Catnip toys are a great way to give your kitty some catnip. She can enjoy the benefits of the herb, plus have something to play with!
If you want, you can just give your feline friend a pinch or two of the loose catnip leaves and watch her have a great time! In most cases, it's perfectly safe for your cat to even eat the leaves.
However, some people have concerns about giving their cat loose catnip.
This herb in a toy will have the same effects on your cat as fresh catnip leaves. Your kitty will still sniff it, roll around on it, salivate and go into a euphoric state. It's not the leaves themselves, but the scent of the plant leaves that causes the happy reaction.
If yours is one of the cats who tends to eat the leaves and then vomit, then you may want to try giving him or her the treat while it's inside of a toy. This way, she can enjoy the 'nip and you don't have to worry about her eating or inhaling the leaves.
The fresh leaves in a toy can make an otherwise boring toy quite exciting! I've even rolled an old cloth mouse in a bag of catnip leaves to bring new life to the old mouse.
For the majority of kitties, this herb is a wonderful treat. If you're concerned about your cat eating the leaves (some felines do get upset stomach from eating the leaves), then stuffed mice or other "shapes" are a great option.
Aside from the safety of the toy, the quality and freshness of the catnip is what's most important in choosing something for your kitty to play with.
Catnip toys come in all different shapes and sizes, from furry mice to fish with scales. Your cat may have some favorites based on the size of the toy and the material used, but the quality and freshness of the help is what really matters to your cat.
If you choose a safe cat toy with fresh catnip, your cat will probably love it whatever it is.
To keep your mouse or fish, or whatever, "fresh," it's useful to store it in a sealed container between play sessions. A resealable plastic bag works well. Putting it in the freezer will help it stay fresh even longer. But like with any other herb, the catnip will eventually dry out and loose its smelly charm.
To make the effects of the catnip last longer, you can rub fresh, organic catnip on the toy or buy a cat toy with an opening that allows you to replace the old stuff with fresh leaves. If you can't open it, you can also use a spray mist to revitalize your catnip toy.
Felines can build up a tolerance to this herb and it may not give them the same pleasurable effect after a while. To keep your cat interested, put the toys away when your cat is done playing. Bring them out a couple of times a week for a special treat for your kitty.
Also, be sure to read the label of the catnip toy to make sure it's filled with only catnip and not fillers.
Make your own catnip toy by taking an old sock (with no holes!), putting some leaves in it, and tying the sock in a knot. You can cut off the open end of the sock if it seems too big. Your cat really doesn't know the difference between an old sock and a cloth "fish." Although, your kitty may prefer one type of sock material over another; and a clean sock would be nice, too!
Of course, if your imagination and sewing skills are better than mine, you can also make some fancier toys for your cat. Just be sure to use fresh organic catnip and your cat will love it!
Catnip Plants How to grow your own catnip plants for the freshest source.
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