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The Catnip Response

To ensure you’re getting the best catnip possible, try growing and drying your own. Of course, it can be very difficult to grow fresh catnip without kitty getting into it before harvesting time.

Cats easily pick up on the catnip scent so don’t grow catnip outdoors unless you want every cat in the neighborhood to visit your backyard. Catnip will also easily take over your garden.what is catnip

How to Use Catnip

Catnip comes in various forms – catnip spray, liquid, dried herb, fresh and catnip-filled toys. I think some of the lower priced catnip-filled toys aren’t really filled with catnip at all. My advice is to buy regular toys and “marinate” them in dried catnip or buy toys that have catnip pouches where you merely fill them with the dried herb. If you’ve bought some catnip toys and your cat doesn’t show a reaction, it might be a poor quality product. Before giving up and assuming that you have a cat who doesn’t have the catnip response gene, invest in some good quality catnip and see what happens.

books by author Pam Johnson-Bennett and a quote from Winn Feline Foundation


I buy plain old fuzzy toy mice and keep them in a sealed container filled with top quality dried catnip. It’s cheaper than buying catnip-filled toys and they can be marinated over and over again. You can even fill the tip of a sock with catnip and put a knot on the end. Sprinkle a little on the floor and watch your cat roll around and rediscover his “inner kitten.” There are so many ways to use catnip.

Hint: When using dried catnip, rub it between your hands before giving it to your cat to release the volatile oil.

Catnip as a Behavior Tool

Don’t just view catnip as an opportunity for your cat to swing from the chandelier and act goofy. It can be a powerful behavior modification tool to help with many feline behavior challenges you might be facing. If you have a timid or fearful cat, offer a little catnip so he has a chance to lose some of his inhibitions. If you’re in the process of introducing a new cat to a resident cat, a little catnip can be helpful. If kitty is scratching in all the wrong places, rub a little catnip on his scratching post.

If you haven’t done much playtime with your cat and are having trouble enticing him into a game, try jump-starting the session with a little catnip.

Whenever we’re having a party at our house and I place my cat in the bedroom for safety, I let her have a little catnip party in there so she can have some fun and then sleep it off.

Need More Information?

You can find more information on cat behavior and training in the books by best-selling author Pam Johnson-Bennett. You can find Pam’s books in bookstores everywhere, on your favorite book retail site and also right here on our website.

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