The Best Catnip for Herb-Loving Kitties

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Best catnip is potent, fresh, and grown and harvested up to standards that ensure health safety of your pet – check out our selection!

From health reasons to feline enjoyment, there are many reasons you should give your cat catnip. The herb is a favorite of kitties because of the essential oil in its leaves and stem that mimics feline pheromones and sniffing it gives your pet a kind of a ‘high’. The state of bliss and excitement cats achieve when they’re batting away at dried catnip flakes is something that’s not easily achieved otherwise, so it’s easy to see why pet parents treat their precious furballs to best catnip as a treat and enrichment tool. Of course, as it is usually the case with “fun stuff”, it’s for adults only- kittens under 6 months won’t feel the effects of catnip.

In case you have an adult cat and want to pamper them with an afternoon of herbal fun, simply choosing a high-quality catnip and sprinkling it on the floor will do the trick. Seriously, no need to get fancy–just let them have at it and watch them go crazy to entertain yourself simultaneously. They’ll start rolling on it, meowing, rubbing their face on the catnip and eventually calm down in a blissful “down” phase. Naturally, you shouldn’t overdo it–it won’t hurt your cat if they overindulge, but their susceptibility of the effects of catnip will become lower. In the case of cats and catnip, the novelty can really wear off!

What are the benefits of catnip?

In addition to being a treat and a tool to help your kitty unwind and feel good, catnip has specific practical uses for its calming and mood-boosting properties. Some kitties with anxiety find catnip a great stress reliever, so indulging in some catnip sniffing is not just about pleasure but it is also a valuable tool for improving their mental health. Not surprisingly, many pet owners also use catnip as a training aid, using the cat-stimulating plant in the form of a treat in positive reinforcement methods. When your cat is doing something you’d like to see repeated, i.e. using her new litter box or the cat flap, you simply reward them for their good behavior–use a combo of a clicker and catnip for best results. Catnip is perfect for redirecting, too- if you want your sofa to stop being the victim of your feline’s claws, sprinkle copious amounts of high-quality catnip on their new scratcher to entice them and steer their focus away from the furniture.

Regardless of your goal, the catnip you choose should be potent, fresh, and high-quality product overall if you want it to work. Best catnip is natural, without artificial additives, grown up to standards and harvested at certain time of the year… And so on. Luckily, you don’t have to waste time researching about best catnip–we’ve rounded up the best of the best right here in one place. Just choose one (or more) and your kitty will love you for it!

1. Editor’s Choice: Cat Crack Organic Catnip

The very name cat crack is a good reference unto itself. I mean, cats do love this catnip like it’s crack, so there’s no deception with the marketing here. Made from 100 percent natural catnip grown locally in the United States and harvested during the peak season, this organic proprietary herb blend will have your kitty rolling around in ecstasy after the first sprinkle. And, with a price tag more than reasonable for a cup of pure catnip, your bank account will also be a fan of this one.

2. Runner Up: Yeowww! Organic Catnip

A tried and true classic, Yeowww! Catnip has been helping cats get a buzz for years, both through their range of catnip toys and their pure organically grown catnip in a tub. This premium quality catnip has been grown without pesticides and chemicals involved in the process before being packed into this resealable container. This herb blend includes both the leaf and flower tops, so maximum potency is all but guaranteed. In addition to the 2 oz tub, it’s also available in a 1 oz baggie.

3. Customer’s Choice: Our Pets Premium North- American Grown Cosmic Catnip

OurPets Cosmic Catnip doesn’t just have a “groovy” product name that hints at the celestial experience your feline will have, it’s backed by years of research and experience that went into the manufacturing process. This North American grown catnip has been scientifically formulated for optimal potency, and just a sniff of this strong herb blend will have your kitty friend on 7th heaven. There are different package sizes available–from 1 oz baggies for the first timers to 3 oz jars for herb fiends. Be warned, though – while you can safely give your kitty catnip everyday, with constant exposure the effects will start to wear off. Dole it out with breaks between exposures to ensure your kitty will be enchanted each time as they were the last!

