Best Catnip – Our Top Picks by Category

What is the best catnip? First we have to narrow in on what type of catnip you are looking for.

“What do you mean? Catnip is catnip. You know, the plant.”

Well welcome to the future. Due to the great scientific advancements of the 20th and 21st centuries, we now have a variety of choices when it comes to catnip consumption.

Let’s take a look at these choices and our picks in each category. 

We will also mention what dangers to look out for when purchasing items in these categories.

The 5 Top-Rated Catnips

Editor's PickBrand
Best CatnipYeoww! Catnip
Best Catnip SprayKong - Catnip Spray
Best Catnip ToyYeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana
Best Catnip TreatTemptations MixUps - Catnip Fever
Best Catnip Dental ChewWoLover Matatabi Silvervine Sticks

Best Catnip Categories

I have one note before we get started.

Not all cats react to catnip. Some cats are not affected at all. Others tear open mail packages if there is a catnip toy inside. Our cat is somewhere between. She gets lazy and heavily lounges. She also gets a little testy if we try to take it away from her. The easiest way to see how it affects your cat is to try it out.

If you want to learn more about catnip and nepetalactone (the active ingredient in catnip) check out our article What Does Catnip and Silver Vine do to Cats?.

“Straight-up” Catnip

For those kickin it old school with your catnip tastes. In this category we are referring to loose catnip.

People buy it in bags or tubs and rub it on their cat’s toys or scratching posts. You can also take old socks and fill them with the catnip to make your own cat toys.

What to watch out for

Since you are buying a box of chopped up plant parts, it is very easy for someone to sell you something that is not catnip. This can be something harmless that will have no effect on your cat. It can also be something toxic or treated with something toxic. This poison can affect you, your cat or both.

The way to combat this is to get your catnip from a reputable dealer. I’m not saying you need to do a background check. I am saying you should have the same level of comfort that you have when you buy your cat’s food. Your cat will most likely ingest some of the plant while playing.

We sleep better at night knowing that the plant didn’t come from an unmarked bin.

Catnip Spray

This is concentrated catnip oil mixed with some other liquid. You can use this mixture by spraying it on your cat’s toys, scratching posts, kitty condos or whatever else you think your cat might enjoy.

What to watch out for

See how we said “other liquid”? That’s a big one. Make sure your catnip spray is made out of natural ingredients. This includes reading the label as well as buying a reputable brand.

Catnip Toys

These are toys filled or made out of catnip. Some people believe the effectiveness of the catnip in the toys lessens over time. Seeing as the oils in the catnip plant have an effect on cats, we can get behind this. We believe over time the strength of the catnip will grow weaker with the loss of the oils. But chances are your cat can still have fun with the toy, even without the catnip attractant.

What to watch out for

Toys with sharp edges can cause some serious damage to your cat’s mouth and digestive system. Make sure that your toy can stand up to your cat’s abuse. Sometimes you won’t know this until your cat plays with it.

Keep an eye on your cat when giving it any new toy. Make sure the toy does not instantly fall apart and your cat swallows pieces that can hurt them.

Catnip Treats

These are treats containing catnip. They come in many different flavors and textures.

Speaking honestly, our cat would come running thru a lake of fire regardless of what bag of treats we happen to be shaking at the other side. But since these treats contain catnip they could give an extra “effect” after eating them. The extent of this effect does depend on your cat’s sensitivity to catnip.

What to watch out for

You might have read that first sentence and said, “Duh! Catnip treats contain catnip? Thanks for that!”

No need to be mean. Don’t worry, we’ve already forgiven you.

Shockingly, we have found many catnip treats that DO NOT CONTAIN CATNIP!

Seriously! We’ve found some treats that were “catnip flavored”.

Although I understand what they mean, I don’t understand what they mean. You know what I mean?

So yeah, biggest one here is to check the ingredients. Somewhere on the label it should say “catnip powder” or something similar.

Your “catnip treat” might not actually contain catnip.

Catnip Dental Chews

Here we are referring to “dental chews” as something your cat will chew on to better their dental health. By “catnip” we mean catnip or a catnip alternative. There is a reason we are allowing catnip alternatives here.

In our research we had trouble finding something that matched both “dental chew” and “catnip”. We found dental chews that were “catnip flavored”, but these did not contain catnip.

So, we are broadening our definition to give you something that can also produce results. We are including silver vine in this category. Silver vine does have compounds like those found in catnip and produces similar effects.

To learn more about the effects of silver vine and catnip, check out our article.

What to watch out for

As we said earlier, check your ingredients. “Catnip flavoring” is not the same as “catnip” or “catnip powder”.

And since your cat will be actively chewing on this, make sure to periodically monitor your cats. Prevent them from swallowing large chunks that might obstruct their digestive system.

Our Top Picks By Category

Original Catnip –  Yeowww! Catnip

We chose Yeowww! Catnip as our top “straight-up catnip” for two reasons: Quality and Reputation.

