If you’ve ever considered catnip toys for your kitty, you aren’t alone. There is every type of cat toy you can imagine on the market today. But an infusion of feline-frenzying catnip can take playtime from forced to euphoric. Especially for senior kitties or pets who have lost their playful mojo, catnip toys can stimulate, reinvigorate, and even provide a sense of calm for anxious cats. 

In many senses, catnip is like a miracle drug—not only for cats but also for humans. The medicinal effects of catnip have long been studied, and while its effects are limited in people, this family of herbs has been used in tea to promote stress reduction and to improve digestion. Catnip is also a proven mosquito and bug repellent.

For your kitty crew, cat toys with catnip are not only a boredom buster but completely safe and nonaddictive. With few to no downsides, you might be wondering the best way to introduce catnip toys to your playtime routine, including which toys are the best for your pet. This article will answer everything you’d ever want to know about catnip, its effects and which catnip toys your kitty would love for you to add to your cart pronto. 

Many cat toys contain catnip in some form, so narrowing the options to the best catnip toy for your pet can be overwhelming. Of course, it can be fun to pick the toy that’s the most eye-catching to you as a pet parent (I recently bought a friend a catnip toy that resembles a can of White Claw with a lime). But basing your purchase on a giggle isn’t necessarily the ideal way to select what your kitty will play with. 

Best Catnip Toys for Cats: Our Top Picks

In selecting the following best catnip toys, our criteria spanned consumer reviews, product transparency, and price points. All toys promise to be safe and effective for your cat kids. Before going on a catnip toy shopping spree, just check if your kitty is immune to catnip!

8 Best Catnip Toys for Cat Entertainment  

The following eight toys have been chosen to suit your picky felines specific preferences. Maybe they are more stimulated by a dangling fish than a fuzzy mouse; maybe they have a tough set of chompers and need a serious chew toy. Whatever the occasion — and do we really need one — you can purchase the following catnip toys with confidence.

Best Overall Catnip Toy 

Our Pick: Yeowww! Yellow Banana Catnip Toy 

Yeowww banana catnip toys

In researching toys containing catnip that are popular with cats and their human parents, this banana catnip toy appeared in our search results again and again. Simple and effective in its design, this 7-inch banana-shape plush is composed of soft but sturdy cotton fabric with soy- or vegetable-based dyes and stuffed to the helm with organic catnip. Its curved shape makes it ideal for a gentle nuzzle or a strong kick. Light enough to carry but durable enough to withstand extended play, this toy proves that the best catnip toys can actually be pretty basic. 


  • Handmade in the USA
  • Nearly 22,000 5-star reviews on Amazon
  • Rated a 4.4/5 in value for money, retailing for less than $10

Things to Consider

  • Not washable or refillable
  • Must replace when worn out
  • Not available in a multi-pack

Best Catnip Ball Toy

Our Pick: AvoGato Mint Catnip Toy

Avocado cat toy with catnip

A catnip ball is a compressed catnip toy that your cat can sniff, lick, rub, and go wild over. This catnip ball for cats will be an amusing addition to your collection, as the catnip ball resembles the pit in an avocado. This stationary toy adheres to any surface in the house and provides stimulation through its 360-degree rotating ball — without the mess of loose catnip. Because your cat might ingest some of the catnip through licking, it has the potential to provide a calming effect in stressed-out kit-cats. This toy offers mint flavoring. There is a little lid to cover the catnip ball when your cat needs a break from the excitement; this also helps to preserve the integrity of the ball. 


  • Catnip balls last about two to three months each
  • May assist in removing plaque and tartar for good oral health
  • 100 percent money-back guarantee
  • No chemical additives

Things to Consider

  • May need to purchase more than one for multi-cat households
  • If your cat likes more active playtime, this might not be the catnip toy for them

Best Catnip Chew Toy

Our Pick: 24-Karat Interactive Cat Toy by OurPets

Cosmic carrot catnip toys

This small but mighty chew toy packs North American-grown catnip into seven funky shapes, from a carrot to a cactus. For about $5 each reviews claim that this toy is particularly durable for the price. Despite its chewable exterior, pet parents claim that after breaking it in their cats could definitely detect the catnip within. Some users even commented that their cats use their fruity chew toy as a pillow when they are tired from playing. 


