It’s pretty well known that catnip is the equivalent of kitty drugs. For many cats, one whiff of this natural herb gets them buzzed and makes them act absolutely ridiculous. Some cats mellow out while around go from zero to a hundred in 0.1 of a second. It’s not just our housecats that like catnip; many large cats such as bobcats, lions, and tigers have the same response!
There are a lot of catnip and catnip-related products on the markets lately, so we’ve reviewed and researched some of the top products with the most reviews to bring you our latest top ten list of best catnips for cats! We hope to offer you some direction to finding a fix for your feline.
A Quick Look at Our 2022 Favorites
The 10 Best Catnips
1. Yeowww! Organic Catnip – Best Overall
|Form:||Dried leaf and flower|
Our best overall catnip choice is this tub from Yeowww. This catnip is certified organic s contains only 100% pure leaves and flowers of the catnip plant, chopped finely. No chemical pesticides are used in the growth and processing of Yeowww’s catnip, and it’s processed to remove hard sticks and stems that offer no real benefit to cats and can be a choking hazard.
We loved this product for its simple but potent product. There are no bells and whistles in this tub of catnip, but it has mountains of reviews backing up its high potency claims. It appears the high-quality plant and processing has proven to be superior in creating just good catnip! Most of the negative reviews are to do with the packaging, a simple plastic tub, which breaks easily and has broken in transit in a few instances.
2. Fat Cat Zoom Around The Room Organic Catnip – Best Value
|Packaging:||½-oz plastic bag (can be purchased in bundles)|
|Form:||Dried leaf and flower|
Our best value choice is this wee baggy of catnip from Kitty Hoots. It offers all the goodness of quality locally grown catnip in a very affordable package. While the packaging is small, we see this as a positive thing! Your cat only needs small amounts of nip, and once catnip is exposed to air, it starts to lose its potency, so this small package means you will likely use all the catnip up before it goes off. The small package is cheap, and you can purchase it in bundles of 1, 2, 4, or 6. Definitely the best catnip for the money on the market.
However, while it is proudly marketed to be grown in the US, it’s then shipped offshore for processing and returned to the US for selling. But for this price, there’s only so much they can do! Some reviewing customers didn’t love how powdery the product was, as it tended to make more of a mess.
3. Meowijuana Whisker Tickler Catnip – Premium Choice
|Packaging:||1-oz plastic tube|
|Form:||Dried herbal blend|
This product is one of many catnip blends from Meowijuana. This particular product is blended with chamomile and dandelion to create a fusion that helps to relax cats. Reviewers have positive things to say about that, citing their success in calming down high-strung cats. With great results like that, this can be a natural alternative to help to ease anxiety in cats.
Most reviews stated they did not like the lid on the tube as it resembled one you would get with proper medication. Its push-and-turn childlock lid was super difficult for some to open. If you struggle with such things, then this may not suit you!
4. Van Ness Fresh Nip
|Packaging:||Resealable 1-oz foil bag|
|Form:||Dried flowers and leaves|
This dried catnip from Van Ness is another excellent choice. It’s a simple, finely ground product, but reviews show it works well, boosting a strong scent and a high potency. It is also grown, processed, and packaged in the USA, a big drawcard for many.
We really liked the resealable foil packaging that keeps catnip fresh between uses. However, while this catnip is advertised as smooth and delicate, many customers found sharp stems mixed in.
5. From The Field Stalkless Catnip
|Packaging:||5-oz plastic tub|
|Form:||Dried flowers and stems|
Another highly rated catnip is this stalkless catnip made by From The Field. This company prides itself on its 100% natural products free from any chemicals, additives, or preservatives. In addition, this product is grown and made in the US.
What reviewers really liked about this product, in addition to its effectiveness, is its incredibly smooth texture. It’s ground down perfectly, and there are no reports of unwanted stalks and stems. But, just like our top choice, we do not rate this packaging very highly. The plastic tub does keep catnip fresh, but it tends to be flimsy and has split in transit.
6. From The Field Catnip Spray
|Packaging:||1-oz spray bottle|
This product is also made by the From The Field company! They have featured twice for a good reason. As mentioned above, they are 100% organic and made in the USA. This product is made from distilled and extracted oil from the catnip plants at the peak of their potency. It offers a tidier alternative to the messy traditional dried catnip.
This high potency spray can give a similar effect to dried catnip but without cleanup. It is also popular for training purposes. However, because it is oil instead of a physical dried plant, it offers less fun than the physical form with which cats can directly interact. While it only comes in a small bottle, a little goes a long way with this 1-oz bottle offered 200 sprays.
7. From The Field Catnip Buds
Wait a second…three products from From The Field? Yeah, they make excellent catnip products! This product may be a bit different than the catnip you are used to. It is the catnip in its purest form, the bud. This bud produces the highest amount of buzz-inducing chemicals, so it offers the most potency.
Due to its size and shape, it is also a lot more interactive for your cat to touch and manipulate, allowing them to engage with it a lot more than a simple sprinkle of ground product. Unfortunately, it also has that average plastic tub packaging we aren’t a fan of due to its poor strength.
8. Meowijuana Purrple Passion
|Packaging:||Airtight glass jar|
This catnip from Meowjiuana is also presented in bud form. We absolutely loved the packaging for these buds. The air-tight glass jar is durable and stays secure during shipping and keeps buds fresh. These buds are hand-picked to ensure they are all at the highest potency and then hand-processed for quality. The result is a highly potent, strong-smelling catnip that makes cats go crazy. It must be mentioned that because the form is a bud, there will naturally be some stems, but some reviewers said these stems are sharp and harmful to cats. Be sure to remove the bud from the stem before giving it to your cat.