The “Premium Leaf and Flowertop Blend” contains the parts of the plant that contain plenty of oils. These oils contain lots of the chemicals your cat reacts to. This means you are getting a better value by weight than if it contained mostly stems.

The lack of stems also makes it easier to rub the catnip on scratching posts and cat towers. This is our favorite way to use loose catnip.

Yeowww! Catnip is organically grown in the USA. This gives you peace of mind that your catnip will not contain harsh chemicals which can negatively affect your cat.

You can buy it in bags or in tubs. We prefer tubs. This allows us to store the catnip easier and keep it fresh.

Catnip Spray – Kong Catnip Spray

Kong Catnip Spray comes from the same Kong Company that brings you dog and cat toys. We like the fact that this catnip spray comes from an established company, founded in 1976. Since then they have built a name that today’s pet owners trust.

Kong Catnip Spray is made of natural ingredients. The statement from the company is, “all ingredients and oils come from natural, renewable resources.”

Natural and environmental! We’re in!

This product dries clear. This is a great alternative to loose catnip if you do not like the dried leaves scattered throughout your home. It’s catnip without the mess!

Catnip Toy – Yeowww! Yellow Banana

We picked this Yeowww! Catnip Toy because IT’S A BANANA!!!!

It is so adorable to see a cat playing with a banana. What is there not to love?

The Yeowww! Catnip Banana is a favorite among fans. And by fans we mean the cats!!! Some cats have torn open mail packages to get at the banana. Cats LOVE this toy!

Since it is made in the United States by an established company you can rest easier about the quality of materials going into this toy.

There is a report that has come up often enough to be worth mentioning. Some have said that the toy lasts for a short amount of time. One person reported it took only 10 – 15 minutes for their cat to rip the toy to shreds!

The length of time this toy will last really does depends on your cat. The toy could have a short life if your cat goes crazy for catnip and plays rough. If this sounds like your cat it probably happens with any toy.

Other people reported keeping this toy for years. Though not made out of bullet proof material, we feel the quality is acceptable.

We know we already picked a Yeowww! product for our list. We usually like to switch things up, but this is such a great toy we had to share!

Catnip Treat – Temptations MixUps – Catnip Fever

Temptations MixUps – Catnip Fever is brought to you by a company that we have been using for years. If memory serves correctly, Temptations is the first cat treat brand that I ever bought. Widely spread, it is a company I greatly trust.

But on to the treats! Temptations MixUps – Catnip Fever contains catnip powder. Not artificial flavoring, but real catnip!

And if your cat does not react to catnip they will still love Temptations treats. Our cat has never complained.

Temptations also makes all of their treats “100% nutritionally complete and balanced for adult maintenance”. They are under 2 calories a piece, so you can play fun games without fattening up your kitty.

We have a game we would like to share.

We like to slide the treats across a hard floor. Our cat loves to chase the treats and pounce on them. We feel it awakens her natural hunting instincts. It’s a really fun game and we recommend you try it too!

Catnip Dental Chew – WoLover Matatabi Silver Vine Sticks

Ok, here is where we are cheating a little bit. WoLover Matatabi Silver Vine Sticks are not made of catnip, but rather silver vine.

We wrote an article describing the effects of catnip and silver vine.

Definitely read that when you get a chance. For now know that silver vine contains less of what catnip contains. However, it does contain way more of something different that causes the same effects as catnip.

Like, way more.

More importantly, silver vine has been considered safe for cats for many years.

Guiding our decision towards silver vine sticks is that we could not find catnip dental chews. Everything was “catnip flavored” with no actual catnip.

WoLover Matatabi Silvervine Sticks are sticks of silver vine. Make sure to scratch off the outer layer of bark to expose the inside. This is an important step and many people see better results after doing this.

Cats play with and chew on the sticks. This chewing action exfoliates the teeth to help remove plaque.

Of course, your cat also gets the benefits of catnip as well. Clean teeth and a happy cat.

You can regularly peel back more of the bark to freshen the potency. This saves money since you don’t have to completely replace the chew.

Having different chemicals than catnip could be a good thing. If your cat did not react to catnip, they might react to silver vine.

Of course your cat could react to both. That’s one lucky cat.

And I’ll remind you about reasonable expectations.

In our research we have seen that cats are more attracted to the fruit galls of the silver vine plant, not the wood. This has been demonstrated in controlled studies.

We are talking about cats, not dogs. If you are expecting your cat to gnaw on this like a dog on a bone you might be disappointed.

Also, if you are giving your cat a stick to chew on there will be splinters on the floor. Some cats make more of a mess than others. Some users report removing the bark first helps keep the mess to a minimum. We ourselves never considered this an issue.

What’s next with catnip?

If you are an experienced pet parent, we think you know where to go from here. Remember, it’s a banana!

If you just adopted your cat or kitten and/or this is your first round with catnip, here is what you should do:

The spray is up to you. We actually choose to rub loose catnip instead of using sprays. It’s a matter of preference.

Of course, you can always grow your own catnip like we do. But that is another tale.

We hope you’ll join us there as well.

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