So, if you've read any of our other catnip-related articles, you already know that catnip doesn't work for every kitty. However, if your furry little friend is among the lucky 2/3 of the cat population who gets a kick out of the green stuff, then you're probably constantly on the hunt for novel ways to give him his fix. In this article, we discuss all of your options when it comes to cat toys, as well as touch on the reasons why they are so much fun for your kitty... and, of course, you! Finally, we'll wrap it up with fun recommendations!
Why Do Some Cats like Catnip Toys?
Some kitties just can't get enough catnip, and a quick search around the internet can confirm that fact. But why are our furry little buddies so enthralled by this humble herb? Simply put, catnip contains a compound known as nepetalactone. This compound binds to special receptors in your cat's nose, which send it through to different parts of the brain, finally producing a variety of responses – usually boundless joy!
What's the Benefit of Using Catnip Toys?
So, if watching an endless stream of kitty catnip videos isn't enough to convince you of the value of catnip toys, that's all right. There are plenty of other reasons to offer them to your friend. First, these herbal playthings are great for stimulating the desire to play. If your feline is lethargic or just generally not very frisky, a quick zip of that nepetalactone may help get things moving. In the same vein, catnip may help your extra-fluffy kitty lose a bit of weight, what with all of that additional movement.
Next, catnip cat toys can help ease anxiety. Now... you may be thinking, “Catnip makes kitties crazy... how can it also calm them down?” Valid question, but consider this. The effects last roughly 20 minutes – 20 minutes of madness. By the end of all of that frantic fun, your kitty will be left calm, cool, and sedate!
Finally, toys made with catnip make for a great treat... which really is reason enough all unto itself.
What Sort of Catnip Cat Toys are Available?
There are simply a ton of options on the market; however, the majority of catnip toys fall into a few categories. The first is the plushy toy. These playthings are usually long, soft little contraptions that have the dried herb sewn into the body. Next, there's the “treat” style of toy, which is generally made up of pressed catnip. These things can be used like regular toys, but can also be chewed on – sort of like rawhides for dogs. Finally, there are refillable catnip toys. These consist of pretty much any style of plaything, with the small variation of having a compartment for feline-tempting plants.
There are plenty of catnip toys on the market, so it can be hard to pick. In this section, we'll look at some of the best toys we found during our research.
If your kitty is a bit of a wrestler, than these catnip playthings might be right up his alley. The whole set includes a couple of standard, fluffy mouse toys; however, the stars of this show are those delightful, life-like fish kicker toys. Made up of solid fabric, these cool little creatures are soft, plushy, and come with a zipper – meaning you can change out the catnip – and because there are five fish in this set, you can try out different herbs with each toy.
This catnip toy has a little bit of something for everyone. Of course, it has the herbal element – by way of a refillable catnip center – but also the thrill of the chase with its round, ball-like shape, and the joy of kitty destruction with its corrugated cardboard construction.
If your kitty is more into treats than enthusiastic frolicking, then this toy might be a great option. This neat little device is made up of a small plastic rack that can be attached to just about any hard surface. On said rack hangs three rotating, compressed herbal balls. The balls are made up of silver vine, gall nut, and... you guessed it... catnip! The joy of this gadget is that it can be licked, chewed, rubbed on, scratched, swatted at, and generally harassed. And we all know how much our kitties love to harass things!
A catnip toy that also acts as a massager and a brush? You can't get much better than that! This interesting little gadget is a cool, rotating windmill that is made up of a soft, flavorless plastic. While the center of the toy has a handy little brush, the arms themselves boast plastic compartments that can be filled with just about anything – in this case, catnip!
As far as catnip toys go, this one is fairly simple – a small, springy tube that can be stuffed chuck full of kitty-enticing herbs! What makes it special is the fine woven material. This material allows enough airflow to release that oh-so-delightful catnip scent, while still keeping all the mess in place. Better yet... it comes as a pack of 30, which means that... even if your frisky feline has a penchant for flicking toys under the couch, you'll still have plenty on hand!
If your kitty's favorite plaything isn't a catnip toy, but you want to incorporate some of it into the routine, you still have plenty of options. For example, plushy toys can be stuffed with dried or powdered herbs, or – for any other toy – you can simply use a catnip spray.
Catnip toys may not be for every kitty, but as you can see, if your feline friend is big on the green stuff... there are lots of reasons to keep plenty on hand. Hopefully, with this article, you will have some unique options to keep your cat happy for a long time!
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