cat won’t be able to enjoy its great effects. They might also get diarrhea if they ate too much of it. Their tummies can get irritated from a high dosage of the herb’s content, and it can lead to vomiting and loose bowel movement.
This should be avoided because dehydration is a threat to animals’ health. Catnip allergy is also a possible danger for cats. It’s also a uterine stimulant, so if your cat is pregnant, you shouldn’t give her some. If you’re thinking of introducing this herb to your fur baby, it’s best to do it with great care and consideration.
The litter box’s opening or entry points must also be considered when you are buying a litter box for your cat. It should be big enough for your cat to get through. If you have kittens, buy a litter box with a low entrance point so that he’ll be able to go inside with relative ease.
Should You Give Your Cat some Catnip?
If you’re starting to think that catnip is only beneficial for owners who like to watch their feline wards do silly things, hold that thought. Catnip is quite useful for your cat and experts do think that it has a good effect on these animals.
Catnip for Stress Relief
As this herb can effectively mildly sedate these balls of energy, it’s very handy in relieving their stress. Yes, cats get stressed. These creatures like routine and familiarity, so if there are things out of place, they start to get anxious.
They develop these rashes in their skin that causes shedding and bald patches. This can lead to infections and skin diseases, which is dangerous for a cat’s health. Their digestive system gets affected as well, and they tend to have upset tummies.
Catnip can also be very beneficial to treat skin problems for your cat. Add this herb to their bath, and it can help calm and cure their skin rashes. With the scent it will give off, even cats who aren’t too fond of baths will come running for it, so you can be sure that it will be a better option than other topical creams for such ailments.
Catnip as Behavior Tools
Aside from being an effective stress reliever, catnip is also an excellent training tool for your pet. Anyone who has ever tried to train their feline friends will know how hard it can be. The tricks you use to teach your dog won’t be useful for most cats, so it’s either you live with your kitty’s personality, or you try for other ways to make them better “roommates.”
As they repeatedly respond to this herb, you can use it to train and condition your pet to do the right thing. So, yes, catnip, in general, can be good for your cat. While there are still a few things you have to be careful about, catnip is still an excellent herb that will help you keep your cat calm and happy.
It might also help you entertain and keep them fit, depending on how you use it.
What’s the Best Way to Use Catnip?
There are lots of different ways how you can use catnip that will help you make your cat more manageable. The best way would be the one that will suit yours and your pet cat’s need the best. To help you find the right one, though, here are three ways to use this herb that could make you realize why cat lovers also love catnip.
1. Serve it fresh
Some folks choose to cultivate their very own catnip plant as these herbs can also be beneficial to a human’s health. If this appeals to you, you won’t have to worry about where you can find fresh catnip leaves as you already have them on hand.
A few freshly cut leaves can be fed to your fur baby directly, and it will give them a few minutes of fun and relaxation. You can also pound them to release the aroma better to attract your cat with its scent better.
2. Rub or sprinkle it on the things you want them to use
Dried catnip is another very strong option that you can easily buy. It will still have significant effects on your cat so you can use it to relax your feline friend or train them a bit.
Most people use dried catnip to introduce new things to their cats. Rub the dried catnip into the new items or sprinkle it to new toys. The scent will attract your pet to the item you bought for them, and they’ll develop a liking for it over time.
May it be a cat post, tower, pet bed, or a new toy, they’ll surely be more attractive to the things you just bought if you add some catnip to it. Experts also suggest sprinkling catnip into pet carriers.
This will especially prove to be useful if your pet hates traveling and the sight of their crate make them frantic. The catnip will help them relax a bit as they’re being transported to the vet, helping you get their medical procedures done scratch-free.
3. Sprinkle it around a new home or environment that you want them to get familiar with right away
Moving to a new place? Make it more welcoming for your cat by adding some whiffs of catnip in the air by sprinkling dried catnip in areas where your cat will love to stay in.
Keep Your Cat Interested: Limit their Catnip Dosage
The most important thing about giving catnip to your cat is to limit their exposure to it as much as you can. You’ll want catnip to be highly potent when given to your cat so you both can enjoy its benefits so make sure only to give them some once a week.
6 of the Best Catnip Products in the Market Today
1. Kong PREMIUM ALL NATURAL CATNIP
A lot of people prefer having a canister of dried catnip for their pets instead of cultivating a perennial as it offers less work and it won’t attract the neighborhood cats into one’s yard. If you’re partial about the dried option, then Kong Naturals’ Premium All Natural Catnip might just be an excellent choice for you.
