10 Best Catnip Toys for Kittens and Cats [New for 2019]

LAST MODIFIED: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Best catnip toys

Before we start looking at the best catnip toys for kittens and cats, here’s some important info you should know about catnip and how it could affect your feline friend.

What is Catnip?

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family. It is native to southern and eastern Europe, parts of China, the Middle East, and central Asia. You can also find it in northern Europe, New Zealand, and North America thanks to its popularity among cat lovers (and their cats, of course!)

The active ingredient in catnip that causes a response in cats is called nepetalactone. A typical response to catnip is hyperactive behavior (rolling around, rubbing their bodies against objects), meowing, and drooling. This typically lasts 10 to 15 minutes and is followed by a temporary immunity to catnip for around 1 to 2 hours. 

Catnip is non-toxic and completely safe for our feline friends to enjoy. However, it is recommended that you only offer it once every 2 to 3 weeks as cats can become resistant to its effects when frequently exposed.

With that out of the way, here are some catnip toys that your kittens will seriously LOVE.

 

1. Yeowww! Banana Catnip Toy

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Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana
  • Catnip filled toy.
  • Fun textures.
  • All handmade.
  • 100% organic catnip filled.
  • Made in USA.

This toy is very simple, basic, and gets the job done. No frills here, nothing really stands out as being wrong with it, it should last long enough when you factor in the price. These banana toys are handmade in the United States, and are made using organic cat nip. There’s not a lot more to say about it, if you want something really simple, this is your best and most economical option.

What You’ll Like:

  • The cute design. You’ll love watching your cat go “bananas” over it.
  • The catnip used is 100% organic, so it is free from chemical pesticides and other treatments.
  • They are well-made. Except for a few cases, the toy seems to withstand most cats.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • How light the toy is – it’s easy to kick and throw around the room.
  • The high-quality catnip used. While we can’t be certain how well it works, it does have a strong odor and most cats go crazy for it.

 

2. SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Toy

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SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Cat Toys
  • Satisfies cats' Hunting instinct, natural feathers attract cats
  • Most cats respond to catnip with a burst of energetic activity followed by a mellow period
  • Fun Bright colors and patterns!
  • Value pack includes 3 toys with multiple textures, all have crinkle sound
  • Catnip produced without chemicals or pesticides

Has your cat ever claimed leftover tissue paper from a gift? If yes, you need to try this crinkle and catnip toy from SmartyKat. The crinkling sound of this toy is similar to the sound of crinkling tissue paper, so your cat will probably be similarly attracted to it. They’ll come for the crinkle fun, and they’ll stay for the cat nip – what a pleasant surprise!

What You’ll Like:

  • They’re cute, so you might not mind having them scattered on your floor as much.
  • They are priced low. You don’t have to feel too guilty about stocking up on toys for your cat.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • The long-lasting catnip. It seems to last at least a couple of months before needing to be replaced with a new toy.
  • Having three new toys to play with, so when one goes missing there’s hopefully always one around for playtime!

 

3. Petstages Nighttime Catnip Rolls

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Petstages Night Time Catnip Rolls
  • Quiet catnip toys to keep kitty's interest at night
  • Filled with 100% North American catnip, NO fillers
  • Soft, quiet material for nighttime play
  • Stick shape great for biting

These are a bit different than the other toys we’ve looked at so far, but I know there are some cat parents out there who are going to see this and be like “YES, exactly what I need!”

If you’re sensitive to noise while you’re sleeping, these Nighttime Catnip Rolls from Petstages could help keep your cat entertained without interrupting your sleep. If the idea of a crinkling toy makes your skin crawl and sounds like a recipe for being woken up and annoyed by the sound, simply choose a quiet option like this one.

What You’ll Like:

  • Not being woken up by the sound of little bells or crinkly toys.
  • These toys are filled with 100% North American Catnip with no fillers so it’s 100% safe for cats to play with.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • Really being able to bite into the toy thanks to the stick-like shape.
  • Having a toy to play with while you’re asleep.

 

4. OurPets Cosmic Catnip Toy

OurPets 100-Percent North American Catnip Filled Carrot Cat Toy 24 Karat
  • 100-percent filled with catnip
  • Encourages playful behavior
  • Filled with North American grown catnip
  • Strong aromatic fragrance
  • Carrot shaped toy

These adorably-shaped toys are filled entirely with North American grown catnip. Once again, they’re quite affordable, so don’t feel bad if you decide to order a few of them to have on hand. The carrot design might be slightly less durable due to the feathers that are attached to it, but other than that, they’re all quite similar, so just choose whichever fits your kitty’s personality the best.

