The 5 Best Catnip Products For Cats (Spray & Toys and More Surprises)

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Cats can be aloof at times and their behavior is often difficult to understand. One thing that isn’t a mystery, however, is their love for catnip.

Catnip is a plant you can give your cat in fresh or dry form. Though each cat reacts a little bit differently, many exhibit excited (and often amusing) behavior. From toys and treats to sprays and more, catnip products come in a wide variety of different forms.

The best catnip product is one made with high-quality, ideally organic catnip, and stored properly to preserve freshness and potency. In this article, you’ll learn what to look for in a good catnip product.

Let’s take a quick look at our top 5 picks then explore them in greater depth.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks For Best Catnip Products

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We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Yeowww! Dried Catnip

  • Organic catnip harvested in the US
  • Contains premium leaves and buds
  • Resealable tub to preserve freshness
Best Silvervine Blend
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Meowijuana Purple Passion

  • Potent blend of catnip and silvervine
  • Organic plants harvested in the US
  • Packaged in a resealable plastic container
Best Catnip Spray
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

Meowijuana Catnip Spray

  • Potent alternative to dried catnip
  • Can attract cats to a certain location
  • Easy to administer spray bottle
Best Catnip Toy
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Yeowww! Catnip Yellow Banana

  • Filled with Yeowww! organic catnip
  • Curved shape good for kicking and biting
  • Twill material is attractive to cats
Best Fresh Catnip
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Pet Greens Live Fresh Catnip

  • Easy to find at Petco and Petsmart
  • Pot indoors or plant outdoors
  • Fresh catnip is very potent and effective

Top Picks Explained

A Quick Review On Catnip

While most drugs are very dangerous for cats, there’s one substance that can be likened to a recreational drug for cats that is very safe: catnip.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and it looks very similar to other herbs like peppermint, catmint, and lemon balm. Its appearance is that of a weedy green perennial plant, often topped with white or lavender-colored blooms.

For humans, catnip can be used as an insect repellant, but it can also be brewed into tea, smoked, or baked into edible treats to provide a calming, mildly sedative effect. Cats react very differently.

A certain subsection of the cat population (somewhere between 67% and 80% is very sensitive to catnip.

Cats sensitive to catnip may respond by rolling around, licking it up, rubbing their heads on objects, or engaging in general frivolity. Some cats start drooling and still others become agitated or violent.

The effects of catnip are attributed to its key chemical constituent: nepetalactone. It binds to protein receptors in your cat’s nose, stimulating his sensory neurons and activating various parts of the brain.

Learn more about catnip in our in-depth article.

The 3 Qualities Of A Good Catnip Product

Now that you’ve been reminded what catnip is and how it affects cats, we can move on to the hallmarks of a good catnip product. Here are the three things we look for:

1. A Good Catnip Product Has A Good Blend Of Buds And Leaves.

Nepetalactone, the chemical compound responsible for catnip’s effect on cats, is secreted by tiny bulbs found all over the catnip plant. These bulbs are most heavily concentrated in the leaves and buds.

The concentration of nepetalactone is impacted by the plant’s stage of life as well. Catnip tends to bloom in the late spring to early summer, at which point the nepetalactone concentration is the highest. A potent catnip product doesn’t contain a lot of stems.

2. A Good Catnip Product Is Organic.

Nepetalactone makes up between 70% and 99% of the essential oil in catnip, so all you need are the leaves and buds to achieve the desired effect. There’s no reason to add any additional ingredients and there’s no good reason not to choose an organic product.

Fortunately, organic catnip is pretty easy to find. Organic catnip doesn’t contain pesticides or other potentially harmful substances, so it’s just a safer option for your cat overall.

3. A Good Catnip Product Is Packaged Well To Stay Fresh.

It can be difficult to know how a catnip product was handled and stored prior to being delivered to the retailer. Sometimes a product might arrive in a nice-looking package, but you later find out it isn’t well-sealed and the catnip has lost some of its freshness.

Resealable packages are a must when it comes to catnip. Catnip loses its potency over time, so you want to be able to reseal the package between uses. Customer reviews are generally a reliable way to get a sense for a product’s potency as well as the efficacy of its packaging.

Our Top Picks For The Best Catnip Products

Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them!

Here are our top 5 picks for best catnip products:

#1 Overall Best: Yeowww! Dried Catnip

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Dried catnip is generally the most potent and easy to find. This particular product is a crowd-pleaser. Not only does it have a lot of positive reviews, but it was a big hit with my cats.

Yeowww! Dried Catnip is made from organic catnip harvested in the United States. The brand claims to only use flower tops and leaves to ensure maximum potency, but I did find a number of what seemed to be stems in the bag I received. I did, however, see plenty of flower tops and leaves, so I was pleased with the product overall.