  • Currently, more than 12,000 5-star review on Amazon
  • If your cat likes the toy, there are a half-dozen more designs to spoil them
  • Wallet-friendly price

Things to Consider

  • Not refillable
  • Catnip potency might vary
  • A wholesale retailer, OurPets can only be found on sites like Amazon

Best Catnip Mouse Toy

Our Pick: SmartyKat Skitter Critters Catnip Cat Toys

mouse catnip toys

These cat toys with catnip take shape in the iconic form of a mouse, making them small and easy for your floof to bat around or carry. Three soft mice in cream and gray with bright ears and tails are just $2. (If they get lost behind the couch, it won’t be the end of the world.) Your cat’s natural hunting instincts should take over while tossing these innocent, plush prey around, and the catnip inside provides an added incentive to attack. Bond with your kitty through play with a game of catch or fetch the catnip mouse. Many reviews mention that their furballs are “obsessed” with this affordable catnip mouse toy. 


  • A top bestseller of catnip toys on Amazon with over 44,000 5-star reviews
  • A three-pack totals less than a dollar per toy
  • SmartyKat primarily uses recycled, renewable, and organic materials

Things to Consider

  • Made in China and mentions some toys might contain a catnip alternative
  • String tails can present a choking hazard
  • Might require some squeezing to activate the catnip

Best Refillable Catnip Toy

Our Pick: KONG Refillable Squirrel Catnip Toy

Kong refillable catnip toy

KONG is a well-known brand for its durable dog toys, but the popular pet company also caters to kitties. With furry toys that last and last, it makes sense that KONG’s best-selling catnip toys are refillable, giving them nine lives like their feline owners. This plush toy is machine washable when the catnip pouch is removed. Each toy comes with a vial of North American-grown catnip. 


  • Easily refillable
  • Machine washable
  • Good quality at a low price

Things to Consider

  • Considered “medium,” this toy might be too big for some cats

Best Organic Catnip Toy

Our Pick: Meowijuana Jump ‘n’ Jamb Sloth Hanger Cat Toy 

Jump and Jamb Meowijuana cat toy

We like a few things about this super-cool sloth, apart from its organic herb. Most swinging-style toys require a pet parent to be present (to ensure no one is getting tangled up in the string). However, Meowijuana has developed a line of Jump ‘n’ Jamb toys that allow Fluffy to flip over this dangling critter safely affixed to a door jamb. The hanger will secure to a wall or door frame when hung properly. Plus, the elastic cord is adjustable to suit any play area. This funky sloth in a Hawaiian shirt comes with a vial of Meowijuana’s high-quality North American organic catnip and a satisfaction guarantee. 


  • This toy is interactive but also suited for solo play
  • Refillable; this company sells various “strains” of catnip to try
  • Monkey and squid variations are available

Things to Consider

  • Monitor your cat initially to make sure the toy is properly secured
  • The string legs might quickly become detached
  • These toys are a new line and don’t yet have many online reviews

Best Plush Catnip Toy 

Our Pick: AWOOF Self-warming Cat Activity Mat With Catnip

catnip toy with cats playing on mat

Why not spring for an entire activity mat in a sea of small catnip toys? Hidden within this double-sided mat are seven pockets to hide toys and treats. This includes four “hidden” toys attached by strings, three included bags of catnip, and two pockets that make an irresistible crinkle. The puzzle features will stimulate the kitty, while the reverse side is perfect for a cat nap. This soft, multi-purpose cat mat is the definition of plush, with cuddly cotton and faux fur materials that will double as a soothing bed after playtime. The mat will warm your cat without the use of any electrical implements. 


  • Machine washable
  • Multi-functional
  • Lightweight and foldable for travel

Things to Consider

  • Reviews state the size of the mat is a bit small
  • Included toys are tethered and can’t be removed
  • Catnip is separate and not a part of the toys

Best Interactive Catnip Toy

Our Pick: Fat Cat Crawdaddy Stuffed Wand With 100% Organic Catnip  

Magic wand catnip toy for cats

Grown and harvested in the U.S., the “Zoom Around the Room” organic catnip gives additional intrigue to this otherwise very interactive cat toy. Even before they sniff the green stuff, your kitty’s attention will be drawn to this wand with a bright, soft plush followed by shimmering streamers. The crawdad character is pretty funny to look at, with an extremely concerned expression as your tiny predator jumps, whirls, and chases it from a 25-inch stretch knit tether. There is also a version of this wand with a tadpole toy attached. 


  • Reviews mention the durability of the wand and string
  • Fat Cat’s catnip is 100 percent organic
  • This type of cat toy promotes bonding between pet and pet parent

Things to Consider

  • This toy is not recommended for unsupervised play
  • The streamers are plastic and could be a hazard if removed
  • Some reviews mention the wand could be longer

What is Catnip & Why Do Cats Love it?

Catnip is a perennial herb related to the mint family. The essential oil nepetalactone is what stimulates a cat’s response to catnip. Sensitivity to this herb is actually an inherited trait, with an estimated 50 percent of all cats that have little to no reaction to it at all. 