What You’ll Like:

  • They’re available in cute styles. There are currently seven to choose from, ranging from a carrot adorned with feathers to a brown cigar.
  • They’re durable. These toys typically hold up well to being chewed and thrown around, features that are especially important for catnip filled toys.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • The strong aroma of this catnip – even the most impartial of cats seem to respond well to these toys.
  • These toys are the perfect size for cuddling up next to, yet light enough to carry around the house proudly.

 

5. KONG Refillable Catnip Toy

KONG Feather Mouse Catnip Toy (Colors vary)
  • Refillable catnip toy
  • North American catnip
  • Natural feathers
  • Intriguing texture
  • Your cat will love you for it

If you’re looking for a refillable catnip toy, look no further than the KONG Refillable Catnip Toy. Available in five adorable styles, you might feel guilty giving to your cat to hunt!

It’s nice to be able to top it off every now and then with some new catnip, it extends the life of the toy. It can be a nice change of pace from always buying “disposable” ones, especially if your cat isn’t too rough with the toy.

What You’ll Like:

  • They’re well-made and seem to hold up very well to claws and teeth.
  • Not needing to replace your cat’s toys as often.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • Their small size makes these toys perfect for your cat to throw around, bunny-kick, or carry around the house proudly.
  • Having fresh catnip more often.

 

6. SmartyKat Skitter Critters

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SmartyKat Fish Flop Cat Toy Catnip Crinkle Toys, 3 Toys per package
  • Catnip crinkle fish with feathery tails
  • Catnip, crinkle material and feathers drive cats wild!
  • Perfectly sized to bat and carry
  • Catnip produced without chemicals and pesticides
  • 3 toys per package-styles may vary

These affordable mice sell in packs of three and are filled with catnip and fiberfill, but they still offer a potent playtime experience. They have the same crinkling effect as an earlier toy. Both are good choices – it just comes down to whichever one you prefer! 

What You’ll Like:

  • They hold up pretty well, but even if they didn’t, they are priced pretty low so replacing them isn’t a huge deal.
  • The catnip used in this toy is free of chemicals and pesticides.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • At one of the smallest options on the list, these toys are the perfect size for your cat to hunt, kick, and carry around the house.
  • The potency of the catnip used – cats seem to generally respond well to it.  

 

7. Pioneer Pet Nip Nibblers Toy

Pioneer Pet Nip Nibblers Catnip Toy
  • Irresistible nip - combines fun with texture and shape to put cats in a frenzy
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Lightweight construction makes it easy for cats to play games of 'swat and chase.'

Don’t be fooled by the basic look of this toy, your cat will love the different texture and how easy it is to bat this toy around the house. When you think about it, the ones shaped like carrots or a cactus are more for you than your cat, your cat doesn’t recognize or care what the toy looks like, they just know it gets them feeling nice and silly.

Once you’re over the novelty of seeing your cat roll around with a toy shaped like a cigar, these are a practical and functional choice.

What You’ll Like:

  • These aren’t noisy toys, making them a good choice if you or anyone in your house is a particularly light sleeper, or just needs some peace and quiet to focus or relax.
  • How tough these toys are – you’ll probably only need to replace them as they go missing (as cat toys inevitably do).  
  • The play value for you and your cat. Your cat will go crazy for them, and you’ll love watching them play.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • Between biting them and batting them around the house, your cat will have hours of play ahead of them.
  • How well the catnip travels through the mesh nylon fabric.

 

8. SmartyKat Madcap Mania Refillable Catnip Cat Toy

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SmartyKat Madcap Mania Refillable Catnip Cat Toy (Style Varies)
  • Fun, freshly designed, furry Smarty Kat madcap mania will stimulate your cats hunting instincts
  • Style Varies &Dash; available in white mouse, Brown mouse, and Koala designs. A design will be...
  • Most cats respond to catnip with a burst of energetic activity followed by a mellow period
  • Our pure & potent catnip is produced without chemicals or pesticides
  • 100% satisfaction

Another refillable cat toy for the list, the SmartyKat MadCap Mania catnip toy is a favorite among our feline friends. With each style having a fluffy appearance and being the perfect size for hunting, it’s not difficult to see why they’re so beloved.

