- ALL-NATURAL CATNIP TOY BALL: Raw Paws 100% all-natural catnip balls are safe and healthy for your cat, containing no artificial, toxic or addictive ingredients. Catnip edible balls act as a stimulant when sniffed, and a sedative when consumed!
- COMPRESSED CATNIP TOYS RELIEVE STRESS: Ease anxiety, stress and boredom with catnip compressed balls! Cat toys with catnip are helpful for car rides, vet visits and the acclimation process in a new environment, especially in shelters and new homes.
- SOOTHE UPSET STOMACHS: Our catnip balls for cats and kittens alleviates digestive issues like constipation, flatulence and inflammation. Catnip treats and toys act as a carminative, expelling air from the intestines, reducing your kitty’s discomfort.
- CATNIP BALL SET ENCOURAGES ACTIVITY: Our catnip treat ball will entertain your cats and boost their exercise. Although 1/3 of all cats lack the gene that attracts them to catnip, be on the lookout for increased playfulness, purring, rolling and activity in your kitties when they play with these fresh catnip toys!
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: We stand behind our brand and value our customers’ satisfaction on every single order. If you're not completely satisfied with our catnip ball cat toy, we will provide a Full Refund - Guaranteed - no questions asked.
How catnip gets your cat high
Catnip is a plant
Specifically, that plant is Nepeta cataria, a shrub in the mint family. It's native to Europe and Asia but now grows wildly across the Americas as well, along roads and highways.
The plant produces a chemical called nepetalactone in microscopic bulbs that coat its leaves, stems, and seedpods. When these fragile bulbs rupture, they release the nepetalactone into the air.
How catnip affects cats
Cats get high off catnip by inhaling the nepetalactone — whether from a live plant, dried plant material, or an oil extract. The chemical binds to receptors inside a cat's nose, which stimulate sensory neurons leading into the brain. This appears to alter activity in several areas of the brain, including the olfactory bulb, the amygdala, and the hypothalamus. This last area, among other things, is involved in regulating the animal's emotions.
Scientists previously hypothesized that the chemical also triggered a reaction in something called the vomeronasal organ — an extra olfactory organ found deep in the nose in many mammals (but not humans) that's involved in detecting pheromones — but experiments have ruled that out. However, it is hypothesized that nepetalactone might mimic the shape of pheromones when binding to the nasal receptors.
Regardless of the underlying reason, nepetalactone triggers an intense, intoxicated reaction in most cats.
"If you put catnip on a scratching board, a cat will come along and sniff it, and then they'll start rubbing their face, then drooling, then rolling in it," says Jeff Grognet, a veterinarian who's previously written articles about the effects of catnip.
"They seem to have a sense of euphoria when they're doing all this, and then afterward, calmness. Once they're finished reacting, and they just sit there, it's like they're basically just a little bit buzzed." For about 30 minutes afterward, they sit there in a stupor, seemingly immune to being further affected by more catnip.
Nepetalactone isn't the only chemical that triggers this sort of response in cats. Others include actinidine and iridomyrmecin, which are both naturally found in various plants.
One interesting thing about this reaction, Grognet says, is that although it looks something like the frenzied, uncontrollable high a human might experience upon taking a hard drug, it's a bit different. "Catnip produces a very definite, repeatable response. A cat will pretty much do the exact same thing every time it smells it," he says. The cat isn't rubbing their face and rolling in the catnip to get more of it (as I'd assumed), but simply because getting high by inhaling the catnip compels them to do so.
Another difference between catnip and the drugs humans use is that not all cats are susceptible to it. It's estimated that around 70 percent to 80 percent are affected, and that the trait is passed on genetically. "They either react or they don't," Grognet says. "There's no in between." Lots of wild cats, like lions and tigers, are also susceptible.
For the cats that are susceptible, there don't appear to be any negative health effects, and they don't develop a tolerance over time.