This dried catnip is reasonably priced under $3.50 per ounce and it comes sealed in a plastic bag inside a resealable tub.

What We Liked:

  • Made from organic catnip harvested in the US
  • Contains premium leaves and buds
  • Comes in a resealable tub to preserve freshness
  • Affordably priced under $3.50 per ounce

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Label can be misleading, may contain some stems

#2 Best Silvervine Blend: Meowijuana Purple Passion

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While many cats react to catnip, some don’t. If your cat doesn’t seem interested in catnip, he might respond to silvervine. Native to China and Japan, silvervine is a species of kiwifruit belonging to the Actinidiaceae family. It contains high concentrations of actinidine which is responsible for its effects.

In addition to being an alternative to catnip, this silvervine blend is something up an upgrade pick. It’s priced around $10 for just under an ounce and it seems to be a bit more potent than catnip.

Meowijuana Purple Passion is a blend of catnip and silvervine, so it works well for multi-cat households where some cats respond to catnip and others don’t. Meowijuana offers a wide variety of catnip and silvervine products, so you can choose the one that best suits your cat.

All Meowijuana Purple Passion products are made with organic catnip farmed in the United States and Canada. They use buds and leaves to ensure maximum potency and the product is packaged in a nice resealable jar.

What We Liked:

  • Potent blend of catnip and silvervine
  • Made from organic plants harvested in the US
  • Packaged in a resealable plastic container
  • Contains a nice mixture of buds and leaves

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Somewhat expensive compared to other options

#3 Best Catnip Spray: Meowijuana Catnip Spray

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Another product from Meowijuana, this catnip spray is great for attracting your cat to a certain location. It may not be as fun for your cat to interact with as fresh or dried catnip, but it may encourage your cat to use a new scratching post or bed without making a mess.

Meowijuana Catnip Spray is potent and effective, and it gets great customer reviews. Overall, it’s a good product that offers a flexible use case.

Like other Meowijuana products, this catnip spray isn’t exactly cheap. You’ll spend about $8 for a 1-ounce bottle but the quality seems to be a little higher than the average catnip product.

What We Liked:

  • Potent alternative to dried catnip
  • Can be used to attract cats to a certain location
  • Easy to administer spray bottle

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Somewhat expensive, about $8 per ounce
  • Less interactive than fresh or dried catnip

#4 Best Catnip Toy: Yeowww! Catnip Yellow Banana

Yeowww! Catnip Yellow Banana Cat Toy

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With over 17,000 reviews on Amazon, the Yeowww! Catnip Yellow Banana is easily one of the most popular catnip products on the market. It was an easy choice as my top pick for the best catnip toy.

Cats really like this toy for a number of reasons. First, it’s made with that Yeowww! organic catnip that has a history of potency and efficacy. Second, it has a curved shape perfect for biting and bunny-kicking. Even the twill material is attractive to cats.

The number-1 complaint about this toy is that it isn’t particularly durable. As a hand-sewn toy, it comes apart at the seams with heavy kicking and biting. If your cat isn’t particularly rambunctious, however, it seems relatively durable.

This toy costs under $5 for a single banana, or you can save a little purchasing it in a 3-pack.

What We Liked:

  • Filled with Yeowww! organic catnip
  • Curved shape is appealing for kicking and biting
  • Twill material is attractive to cats

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not withstand heavy kicking and biting

#5 Best Fresh Catnip: Pet Greens Live Fresh Catnip

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Dried catnip is convenient, but if you’re looking for a long-term supply of catnip you may want to consider growing it on your own. If you’re not comfortable using seeds or prefer a quick-start method, fresh catnip may be the way to go.

This fresh catnip from Pet Greens is easy to find at Petco and Petsmart and it can be potted indoors or planted in your garden. It’s a perennial plant, so it will go dormant in the winter and come back in the spring. Just keep in mind it does best in strong direct sunlight.

The only issue with this product is that the packaging may be a little deceptive. It’s marked with a symbol that says “All Natural” which looks remarkably similar to the USDA’s organic symbol, though there’s no indication that it’s an organic product.

You can buy this little pot of fresh catnip for about $8 or you can find a packet of catnip seeds at your local home and garden store for just a few dollars.

What We Liked:

  • Easy to find at Petco and Petsmart
  • Can be potted indoors or planted outdoors
  • Fresh catnip is very potent and effective
  • Perennial plant, comes back every spring

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Packaging is a little deceptive

While the mechanism through which catnip creates its familiar response is still something of a mystery, there’s no denying that cats love the stuff. If you’re looking for a simple way to encourage your cat to exercise or just need a little entertainment for yourself, try one of the catnip products recommended above.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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