If you have a cat, you probably know just how much they love catnip. Catnip contains an oil called nepetalactone, which can trigger a cat’s pheromone receptors and cause them to feel incredibly happy. Catnip is often used to encourage a cat to use a particular piece of furniture, such as a cat bed or scratching post, but many toys also utilize catnip to inspire cats to play with them.
We reviewed dozens of catnip toys to identify the best of the best. We considered longevity, catnip quality, durability, versatility, safety, customer reviews, and overall value when reviewing each toy.
Out of all the catnip toys we reviewed, the SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Cat Toys came out on top. This package features three different toys and includes natural feathers and crinkle sounds. These toys are also eco-friendly and the catnip used is produced without chemicals or pesticides.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Catnip Toys
|Best Overall||SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Cat Toys||4.6|
|Runner Up||Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana||4.5|
|Best Budget Buy||Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy||4.4|
|Best Catnip Stick||NAZVA Pets Supplies Catnip Toy Silvervine Matatabi Sticks||4.0|
|Best Catnip Ball||PetJollies Interactive Catnip Cat Toys Ball Plush Cat Toy||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Cat Toys
When it comes to overall value, SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Cat Toys is the way to go. These toys are designed to satisfy cats’ hunting instincts. Each toy is uniquely designed and features a variety of natural feathers, crinkle material, and sting. If your cat loves feathers, then this set of toys is perfect for them. The toys are also designed in bright colors, so your cat will easily be able to locate them. Unlike some other catnip toys, these really do include catnip. Many customers reported that their cats reacted positively to the toys and played with them for an extended. These toys are also ecologically friendly. They are created with recycled plastics and the catnip used is grown without chemicals or pesticides.
These toys are inexpensive, which is wonderful for cats that tend to lose or destroy their toys. Customer’s only complaint was that these toys are not as durable as some more expensive ones are. However, for the price, it is easy to buy new ones as a replacement. This toy will also need to be rubbed with catnip or replaced once the scent begins to wear off. Like all catnip toys, they do not stay catnip scented forever. Their low price makes replacing them effortless.
SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Cat Toys Key Features:
- Includes natural feathers, string, and crinkle material
- Catnip is produced without chemicals or pesticides
- Brightly colored
Our Runner Up Pick: Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana
While some cats enjoy smaller toys that they can bat around, other cats really like something they can dig their claws into. Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana fulfills this function perfectly. This curved, 7-inch catnip toy looks like a banana. Cats love it because of its curved shape, allowing them to roll around on the ground with it and wrestle. Many owners reported that their cat loved to “bunnykick” this toy. While most catnip toys are designed to simulate hunting, this one is specifically designed for wrestling and rolling, providing a unique play experience for your cat.
The toy is made with durable, twill fabric and uses only soy and vegetable-based dyes. The toys are stuffed 100% full of Yeowww! organically grown catnip using only the leaves and flower tops, which makes it significantly more scented than other catnip toys. Unlike some other catnip toys that are only rubbed with catnip, this one is truly stuffed, which makes the scent last a lot longer than most toys. Because it is stuffed, this toy is not machine washable. If you attempt to wash it in a washing machine, the catnip inside with get soggy and can start to decay – which is not a smell you or your cat are going to like. You can surface clean it with a damp cloth, however, and this seems to do the trick for most cat owners.
Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana Key Features:
- Designed for wrestling and bunnykicking
- Stuffed with catnip
- Uses only a flower-top catnip blend
Best Budget Pick: Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy
The Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy might not look like a budget buy on first glance. However, this package of catnip toys comes with 12 separate mice, making each toy very inexpensive. These set of toys will last your cat for a very long time, saving you money in the long run. Each brightly colored mouse is packed with premium catnip for a long-lasting scent. The mice are incredibly versatile. You can let your cat playfully swat them around independently, tie them to a high place and watch your cat “catch” them, or hide them around the house for them to find.
Each mouse is lightweight yet very durable. Designed to stimulate your cat, the bright colors and catnip smell encourage your cat to play with them instead of something inappropriate. Many cat owners reported that their felines loved these toys. Even for those with particularly destructive cats or playful kittens, the mice lasted quite a while. Unlike some of our other picks, this toy does not make noise. This was a turn off for some cats. However, for the most part, cats seem to love these toys. If your cat loves this toy, the same company also makes quite a few other inexpensive toys that are also high-quality.
Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy Key Features:
- 12 mice included in one pack
- Stuffed with catnip
- Durable with a long-lasting scent
- Brightly colored
Best Catnip Stick: NAZVA Pets Supplies Catnip Toy Silvervine Matatabi Sticks
Some cats aren’t particularly playful, but love to chew and tear stuff up. Just like dogs, cats also clean their teeth by chewing. Chewing isn’t necessarily a negative behavior as long as your cat directs it towards something appropriate. The NAZVA Pets Supplies Catnip Toy Silvervine Matatabi Sticks are designed to encourage your cat to chew on them. They help clean your cat’s teeth and also include matatabi to help calm them. Matatabi is a type of tree that produces a strong euphoric response in cats, much like catnip. This particular type of plant works on 83% of cats, including kittens. If catnip does not work specifically well on your cat, you might want to consider this product. For cats with a particular tendecy to chew, a cat chew toy might be appropriate as well.
Many cat owners loved this product. It cats from tearing up their other toys or the furniture. There are sixteen in one pack, so they are bound to last your cat quite a while. Each stick is approximately 4.5 inches and just wide enough to fit into your cat’s mouth without breaking easily. We particularly recommend these sticks if your cat is often anxious or currently going through a stressful period. Stress has a negative impact on everyone’s health, including our cats. Preventing stress is a wonderful way to prevent your cat from getting sick, and these sticks are an easy way to accomplish that goal.
NAZVA Pets Supplies Catnip Toy Silvervine Matatabi Sticks Key Features:
- Cleans your cat’s teeth
- Naturally relieves stress and anxiety
- Contains Matatabi
Best Catnip Ball: PetJollies Interactive Catnip Cat Toys Ball Plush Cat Toy
Some cats just love to chase. They chase everything, including things that you wouldn’t necessarily want them to chase. To prevent them from chasing all your belongings underneath your couch, a catnip ball is necessary. Out of all the catnip balls on the market, the PetJollies Interactive Catnip Cat Toys Ball Plush Cat Toy is the best. Each ball is two inches in diameter – the perfect size for grabbing and chasing. Each pack comes with three different balls in three bright colors, including blue, pink, and orange. Each toy is designed to entice your cat. The toys make an exciting crinkle sound to keep your cat interested as well as a bell. There is also a bright feather placed on top of each ball, appealing to your cat’s natural desire to hunt. The balls are specifically designed to tempt your cat to play with them.
Because each pack comes with three balls, making it easy to switch out the toys to keep your cat interested. Nearly every customer reported that their cat loved this toy and played with them for an extended period. Despite being soft, these toys are quite durable. There were no reports of balls breaking prematurely.
PetJollies Interactive Catnip Cat Toys Ball Plush Cat Toy Key Features:
- Bright colors
- Crinkle and bell sounds
- Bright feather design
Who Should Buy a Catnip Toy
Toys are important for every feline. They encourage your cat to exercise and also prevent them from playing with inappropriate things. If a cat does not have enough interesting, entertaining toys, they will likely attempt to make their own fun, which can result in a torn-up couch or ripped curtain.
Catnip does not affect every cat. However, most cats do love catnip toys and enjoy playing with them. Catnip is used in a variety of situations to encourage cats to use things designed for them; toys are no different. Catnip will encourage your cat to play with their toys, which can be incredibly helpful if your cat tends to steal your belongings. Catnip toys excite all your cats’ senses and encourage them to exercise, while also leaving your stuff alone. Catnip is also completely safe. The effects only last for about ten minutes, and then catnip won’t work again for another few hours. Unlike treats, catnip will also not cause your cat to gain an unhealthy amount of weight or lead to obesity. They’re a safe way to spoil your cat.
Important Features to Consider
A catnip toy should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a catnip toy for your feline:
- Durability. Toys are made to be played with. They should be able to withstand at least a little punishment. Otherwise, you’re going to be replacing them often and spending more money than you should. Toys that break easily can also be ingested and cause harm to your feline.
