The Best Cat Nips

When it comes to treating your cat, buying them some catnip is sure to be a winner. Catnip comes from a plant called Nepeta cataria; when cats are exposed to it, they display feelings of enjoyment, including purring, rolling around on the floor, or even sedation. Catnap is a popular treat for these effects, which last for around ten minutes following exposure to it. If you are on the hunt for some catnip for your feline, here are our top five picks from which to choose.

Temptations Classic Crunchy and Soft Cat Treats, 16 oz. Tub

Complete and balanced nutrition

The Temptations classic crunchy and soft treats come in 16-ounce boxes and are available in a range of flavors, including catnip. This product is suitable for adult cats.
Best Overall

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Pros:
Edible catnip treats are well-loved by cats, and the treats’ small size means that a little will go a long way. Each individual serving is under two calories per piece, which is ideal as many pet treats can make a cat become unhealthy; if your cat is on a diet, they can still enjoy this product. The secure container also makes it easy to store the catnip, as bags can be easily opened by curious cats. The container also helps keep the product fresher for longer. And for such an affordable price, it’s great value.

Cons:
This catnip is difficult to fault as it’s a highly rated product, however one niggle is that it contains some artificial colors and ingredients. However, it’s also fortified to contain other essential nutrients and vitamins to offset this slight disadvantage.

Catit Cat Scratcher Boards with Catnip

Help your cat work off energy

Doubling as a cat scratcher, this catnip-infused product allows your cat to inhale catnip as opposed to ingesting it, all while they sharpen their claws.
Best for Energetic Cats

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Pros:
Cat scratchers are an essential tool for your cat, not least because it helps avoid furniture damage. If you are looking to encourage your cat not to scratch on other more valuable areas of your home, having a catnip-infused scratcher can really help with the transition. It also allows your cat to experience catnip without feeding them treats, which may be inappropriate if your cat is overweight or suffers from sensitivities or allergies to certain food ingredients.

Cons:
This product is made from cardboard, which cats love to scratch; however, it could create a mess in your home and shorten the lifespan of the product, as cardboard is not the most durable material. As the catnip is infused into the product, it’s not the same as giving them a reward in the form of food, meaning you may have to buy other cat treats.

OurPets 100 Percent North American Catnip Filled Cat Toys (Interactive Cat Toys for Indoor Cats, Kitten Toy, Cat Chew Toy & Catnip Toys for Cats)

Ensured a fulfilling play experience

A banana-shaped toy that is filled with catnip. It's designed to aid mental stimulation and to give your cat the benefit of exposure to catnip through play.
Best Cat Nip Toy

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Pros:
Cats love their toys, especially if it involves a game or puzzle. As this toy has catnip hidden within it that is released with applied pressure, it will keep them curious about the scent. The product is pre-filled with catnip, meaning you don’t have to buy this separately or top it up. It’s made in North America with 100% pure catnip inside, making it a high-quality product.

Cons:
The fact that this toy not refillable means less hassle for you, but it also means that if your cat finds that the toy’s scent is not strong enough, then you cannot top it up or put it through a wash cycle if it gets dirty. In any case, 78% of users rated this as a five-star product, meaning that, for most people, the scent and toy itself were thoroughly enjoyed by their cats.

OurPets Cosmic Catnip, 100% Natural, Premium North-American Grown Catnip (Maximum Potency Catnip with an Enticing Aroma)

A Tempting and Enticing Cat Nip Aroma

This is highly potent loose catnip that you can spread across the floor for your cat to roll around in and enjoy. The product is 100% natural, made in the USA, and available in several different sizes
Best Potency

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Pros:
If your cat enjoys rolling around in catnip so the scent covers their fur, then a loose version such as this product is ideal. Unlike food varieties, this product is 100% natural, so your cat will not consume fattening or artificial ingredients. You can also use this product to infuse catnip into toys or particular areas of your home. The 2.25-ounce jar is secure and will keep the product fresh.

Cons:
This product is marred by a mixed bag of reviews when it comes to how cats react to it. However, not all cats react to catnip in general, so that should be taken into consideration when perusing the negative reviews. The packaging does not have a seal that would keep it fresher longer.