What You’ll Like:

  • How long-lasting it is. Most cats make the toy last a few months before it needs to be replaced due to a busted seam.
  • Refilling the toy instead of replacing it once the catnip is no longer effective.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • Being able to carry it around in his mouth thanks to its small size.  
  • Having fresher catnip for playtime.

 

9. Matatabi Sticks

Eko Cat Catnip 50 pcs Sticks Wood Plant Toys Organic Natural Silvervine...
  • All Natural and Safe Cat Catnip Sticks : Made with 100% natural Matatabi silvervine sticks - without...
  • Facilitates Cat's Dental Hygiene and Oral care : 100% Natural Matatabi cat stick helps cats in...
  • Healty and fun : Matatabi is the plant , which cats are very fond of. Make your cat feel calm and...
  • Easy Feeding Method : Directly feed your cats or cut off the skin of the sticks (Recommend). After a...
  • Food Packaging Bag : These matatabi sticks were packed with food packaging bags to ensure they are...

For a more unique experience for your cat, you can see how they like these Matatabi sticks. You can give them to your cat one at a time, every week or two. Matatabi is another plant that cats enjoy a great deal, so if your cat is one of the rare ones that doesn’t really like catnip, then this might be worth a try.

What You’ll Like:

  • The added bonus of dental care as the sticks help clean your cat’s teeth, remove plaque, and add protection.
  • The sticks are 100% Matatabi, a popular cat treat in Asia. It is similar to catnip and is totally safe for cat consumption, but most cats seem to prefer it over regular catnip due to its stronger results.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • The more intense results from Matatabi seems to be a hit with most cats, even ones that don’t seem interested in traditional catnip.
  • Soothing their urge to chew in a safe and fun way.  

 

10. Petmate FATCAT Big Mama’s Scratchy Box

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Petmate FATCAT Big Mama's Scratchy Box Cardboard Cat Scratcher Catnip and...
  • SCRATCHING OUTLET: Cat scratching cardboard pad provides cats with an outlet to scratch, reducing...
  • ORGANIC CATNIP: Cat scratch pad comes with organic catnip for added enticement
  • REVERSIBLE CARDBOARD: Cat scratching pad is reversible for long-lasting, scratching fun
  • ADDED ENTICEMENT: Cat scratchers include tassels designed to increase cat attention and play
  • CAT TOY INCLUDED: Cardboard scratcher includes FATCAT catnip toy for bonus playtime

For a more interactive option that also encourages your cat to use their claws safely, we suggest Petmate’s FATCAT Big Mama’s Scratchy Box. It comes with packaged catnip for sprinkling on top, so no worries if you don’t have any on hand.

What You’ll Like:

  • It’s reversible, so your cat will get more use out of it and you’ll save yourself a bit of money too.
  • It encourages your cat to scratch something safe instead of your furniture.
  • The durability of the cardboard. It seems to withstand a lot of scratching on both sides before needing to be tossed out.

What Your Cat Will Like:

  • Playing with the bonus catnip toy in addition to their catnip enhanced scratching box.
  • The large space. It accommodates adult cats and doesn’t seem easy for them to push it around or flip it over while using it.

Final Thoughts on Buying the Best Catnip Toys

Most cats enjoy catnip and luckily, it’s perfectly safe for them in moderation. You can buy catnip in a variety of forms but giving it to your cat with a toy is a great way to stir up some interest. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions On Catnip

Can catnip stop having an effect on my cat? Yes. Cats can build a tolerance to catnip where it doesn’t work anymore. For this reason, it is suggested that you only offer catnip to your cat once every two to three weeks.

How do cats use catnip? Cats use catnip by sniffing or inhaling its strong aroma. They will also eat it, but it is known to have a sedative effect on cats when consumed this way.

Does catnip ever cause a bad reaction? It’s rare, but male cats can become aggressive when given catnip. It’s not really known why, but it is believed that it is related to mating behavior. If your cat becomes aggressive it is recommended that you leave your cat alone until the catnip has worn off.

Does catnip have an effect on humans? Yes, but don’t expect to start acting crazy like your cat! For humans, it can help keep mosquitoes away and has a relaxing effect similar to chamomile.

Why does one of my cats show no interest in catnip? As it turns out, a cat’s preference for catnip is hereditary. It is believed that between 70 and 80 percent of cats show a behavioral reaction to catnip. Additionally, kittens don’t begin to show an interest until six months of age when sexual maturity starts to kick in.

 

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