- Washable. Depending on your cat’s play style and personality, their toys might get messy regularly. Some cats regularly place their toys in their food bowl or even their litter box. These behaviors are normal but can lead to your cat’s toys getting messy very quickly. To increase the longevity of the toys you purchase, choosing those that are easily washable is a must.
- Catnip Quality. While all catnip toys by definition use catnip, catnip comes in various qualities. Some catnip might not affect your cat at all or might wear off very quickly. Some varieties aren’t very long lasting. Toys that are stuffed with catnip will smell like catnip longer than those that are just rubbed with it. We recommend you select a catnip toy that is stuffed and uses quality catnip. If in doubt, choose one of our top picks or read the customer reviews.
- Safety. Sadly, not all cat toys are necessarily safe for your cat, especially if they play rough or enjoy tearing. Toys that are easily broken can be accidentally ingested by your feline, leading to health complications and poisoning. Some toys also include long strings, which can pose a strangulation hazard. Choose a toy that is designed to be safe for your cat, not just fun to play with.
- Enticing. For many cats, a toy that is only filled with catnip will not be enough to encourage them to play. Toys also need feathers, strings, and interesting sound makers to get and hold a cat’s interest. Nearly every cat will have a preference in what sorts of toys they play with. Some will prefer feathers, while others will love bells. Knowing your cat’s likes will make selecting a toy easier. If your unsure on what toys your cat enjoys, purchase a variety to let her try them out! Interactive cat toys are particularly helpful for cats who tend to laze around.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a catnip toy?
A catnip toy is a cat toy that utilizes catnip in some way. Many of these types of toys are stuffed with catnip, while others are only rubbed in it. Many cats prefer to play with toys that use catnip in some way, though this is not necessarily true for every cat.
What exactly does catnip doo to a cat?
Catnip contains a chemical compound called nepetalactone. This chemical is found throughout the plant, including the leaves and stem. When sniffed by a cat, the chemical triggers their pheromone receptors and causes them to feel extremely happy. This is commonly described as a “high” and is similar to marijuana in humans. The cat might roll around on the plant and become hyperactive. However, the exact response differs from cat to cat. When cats eat catnip though, the effect is different. Cats who eat catnip often become sedated and calm.
Catnip only works in about half of all cats; some of those cats will be affected heavily, while others will only change their behavior slightly. The sensitivity is thought to be genetic. Kittens will not be affected by catnip until about six months. Extended catnip exposure can also cause a cat to no longer respond. They can develop a tolerance to it.
Can catnip make my cat aggressive?
In some cases, catnip can produce aggressive behaviors. All cats react differently and some can become hyperactive and aggressive when exposed. However, the effects of catnip only last for about 10 minutes. Even if your cat does become aggressive, they will go back to normal quickly. We recommend only trying a short exposure period if your feline has never had catnip before in order to gauge their reaction.
What happens when you give a cat too much catnip?
Cats cannot overdose on catnip. If a cat ingests too much catnip, they might experience digestive upset, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. However, it would take eating quite a bit in order for this to happen and the symptoms will not be serious or life-threatening. Catnip also wears off very quickly, so even if your cat does have a negative reaction, it will not last more than about ten minutes. After cats smell catnip once, they will not be affected again for a few hours.
Other Catnip Toys We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other catnip toys as well. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best catnip toys list, they’re the best of the rest, and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
If you have a cat (or cats) that like to play late at night or early in the morning, this 3 pack of toys are a great choice. They are designed to encourage quiet play and keep cats entertained while you sleep.
- Soft, quiet material for nighttime play
- Filled with 100% North American catnip
- Stick shape is great for biting
At 11 inches long, this toy gives your cat the ability to cuddle and kick while playing. It is made of soft cotton fabric and stuffed with 100% organic catnip.
- Includes 2 handmade toys
- Made to order and double stitched
- Made in the USA
These chew sticks act as a toothpaste by exfoliating plaque build-up on your feline’s teeth. They are all natural and do not contain any fillers or conservatives.
