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Catnip is a herb that is widely known to cause a positive reaction in about 50% of cats. According to Veterinarian, Dr Jennifer Coates, catnip produces a “high” for cats that is similar to that produced by either marijuana or LSD for humans.
The herb, which is in the mint family, isn’t harmful to cats but is known to cause reactions such as sniffing, licking, rubbing, and playful behavior. If ingested, catnip will cause your cat to be drowsy, but it is the smell that drives most cats wild.
One of the best and most common ways to give catnip is in a toy. As you might expect, there is a large number of catnip toys available on the market and choosing one can be a challenge.
So, to help you out, we’ve taken a close look at the market and put together this list of reviews of the best catnip toys for 2020.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||SmartyKat Chickadee Chirp||
|Best Value||Frisco Plush||
|Premium Choice||Yeowww! Catnip Pollock||
|Pet Zone Play-N-Squeak||
|Petstages Night Time||
The 9 Best Catnip Toys for Cats – Reviews 2020
1. SmartyKat Chickadee Chirp Electronic Cat Toy – Best Overall
We particularly like this chirping bird toy from SmartyKat as it combines both touch-activated noises that mimic the sound of an actual bird and the alluring power of fresh catnip. Whether it is the catnip inside the toy or the noise response they get from every swat of their paw that primary interests your cat, this toy is sure to give your feline friend hours of joy.
Importantly, the toy comes filled with catnip and is refillable so you can ensure that it remains fresh and attractive to your pet.
2. Frisco Plush Mouse Cat Toy – Best Value
These plush mouse toys from Frisco have a fuzzy texture and long string tails and have been infused with Canadian catnip. They have been designed to attract your cat and provide a variety of different textures for them to grab and bite.
The only real downside to these toys is that they aren’t filled with catnip that you can replace to keep fresh. Still, as you get three mice toys in the pack for an exceptionally low price, these are the best catnip toys for cats for the money.
3. Yeowww! Catnip Pollock Fish Cat Toy – Premium Choice
If you are after a catnip toy that will provide your feline friend with months of enjoyment, you can’t go past this pollock fish toy by Yeowww. Constructed with tough, long-lasting cotton twill and stuffed with plenty of fresh catnip, this toy is built to last.
It may be a little more expensive than other toys on the market, but it is hand-sewn, made in the USA, and doesn’t have any fillers or plastic pieces in its stuffing—just all-natural catnip.
4. Pet Zone Play-N-Squeak Interactive Cat Toy
This catnip toy from Pet Zone is part of their Play-N-Squeak range and is filled with real dried catnip. It is well-built, designed to last, and features an electronic mouse sound to keep your cat interested in play.
For this type of toy, it is a little on the expensive side, and you won’t be able to replace that catnip inside to keep it fresh. Overall, this is a quality toy that should last your pet for ages.
5. Petstages Night Time Catnip Rolls Cat Toy
These nighttime catnip rolls from Petstages have been designed with soft, durable material that won’t make any noise when being swatted around the house by your cat at night.
They are filled with 100% pure catnip and shaped as thin sticks, making them ideal for cats to bite, carry around, or swat with a paw. They come with three sticks in the pack, and the only real downside that we can see is that the catnip isn’t refillable.
6. Multipet Chicken Plush Cat Toy
This small catnip-infused plush toy from Multipet is shaped like a chicken and has a variety of textures and shapes that will interest your cat.
The toy is quite reasonably priced and appears to be well made. However, it has only been infused with catnip and it is non-refillable.
7. Ethical Pet Sponge Soccer Ball Cat Toy
These small, catnip-infused sponge soccer balls come in a pack of four. They have a soft foam texture that won’t hurt your cat or your furniture when they are swatted around the room.
Being a ball that can roll, they are ideal for hunting play, and your cat is sure to get hours of fun out of them. The only real downside is that they are only infused with catnip and can’t be refilled.
8. Doggles Sushi Shrimp Cat Toy
This shrimp-shaped toy from Doggles is a soft plush toy that contains a packet of real catnip. It is the perfect size for you cat to swat about the room and is also soft enough for them to cuddly up to.
While this toy is a little more expensive than some of the others we have reviewed, it does contain a packet of real catnip, rather than just being infused with the smell, and that is a big plus.
9. Mad Cat Chicken N’ Waffles Catnip Cat Toy
This cat toy from Mad Cat could be a good choice if you’re not sure if your pet will respond to catnip. Containing both catnip and silvervine (another plant that cats are attracted to) you have twice the chance that your feline friend will find this toy irresistible.
While a little pricier than some, you do get two toys in the pack with this one, so as far as value for money goes, it’s not too bad.
Will my cat react to catnip?
When you are buying catnip toys for your cat, you need to keep in mind that only about 50% of cats react to catnip, as well as the fact that it is not at all appealing to kittens or older cats. It is not possible to know whether anyone cat will enjoy catnip or not until they try it. You may be able to get some indication by considering your cat’s parents reaction to catnip, however even this is not guaranteed.
How long does the effect last?
It is also important to know that the effects of catnip only last about 10 minutes before it wears off. After which, it may take an hour or so after that before you cat can get a reaction from it again. Added to which, if your cat is frequently exposed to catnip it will likely stop reacting to it altogether.
What this means for catnip toys is that they are best given to your cat as a treat, for short periods rather than being left with them to play with whenever they wish.
Ideally, when picking a catnip toy, you should buy one that:
Contains real catnip
Many catnip toys are not stuffed with or don’t contain any real catnip. Instead, they are simply infused with the scent of the herb.
These toys will very quickly lose their catnip ‘effect’ and may not at all be of interest to your pet.
The best catnip filled toys are designed to allow you access to the catnip. This will enable you to refill the toy once the catnip starts to get old, and always ensures your cat has a fresh, effective toy.
Is small enough for them to carry
Cats love to swat their toys around and carry them about in their mouths. So, to ensure your cat gets the best out of their new toy, buy one that is easy for them to play with and carry about.
Is purchased online
Always get a catnip toy from an online retailer or a store that has a high product turnover. Catnip can go stale, and an old toy that has been sitting on a shelf for a long while won’t be as effective as a toy with fresh catnip in it.
Hopefully, reading our reviews and buyers guide has made it easier for you to pick the right catnip toy for your pet. Even better still, you may have identified a few different toys that your cat will enjoy.
To recap, our top choice catnip toys are:
Best Overall: SmartyKat Chickadee Chirp Electronic Cat Toy
Best Value: Frisco Plush Mouse Cat Toy
Premium Choice: Yeowww! Catnip Pollock Fish Cat Toy
Featured image credit: Multipet Look Who’s Talking Chicken Plush Cat Toy with Catnip, Chewy
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.