Made in North America, this product is made from all-natural, leaves and flowers of high-quality catnip plants. It is deemed as one of the best catnip products as it promises to be made from renewable resources and the best parts of the plant. Composed mostly of flowers and leaves, you can be sure to get the most amount of essential oils for your cat to enjoy.
- Very affordable
- Very potent
- Will last a long while
- Sharp stems included in the mix might harm cats that love eating the stuff
If you’re worried about what goes into your family’s bodies, you might also prefer getting organic products for your pets. Besides, they’re also your family members, so why not get the best for them as well?
So if you’re in the market for an organic catnip, SmartyKat’s Organic Catnip might just do the trick for you. Made with plants that didn’t use chemicals, pesticides, and other fillers in the US, this product promises top-shelf quality for your pet’s safety and wellness.
- Available in different sizes
- Various packaging options for different sizes allows you to choose how to store and manage your pet’s catnip supply
- Highly potent
- Made in the US
- The 2-oz variety comes in a shaker jar for easier handling
- Doesn’t come with stems, seeds, or twigs
- A bit pricier than others
nother organically grown option for dried catnip is Yeoowww’s Catnip Bags. Offered by a company well known for their quality pet products, this catnip for cats offers pure premium flower top blend which means that most of its components are from the flowers of catmint plants.
This promises high potency as the flower buds of the plant tend to contain higher doses of the oil that drive cats crazy. This also makes it a great choice for those with cats who love to munch on catnip as it won’t have a lot of stems that can hurt and puncture your pets’ mouths.
- No stems or other sharp parts included
- Made in the US
- Potent smell
- Available in different sizes and packaging options
- Bags can be easily opened, even by cats
Made in Canada, the Catnip by Cat Crack is another promising option for your feline friend. This catnip is produced with organic herbs, promising that your cat will be getting high-quality nip without any artificial ingredients or preservatives.
The plants used to make these products are also said to be cultivated during the best seasons for growing such plants, so you can be sure that they’re some of the best catnip in the market today.
- Stays fresh for a long time
- Harvested at peak season
- Effective for older cats
- Cup sizing can be a bit confusing
- A bit expensive considering that its shipping weight is .8 ounces
Another option from Canada is Pet Magasin’s catnip. This product takes pride in its finely grounded consistency, allowing it to release more aroma and potency for your pet’s enjoyment.
It’s also 100% natural, so you don’t have to worry about some preservatives and artificial ingredients your cat will consume as there will be none of those. Packaged in a durable resealable bag, it’s easy to access and keep fresh.
- Finely ground so there won’t be lots of sharp twigs and stems in the mix that can endanger your pet’s health
- Highly potent
- Good for cats who love eating catnip
- Easy to rub at things
- Heavy weight, resealable bag for packaging can be easily damaged and opened by cats if left unattended
- Quite pricey
- Some might find it too fine
Touted as the “best catnip in the universe,” OurPets’ Premium North-American Grown Catnip might sound like they’re shooting for the stars in this claim but once you try it, they’re pretty decent.
This catnip product is 100% natural, so you can be guaranteed that no extenders or additional ingredients are thrown in. It’s all catnip grown in North America that you’ll find in their jars, offering hours of a jolly good time for your cats.
- Very potent
- Strong scent
- Comes with seeds that can be planted
- Wide-mouth container makes it easy to pour out
- Stems are added in the mix making it unideal for cats who love eating catnip
- No returns allowed
Our Recommended Product
The first thing we want to note after listing down six catnip for cats reviews is the fact that not every catnip is made equal. Some are just better than others, as some plants are just healthier and cultivated in optimal conditions compared to others. This is why some brands will tickle the fancy of your kitty, while others won’t. You just have to find one with ample potency to get your pet going.
These six, however, have some of the best feedback and are highly popular among pet parents. They’re noted for their potency, with some even capable of captivating their audience while they’re still sealed and unopened.
They might have different effects - some go crazy while others mellow out - but all of them are effective on a lot of cats, so they’re easily great picks if you’re looking for a great brand to get for your pet.
If we’re to choose which one to go for, however, we’ll pick the Yeowww Catnip. This particular product is made from premium organically grown catnip, so it guarantees potency like no other. It also has a very friendly price tag, so you can be sure that you can afford it.
What makes us declare it as a winner in this list is its use of flowers and leaves. A lot of catnip products add twigs and stems that can be too rough for cats who like actually to consume the catnip, so this can be a great choice for those cats. Catnip Flower also contains more oil in them, so with more of these, the more potent the blend will be.
Of course, it’s still up to your pet which product will have the potent effect on them. These six are just some of the top picks for most cat lovers, so if you don’t know where to start looking, this list will be a great place to start. Combined with our catnip resource, you might just be able to find the best catnip for your fur baby easily.