Catnip creates a blissful feeling in some felines, triggering an urge to purr, roll, or even drool. Depending on the cat, the effects typically last around 10 minutes. 

Catnip toy with a gray cat

Benefits of Catnip Toys for Cats

You can purchase catnip fresh or dried, but it is most often found within a catnip toy. These toys are sold wherever you might find products for your kitty and are popular due to the catnip’s potentially stimulating effect on your feline.

Catnip can be viewed as a stimulant for many cats, encouraging them to take part in an energetic playtime session — especially if they might otherwise be sedentary. Sprinkling catnip in a designated area or interacting with your kitty via a catnip toy can also redirect their attention away from negative or bored behaviors like clawing the couch and instead toward a more productive outlet like a dedicated scratch post.

In this way, catnip can be used for training, though remember that the herb’s effects usually won’t occur until your kitten is between 6 months and 1 year old. Typically, pregnant cats are also immune to the effects of catnip.

While sniffing catnip can be stimulating for your fluffball, ingesting the herb might have the opposite effect. While not harmful, catnip is a sedative when eaten, so don’t be surprised if your pet takes a serious cat nap after munching. This method can be used as a calming tool for anxious cats adjusting to a new home or routine or adjusting to separation anxiety.

Unless your cat pack is overzealous and rips a toy open, you won’t have to worry about them ingesting the catnip if it’s inside a ball or mouse. 

Catnip Toy Buyer’s Guide

Just like you would with a child, consider age and personality when selecting a catnip toy for your pet. Are they still teething or like to chew? Are they a senior cat who needs a lot of encouragement to be active? Identifying the need (stimulation, stress reduction, bonding) will help isolate the toys that might work best for you and your individual feline.

On the other hand, if you know your cat is tough on toys, look to avoid features that might rip off or become choking hazards if they come loose. If your cat is sensitive to catnip, any amount should launch it into a tizzy, but pressed catnip toys guarantee quantity without the mess (though they may become stale). 

Similar to the consideration given to human siblings, be sure there are enough catnip toys for each fur baby in the house. The temporary “high” of catnip might elicit some slightly aggressive/overexcited behaviors in your cat, and having to share their stash with another pet could very well harsh their mellow. You wouldn’t expect them to share cat treats, so don’t anticipate sharing when it comes to catnip playtime. 

We recommend starting your pet off with a low-cost, accessible catnip toy like a mouse to gauge their overall interest before investing in more concentrated amounts of catnip. Not every toy needs catnip, but watching them roll around like little maniacs or zonk out like contented kittens is fun. 

Cat playing with a toy

Catnip Toy FAQs

Are catnip toys safe for kittens?

Yes. Catnip is totally safe, no matter the age of your cat. However, the effect that catnip has on cats might not take hold until closer to their first birthday. So basically, catnip toys might be wasted on your small kitten. 

Will catnip toys get my cat high?

There are no negative effects of catnip toys, apart from a kitty who gets a bit overstimulated by the herb. These effects normally only last a few minutes; the majority of the time, catnip play results in an excited then progressively relaxed state.

Can cats overdose on catnip toys?

No, your pet can’t overdose on catnip. However, ingesting too much of it could cause tummy upset, diarrhea, vomiting, or grogginess. More often than not, cats will simply walk away once they’ve had enough of the nip. But if you notice any negative behaviors in your kitty, like aggression or overconsumption, simply take them away. 

Cats can build up a tolerance to catnip if you leave a toy out for long periods at a time. Consider taking cat toys with catnip out for the purpose of playtime and storing them somewhere — even in a toy basket — when they are not in use so your pet isn’t desensitized to their effects.

How long does catnip last in a toy?

Catnip will lose its potency over time, even when stored inside a toy. The oils in dry catnip will eventually dissipate, but that could be over the course of a few weeks to a few months. Don’t wash a toy with catnip inside, as it could hinder the scent. Refillable options help solve the problem of tossing a perfectly good toy once the catnip is stale. For best results, store refillable catnip in the freezer for extended shelf life.

Can catnip toys harm dogs?

No. In fact, ingesting a little catnip might even be good as a relaxant for anxious pooches or those with digestion issues. Catnip contains vitamins C and E as well as magnesium and flavonoids that promote better sleep and can aid with motion sickness or nausea. However, always consult a vet before giving any pet a new supplement.

How often should I let my cat play with catnip?

While having catnip cat toys around at all times will not harm your kitty, it could make them immune to its effects. Experts recommend limiting catnip toy playtime to about once a week.