4. Best Catnip Spray: KONG Natural Catnip Spray

While not catnip in its original herb form, we thought that KONG Natural Catnip Spray was worth a mention on our list, as it is a perfect choice for pawrents who want to indulge their kitty but just don’t want to deal with bits of catnip ending up in impossible places afterwards. Also, the spray form is great if you need catnip for redirecting and want to make sure that the “bait” is super potent and long-lasting (and again, mess-free). This spray is steam-distilled from the finest North American catnip, which was harvested and field-dried capturing the peak of flavor. Hard for this potent herb not to be a crowd pleaser with such a background, right?

5. Budget Choice: SmartyKat Organic Catnip

This pure, certified organic catnip is potent, cheap, and comes in different packaging ranging from the one-time only 0.5 oz to 2 oz canister for hours and hours of herb-induced fun times. The largest size of SmartyKat Organic Catnip comes in a shaker-type tub, so it’s also super convenient to use, and even food for training- cats will quickly learn that the shaking sound means fun is to be had!

And when it comes to the quality of the herb itself, SmartKat doesn’t disappoint. The ‘certified organic’ part means that the plants were grown without pesticides or chemicals, so they are completely safe for use. Not only that, but the effects are quite potent, so your cat’s reaction to the catnip is all but guaranteed. The best part is that you don’t have to break the bank for your kitty to have tons of fun and relaxation with this organic catnip!

Oh, and one more thing: if you lightly crush the leaves with your fingers before sprinkling it around your pet’s toy or scratcher, you’ll help release the natural active ingredient in the catnip. It will make your kitty go bananas even more!

6. Best Blend: From The Field Ultimate Blend Catnip & Silver Vine Mix

Not many cat owners know this, but some cats are immune to the effects of catnip, even when they haven’t been overexposed to it previously. That’s where silver vine comes in- no feline is immune to the enchanting effects of this Asian herb. In this mix, it serves to enhance the effects of catnip and offer stimulance even in the case that the cat is immune to catnip. Proudly made in the USA and 100% natural, this catnip blend is an excellent choice if you are looking for a catnip and silver vine mix that packs a powerful punch, look no more.

7. Best for Picky Cats: From The Field Catnip Kitty Safe Stalkless Tub

For finicky felines, nothing short of premium quality does the trick! Organically grown in the USA, this catnip is of the best possible quality thanks to the harvesting method: they let the plant reach full maturity before it is plucked, so the harvest catnip is loaded with the good stuff, aka essential oil and intoxicating blooms. Since this catnip is in the form of finely ground dried herb, you can use it to sprinkle your cat’s new bed, toys, or just give her some of it to roll around in- it’s what they like best, after all. And you won’t have to worry about stains or damaging your floors!

This premium organic catnip is packed in a resealable clear tub that’s both practical for storage and makes sure that the catnip doesn’t lose its potency with time. You can choose between 3.5 oz (medium size) or 6 oz (large) if you want it in a clear tub, but this organic catnip also comes in a 1 oz can, as well as 3 oz or 10 oz bag (perfect for multi-cat households).

8. Best Buds: Kitty Catnip – Catnip Buds

Often, cat owners complain that some of the cheaper catnip blends have a high ratio of straw content, and it’s useless–it’s just a filler. It’s the leaves and the buds that give kitties that mesmerizing buzz! Well, with Kitty Catnip, such issues are impossible, as these are pure buds in a vacuum sealed package for preserving potency. Buds are the most potent part of the catnip plant, so there’s no way your kitty won’t go crazy for this catnip! To boot, the catnip buds used are of the highest quality, grown locally in the United States and harvested mid-summer when the flavor is at its strongest.