9. Multipet Catnip Cups
|Packaging:||Single-serve plastic cups|
|Form:||Dried leaves and flowers|
The packaging of this product from Multipet is what drew us to it. When purchased, it comes with 12 single serves of catnip. This is a great way to manage “portion control” with your cat’s catnip and means that a once opened bag will not go stale and lose its potency. This ensures that every catnip treat offers the same fun as the one before.
The single serves are great for traveling but less great for the environment. There was nowhere on the information that claimed it was organic, so we can’t be sure it has remanet chemicals from the growth and processing.
10. From The Field Catnip & Silver Vine Mix Tea Bags
|Form:||Dried flower and leaves|
In addition to catnip grown organically, this blend also includes silver vine, a fruit in the kiwi family that has similar effects to catnip. This offered this blend a double whammy of the active ingredients and may elicit more reactions from your cat, even if they usually don’t respond much too plain catnip.
But what’s cool about this product is how it is presented. Instead of loose catnip, it’s packaged in tea bags. This isn’t so you can steep it and serve it as a catnip beverage. Instead, it’s a mess-free way to pack catnip inside toys to refill them! If given as is, cats will quickly rip open the bag and make a mess.
Do All Cats Love Catnip?
Catnip is famous for the insane responses it gets from cats. Usually, mellow or serious cats turn into hyperactive weirdos, and high-energy cats can settle into deep relaxation from this aptly named herb.
Some cat owners may be sitting here reading this, thinking, “huh, my cat has no response to catnip!”. While conducting our thorough catnip reviews, we sure found many people said their cats had no interest in a product. The truth is, catnip is not universally loved by all cats. In fact, 1 in 2 cats react to it, or 50%.
In addition, you won’t know if your cat is or isn’t reactive to catnip until they reach the ages of 3 to 6 months. Kittens younger than this may still have their sensitivities adjusted and either learn to love catnip or go on to ignore it after having a response as a kitten.
So, a lack of response often has less to do with a product and more to do with your cat’s genetics!
Why Do Cats Go Crazy for Catnip?
The allure of catnip comes from the oil produced, and more specifically, one chemical in that oil named nepetalactone. This chemical is found in the catnip plant’s leaves, stems, buds, and seeds. It’s highly aromatic, and cats, who rely heavily on their sense of smell, are immediately attracted to it.
Cats have well-developed smell organs, possess a specialized organ called a Jacobson organ that heightens their sense of smell. This organ promotes the Flehmen response, which you may not have heard of before, but have definitely seen your cat do!
You will see this when your cat sniffs something particularly smelly and opens its mouths in response. The result is a goofy looking look on your cat’s face, but they are actually activating their Jacobson organ, which is located on the roof of their mouth (don’t try to find this, you won’t be able to see, and you’ll likely really annoy the cat trying to find it!)
Anyway, the combined potency of the catnip scent with their extraordinary sense of smell makes for a total smell and flavor explosion for your cat. Catnip chemicals have the same effect on your cat’s cells as if they were smelling other cats’ sexual pheromones, so often, their responses are heavily driven by hormones.
If they are genetically reactive to catnip, they will likely immediately have a strong response. It may be displayed as a euphoric mellow calmness or aggressive playfulness. You may see you usually proud cats make an absolute fool of themselves (we’ve all been there).
The catnip plant did not set out to evolve to make cats irresistibly attracted to it. Rather, the chemical nepetalactone is actually a strong insect repellent. The catnip plant aims to keep harmful insects far away from it.
Different Forms of Catnip and How to Use Them
You usually have to grow your own catnip plant to get fresh catnip. If you want to do this, be sure to keep your plant well out of reach of your cats to stop them from obliterating it!
The oils in freshly picked catnip will be at their best, but for some reason, they do not last as long as oils in preserved forms of catnip.
Usually when purchasing a catnip, it’s not in its fresh form due to the difficulties in packaging and shipping it. However, you may find fresh catnip at local produce markets if you are lucky!
When buying regular catnip, it’s probably going to be dried catnip. Dried catnip still possesses all the active qualities of fresh catnip but lasts a heck of a lot longer as drying is a preserving method. If fresh catnip is processed at the height of its potency, it will keep this potent form even when dried.
Dried catnip can come in fully formed buds on stems, stemless buds, coarsely ground, or finely chopped. The form you choose will largely depend on your personal preference, and dried catnip is also the form used to stuff catnip toys.
Dried catnip lasts the longest and is tends to pack the biggest punch. It seems the drying process isolates some of the potent oils to provide a longer-lasting effect. If you grow your own catnip, you could even experiment in drying your own catnip for preserving reasons.
Catnip oil comes from the distilling and isolating of catnip plant oils to create a refined product. Catnip oil has multiple uses in the home. It acts as an attractant for your cat, and it repels insects!
You can find catnip oil processed and packaged for human use as an essential oil. In addition, catnip oil is also used for catnip sprays for cats. These sprays are a good choice for cats that have sensitive stomachs. While ingesting small amounts of catnip is not harmful to your cat, some cats can get stomach upsets.
Catnip sprays don’t seem to encourage the same responses as dried catnip products, and they tend to be used more for training purposes than treats and playtime. Sprays can be applied to toys, bedding, and scratching posts to encourage their use. Catnip spray can reinvigorate a toy your cat has gotten bored of and encourage them to use their scratching posts instead of your furniture!
Ultimately, there are a lot of catnip products that will do the job! Our favorites include Yeowww! Organic Catnip. It’s a simple but effective product with amples of positive reviews. We recommend Fat Cat Zoom Around The Room Organic Catnip for great value. These products are much loved by customers and are certified organic to ensure you give your cat only the best!
Featured Image Credit: Doug McLean, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.