Catnip, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to Europe and Asia, but it has become widespread and is now found in many regions around the world. Catnip is well-known for its effects on cats, as many cats exhibit a strong attraction to the plant.
The active compound responsible for the catnip's effects on cats is called nepetalactone. When cats come into contact with catnip, whether by smelling, licking, or rolling on it, they may exhibit various behaviors such as sniffing, licking, rubbing, rolling, and even hyperactive playfulness. These reactions typically last for about 10 to 15 minutes, after which the cat may lose interest. Not all cats are affected by catnip, as sensitivity to it is hereditary and not all cats possess the gene that makes them responsive to nepetalactone.
Catnip is safe for cats and is often used as a form of enrichment or as a training aid. Some cat toys are infused with catnip to encourage play. In addition to its effects on cats, catnip has been used in traditional medicine for humans to make herbal teas with mild sedative properties.
When cats come into contact with catnip, whether by smelling, licking, or rubbing against it, the nepetalactone binds to receptors in their nasal tissue, which then stimulates sensory neurons in the cat's olfactory epithelium. This stimulation leads to a variety of behaviors that are often associated with pleasure and play.
The exact mechanism by which nepetalactone affects cats is not fully understood, but it is believed to mimic feline pheromones, specifically those related to mating behaviors. In the wild, such scents may signal the presence of a potential mate or mark territory, so cats may be naturally drawn to catnip due to these instincts.
It's important to note that not all cats are affected by catnip, as sensitivity to it is inherited and not all cats possess the gene that makes them responsive to nepetalactone. Sensitivity to catnip is hereditary and is not related to a cat's age or gender. Additionally, after exposure to catnip, there is a refractory period during which a cat may not respond to catnip again until some time has passed. The effects of catnip are generally harmless, and it is considered a safe and enjoyable enrichment for many cats.
- Not all cats respond to catnip, do not be discouraged. It is recommend owners know if their cat will enjoy catnip ahead of purchasing.
- It is recommended you trim your cat's nails regularly to extend the longevity of our toys. These are soft cotton fabrics and we cannot guarantee all cat's nail will not rip or tear the cotton fabric. Sharp or untrimmed nails will breakdown our toys.
Catnip is a natural plant, so the scent does fade over time. We recommend the following to keep the scent going as long as possible.
- To maintain the strong catnip scent, it is recommended to re-seal the catnip kicker in a zip-lock bag for extended use.
- Care/Use: Massage toy before playtime, to release catnip buds aroma. Supervise cat when playing with this toy.
- Do not allow cat to eat the stuffing if they rip the fabric. Do not machine wash toys, only wipe down.
- When toy is not in use, reseal in a zip bag.
- You can rub additional catnip on the stick anytime, or use catnip spray to rejuvenate the scent.
Reaction with Cats
This is a pet (cat) product. It has been played with by thousands of cat’s, but due to us not knowing how to communicate with a cat, we can’t guarantee it will work on all cats. We love cats and try our best, but will not accept a return if you cat doesn’t decide to play with it. We have fixed costs and labor that need to be cover. Every toy, in every video, is made the exact same each time one is created.
All videos and photos of cats playing with the Kitty Kick Stix are actual Cat Customers and not paid celebrities.
Each one is handmade and cats may react differently to this toy, therefore please make sure your cat does enjoy catnip as the toys can’t be returned.
Cats may become aggressive due to the cat nip scent and we cannot guarantee the strength of material with all cats. It is recommended all pets are supervised with the use of any pet toy, not just ours.
The smell is so STRONG my cat is STONED. Just like with ANY toy or ANY pet product, ANY pet should be supervised.
We are a family owned business and take time to handmake each one. We use ultra-potent catnip and mix it throughout the stix. Our catnip is grown in the USA and never sits out for more than 3 days – some of the strongest available. If you cat does have a reaction or becomes stoned, take the toy away, provide some water to your cat and turn on the TV. Your cat may need to take a ‘catnap’ for a bit before playing again.
Each one is handmade in the USA by a team of cat toy professionals. Below is a list of our current fabrics choices.
While we try hard to provided the exact fabric you choose, occasionally due to supply issues, we run out during the production process. We will substitute the closest matching fabric in order to get your order shipped.