9. Best Organic: Pettobox Catbuzz Premium and Organically Grown Catnip

While the cute packaging of this catnip is certainly a plus, it’s not what landed it on our list – it’s what hides inside it that deserves all the praise. This highest quality organic catnip is grown and hand-harvested by American family farmers in Rainier, Washington, at the peak of the season for freshness. As a result, the leaves and flowers harvested from this herb are at their maximum potency when they get to your pet’s paws! Non-GMO and locally grown, this catnip comes in a convenient cotton drawstring pouch, all packaged in a eco-friendly reusable tube container with a lovely kitty-inspired design. To boot, the packaging comes from a Chicago-based environmental packaging company, so all the supply chain supports USA small businesses. Doesn’t get more local than that!

10. Honorable Mention: Fresh Premium Canadian Catnip

Want to get your cat high and be patriotic about it, eh? Available as coarse cut and ground into fine powder, this Canadian-grown premium catnip is quite potent. The coarse cut is for those felines who want a lot of potency, whereas the powder form might be a better choice for sniffing newbie’s introduction to catnip. The blend includes leaves, stems, buds, and seeds of the plant.

Benefits of Catnip

Cats are such unpredictable and strong willed companions. But, in all honesty, that independence and uniqueness of character is just a part of their charm. Sometimes, these surprises are cute and cuddly, but more often they are quite a chaotic stir of your daily routine. Many of these nastier surprises and mood changes are a direct result of feline boredom – if a kitty lacks fulfilling activities throughout the day, they might decide to spend all that energy in their own way. The end result in such a situation might be shredded furniture or an overturned potted plant. But even if you are short on spare time or busy at work, there is no need to worry about your cat’s messy house explorations – a bit of catnip can make all the difference!

Catnip is a herb that belongs to the mint family – it is totally natural, and has that unique ability to make kitties go rowdy! The secret is in the chemical called nepetalactone – naturally present in this herb. This chemical acts as a potent stimulant to cats, when they smell it. The stimulation almost always results in “boosted” behavior and a surge of activity and energy. But when it is ingested, it has a somewhat contrary effect – it acts as a sedative. Most specialists agree that catnip has a big effect on a cat’s pheromones, and that always brings out a big response in felines. Also, some cats might have a different reaction to catnip – and instead of zooming and darting all over the place, they might “get high” and just chill. Catnip toys and snacks are great for all cat owners, as they are a great way to curb overly energetic behavior in some kitties, or calm down those who have an extra bit of spark in them. You can also purchase loose catnip, and lightly sprinkle it over certain areas your cat frequents – helping divert their attention from new furniture or places they should not frequent.

Overall, catnip can be a great way to spice up your feline friend’s daily routine. If your kitty is a bit overweight or lethargic, and your efforts to bring training and play back on the menu have failed, catnip can be such a helping hand. As it boosts your kitten’s senses, it might help return that energy and playful spirit back into action. Of course, as always, you should advise with your vet when using catnip – it is very unlikely to have great adverse effects, but a slight overdose might cause some nausea for your kitty. Also, it helps if you are around when catnip is in effect – keeping your kitty under observation can help minimize the risk of accidents or overly mischievous play.

Why do cats love catnip?

The plant Nepeta cataria, more commonly known as catnip or cat’s mint, contains an oil called nepetalactone – when felines inhale this oil, it triggers the receptors in the brain that sense pheromones, inducing a sense of euphoria. This is why your kitty acts so crazy when you give them catnip, rolling around, drooling, and purring. It’s easy to see why felines love catnip so much – it gets them high, in a way.

How often should I give catnip to my cat?

Even though catnip is completely safe for cats, it’s recommended to limit exposure to prevent the effects from wearing off. In general, you should give your pet catnip every two to three weeks. If you give them catnip daily, they might stop reacting to it after a while – but when you pause exposure for a few weeks, the effect stays potent each time.

What does catnip do to cats?

The smell of catnip triggers certain receptors in a cat’s brain, inducing a feeling of euphoria and happiness. Essentially, it makes cats high – or at least, that’s the closest we can get to explaining the unique effect that this herb has on felines. It is not harmful and it’s not addictive – it just takes your feline friend to their happy place!

Additional resources:

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

More by Angela Vuckovic