SmartyKat Certified Organic Catnip

Great Value, yet Affordable

Presented in a plastic pouch container, the SmartyKat organic catnip is made in China, and at such an affordable price, is the least expensive of our picks.
Best Organic Ingredients

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Pros:
By far the biggest advantage of this product is its low cost, which is about half the price of other loose catnip products. The loose leaves make it easy to spread around the home or put into toys. The slim pouch packaging takes up far less space than plastic containers, meaning you can store it more discreetly. It boasts an Amazon’s Choice award, with 75% of customers rating this as a five-star product.

Cons:
The container is lightweight; however, it would be easy for your cat to claw the packaging open. Some users have found their cats to not react to the scent, despite previously being very reactive to other brands of catnip.

What Really Matters

Product Type

Just like there are many different breeds of cat, you can also find catnip in a wide range of formulas and product types. Typically, catnip comes in a loose variety that can be added to food, toys or placed in specific areas of your home. You can also sprinkle a small pile of catnip on the floor to encourage your cats to congregate in a small location. Catnip can also be found in bite-sized treats that can be eaten by your cat. In addition, you can also find products infused with catnip. The product type you choose depends on whether you simply want to give your cat a treat, encourage play, or scratching.

Strong Scent

Animals are renowned for their strong sense of smell, so it makes sense that they are most likely to be attracted to catnip that has a pungent aroma as opposed to a weaker blend. How the catnip is presented (i.e. loose or infused), may alter how strong the scent is. For example, if the catnip is in a scratching post or toy, the scent might not be as easy to detect as loose catnip leaves. However, some toys actually produce a stronger scent when pressed. Always read the reviews to ensure that the product you buy will give an authentic, strong scent. After all, if the scent is weak, your cat is unlikely to react, which is ultimately a waste of money.

Natural Ingredients

Not all catnip is created equal. For the most premium quality catnip, look for 100% organic, pure catnip. Be aware that catnip that is not the loose variety (such as bite-sized treats) may contain artificial colors or ingredients. While these are not specifically harmful to your cat, certain ingredients may be unhealthy or create digestive issues if your cat has an allergy. The location in which the catnip is produced may also indicate quality, so look for authentic American catnip wherever possible. Avoid filler ingredients, as they may dampen the catnip’s aroma.

Packaging

Cats are natural hunters and it’s a given that they will find the scent of catnip irresistible if they know where it is kept; it’s likely that they will go after it. If the catnip you purchase is in a flimsy plastic bag, then your cat can easily claw through it to open it. In fact, several cat owners have even uploaded videos of their cat with a whole box all over the floor. While it won’t necessarily do your cat any harm, it’s costly (not to mention wasteful) if they get into the bag without your permission. Therefore, look for secure containers that can only be opened by a human. Additionally, the more secure containers will promote the freshness of the product too.

FAQs

Why do cats love catnip?

The answer lay in the leaves of catnip, which emit a scent that evokes a positive reward in a cat’s brain. Catnip (also known as Nepeta cataria) is a plant that belongs to the mint family. Cats’ reaction to catnip is caused by an organic molecule that is released from the plant called nepetalactone. Cats are highly attracted to nepetalactone and will display their delight through licking, chewing, or rolling in the scent. Some cats will meow and even drool when they come into contact with it. Catnip stimulates three different key areas of the cat’s brain, which explains why it produces such a strong reaction.

Do all cats react to catnip?

No. Cats that are under six months old do not respond to catnip. In addition, it’s estimated only 50-70% of cats respond to catnip in general. In addition to the age variable, genetics play a part in whether your cat is likely to respond to catnip or not. Catnip has been tested on domestic cats as well as big cats such as tigers and lions; researchers and keepers find that big cats react equally as well to catnip as domestic cats.

How often should I give my cat catnip?

Catnip will only affect your cat for around fifteen minutes. After this time, it will take up to two hours before they become receptive to it again. If cats are exposed to catnip too frequently, they may become desensitized to it. Therefore, it’s advised not to give your cat catnip more than twice a month. Keep this in mind when introducing lots of toys or scratching posts that are infused with catnip, especially if you also give your cat loose catnip as a treat, too.