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Benefits of Catnip

June 14, 2021

Benefits of Catnip

Feline fun and the benefits of catnip

If you are a Surgarboy’s fan, you may already have experienced the benefits of having catnip toys handy for your kitties. What you may not know are the details of what draws our feline friends to the herb. 

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a plant native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and is a part of the mint family.  Today, it is grown in the US, in private homes, and in some areas, it presents like a weed. The plant contains a volatile oil known as nepetalactone, which stimulates sensory neurons in most cats (about two out of every three cats respond to catnip after six months.)  But as a hereditary trait, some sources say about 50% of cats react to the herb.  

So what about it exactly drives cats crazy?  

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the herb “targets feline "happy" receptors in the brain.” You will notice your cats’ response is similar to when a female is in heat: rubbing, purring, meowing, and for some, being feisty. This “high” only lasts for about 10 minutes, and it can take a few hours for a cat's immunity to reduce to make it react again.  When ingested, catnip can have an opposite, calming effect. 

*Disclaimer: Although our product is high quality and safe for cats, we do not recommend it for uses other than a play toy. 


Why use catnip toys? 

Catnip is used to: 

  • Stimulate play and encourage your cat to exercise 
  • Reduces stress
  • Encourages them to direct their attention (for example, rub catnip on a scratch post if you want your cat to stop needing the couch)
  • If catnip has a calming effect on your pet, place the toy in a carrier when traveling by car
  • To spoil them! 


Give your kitty the gift of Sugarboy’s felted toys! 

Sugarboy’s has dozens of cute, handmade toys to entice your cat’s play drive. All of our Karama Cat Toys are available to be infused with catnip at no extra charge. The catnip we use is hard to come by and is the PRIME STUFF - made with flowers and leaves - the most potent part of the plant. There are no additives or chemicals used in any step of the growing process. All of this ensures your pet gets a high-quality and sustainable play toy. Women in Nepal handcraft these toys, and your purchase supports them and their families! 

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