- Facilitates dental hygiene and oral care for cats
- 100% natural
- Euphoric mood lasts from 5 to 30 minutes
Although these small sticks often get lost under furniture, customers say their size is also a good quality because they are easy to play with and entertaining. They are also made with tough material, so it isn’t easy for cats to chew through.
- Lightweight construction for easy play
- Made from nylon-woven pouches
- Safe and non-toxic
Customers say this toy makes their cats of all sizes happy, whether they are playing aggressively with it or cuddling up to it. It is also very durable and is effective for a long period of time.
- Filled with organically grown catnip
- Made in the USA
This product comes with a bag of catnip to put on the outside of the toy for maximum appeal and effect. The balls are lightweight and similar to the size of a cats paw making it easier to play with and crinkle.
- 100% natural handmade felt wool covering
- Core is a plastic ball with a bell inside
- No glue used
This 4 pack of small yarn balls are made with safe, wear resistant materials and are great for cats that like to play fetch or play at night.
- Made with 100% non-toxic wool yarn
- Catnip flakes inserted into the poms
- Safe and durable
This toy/treat combination allows your cat to chase, lick and eat it. It’s a good option if your cat enjoys catnip, but you don’t enjoy the potential mess.
- 100% natural and does not contain sugar, soy, gluten, wheat, animal products, or coloring
- Hypoallergenic and veterinarian approved
- Catnip is produced, packaged, and distributed in the USA
The refillable design of this ball makes it easy to keep the aroma of catnip on it and also lengthens the life of the toy. The hedgehog shape is rollable but also massages your cat’s paws.
- Refillable catnip pouch inside
- Includes a tube of Organic Bliss Organic Catnip
- Hedgehog shape
Many customers say that the aroma of the catnip in this toy is so strong that they place them in airtight containers when their cats aren’t playing or cuddling with them, which isn’t very often!
- 3 in a pack
- Completely stuffed with organically grown catnip
- Made in the USA
This toy is small yet durable and promotes play and exercise for your cat.
- Irresistible texture
- Premium North American catnip
These toys bounce and flip to keep your cat interactive and entertaining. They are made with durable material infused with catnip so your cat will enjoy chewing them for a while!
- Long lasting scent
- Promotes healthy gums and teeth
- Safe and flexible
This toy satisfies your cat’s natural desire to crunch and chew and the knotted streamers engage their equally important playful side.
- Filled with catnip and fibrous catnip stalks
- Cleans teeth, removes soft tartar, and massages gums
- Netting won’t unravel
Customers say although these pretzel toys are small, they are very durable. The double net shell adds the benefit of flossing your cats’ teeth while they chew while also promoting regular dental health.
- Unique netting flosses teeth and helps remove soft tartar
- Net won’t unravel
- 2 in a pack
This toy is easy to bat, toss and chew and features three types of thin fabrics that work to remove plaque and tartar from teeth and to soothe tender gums.
- Made with ribbon, rope, and fabric streamers
- Freshens breath and promotes dental health
Because these mice are made with felt, your cat will enjoy chewing on them as much as chasing, swatting, and throwing them.
- Tough and long lasting
- 6 in a pack
- Each mouse is approximately 2 inches long
This toy mouse has a patented hidden closure that can be easily opened, refreshed with catnip, and closed for long-lasting fun. The tail is also made with natural feathers which many cats find intriguing.
- Includes vile of KONG’s premium North American catnip
- 4.2 inches x 10 centimeters
These small mice toys feature an electronic sound module that, when batted, makes a realistic squeaking mouse sound, providing safe, indoor prey and fueling your cat’s desire to stalk and chase.
- 2 in a pack
- patented electronic RealMouse sound
- 4.5 x 1.4 x 2 inches
These little mice are great if your cats likes toys they can easily swat and toss and you also want something for them to chew that promotes dental health.
- Netting helps remove soft tartar and massages gums
- Flosses teeth while chewing
- 1.7 inches x 4 centimeters
These toy mice are made from recycled, reclaimed, renewable and certified organic materials and are infused with pure and potent catnip. They are also a good value for the price.
- Catnip is produced without chemicals or pesticides
- Fiberfill made from 100% recycled plastic
- Pack of 3 four-inch mice