How Long Should You Let Your Cat Play With Catnip?

Curious about catnip and your furry friend's playtime? Well, you're not alone. Have you ever wondered how long should you let your cat play with catnip?

Or why do they seem to go wild with just a sniff of it? If so, you're about to get all the answers you need.

In this article, we've got the lowdown from pet experts on just how much playtime with catnip is optimal for your cat. We'll also cover the effects of this fascinating plant, and why your cat just can't seem to resist it.

Along the way, we'll explore the world of catnip toys, the unique phenomenon of 'catnip immunity', and the potential risks of a catnip 'overdose'.

Catnip: A Sensory Adventure Or Just Décor

The aromatic scent of catnip can tempt many cats. The felines that can’t resist the smell of catnip will either find themselves bustling with energy or turning into lethargic fur balls.

But be wary as the effects of catnip only last a few minutes. With that in mind, how long should you let your cat play with catnip? We asked pet experts and here's what they have to say.

Cats shouldn’t play with catnip for longer than 15 minutes. Separate the cat from the plant before that period. Otherwise, your pets can become desensitized to the active chemical in the plant.

Also, take note that not every cat finds catnip irresistible. Some felines are immune to the plant’s alluring scent, making the grass to be nothing more than a piece of household décor.

Let's get into specifics on the reasoning behind the time restrictions. You’ll also find more information about catnip toys, fresh catnip, and the effects of the plant on many felines. We’ll also discuss how you can give fresh catnip to your pet and what happens if your cat experiences a catnip overdose.

How Long Should Cats Play With Catnip?

Nepetalactone, one of the major elements in catnip, is responsible for making the plant irresistible to many felines

This organic essential oil can turn your pets from couch potatoes to balls of energy or the other way around, depending on the consumption method.

However, the effects of catnip generally last about 15 minutes before they dissipate. Therefore, take the catnip product away before reaching that period.

That way, the animal won’t become desensitized to the natural chemical, allowing your pet to feel the maximum benefits of the plant.

Also, some cats may show aggression when you take them away from catnip before the effects disappear.

As a rule of thumb, don’t let aggressive cats smell or consume catnip. Otherwise, the substance in the plant may aggravate the hostile behavior, leading to bites and scratches.

A cat playing with catnip mouse on the couch

What Are Catnip Toys?

As its name implies, a catnip toy is a distinct plaything made for felines. It is coated or stuffed with the alluring plant. You can find different variants of these toys with varying designs and sizes.

If you’re having trouble finding the right catnip toy for your pet kitty, you can start your search by checking out the following products:

1. Vitscan Catnip Toys

Check out the Vitscan Catnip Toys on Amazon.

Vitscan offers a range of catnip pet toys in different shapes and sizes. Choose from pet-friendly designs such as a cute bee, crab, frog, or spider.

These catnip-stuffed toy animals are reasonably small for cats to play with, without them getting overwhelmed by the size. Plus, each toy will crackle, squeak, or rattle, promoting both physical and mental stimulation for cats.

These catnip toys are also tear-proof, which means your pet feline can bite, chew, or scratch all they want without harming the food-grade fabric.

Interested buyers should take note that the catnip is already in the toys and doesn’t allow easy refilling or reactivation without putting a hole in the fabric first. However, you have the option of buying a 10- or 12-pack for your pet to enjoy these toys for a good, long while.

2. SmartyKat Skitter Critters

Check the SmartyKat Skitter Critters Catnip Mice on Amazon.

Encourage your household felines to play while feeling the euphoric effects of catnip with these cat toys.

Choose from buying one, three, four, or ten catnip toys in one pack from the SmartyKat brand. Each toy has fresh and pure catnip that is devoid of harmful chemicals or pesticides.

The catnip inside each of the Skitter Critter toys is sealed tightly by sturdy fabric. The material is also highly resistant to the bites and scratches of most household cats.

Cat parents may replace the catnip filling in each toy. However, the removal of the stitches is a requirement for this task.

3. Potaroma Flopping Fish

View the Potaroma Flopping Catnip Fish on Amazon.

If you think about cats, an image of a feline-eating fish will likely appear in your head. Turn that image into a reality while letting your pet feline experience euphoria with this product.

This toy fish will flop every time your cat touches it. Fun times are ahead as this fish will flop automatically when touched by your pet.

Plus, a catnip pouch is in the hollow belly of this product, which will release the alluring aroma when agitated by the flopping.

Cat parents can also easily replace the catnip in the bag when it loses its efficacy. Additionally, this product comes with USB rechargeable batteries to reduce waste.

How Long Does Catnip Last In A Toy?

The catnip in toys generally lasts about a week before they lose their efficacy. Many catnip toys allow pet parents to refill the herb in the feline playthings.

Furthermore, fresh catnip can last up to 6 months if kept in an airtight container. Pet parents can extend the life of the toy by refilling the catnip stuffing when the plant's efficacy reduces or disappears.

How Often Should Cats Play With Catnip Toys?

Cats shouldn't play with catnip toys or the plant itself more than once a day. Although many felines won't become overdosed from relatively excessive catnip sniffing or consumption, your pets can still become desensitized to the plant.

Also, pet parents should still be wary of the adverse effects of significant catnip sniffing or consumption in cats to prevent possible risks to their cats' well-being.

How Do You Reactivate Catnip Toys?

Reactivating catnip toys means refilling the herb inside the playthings. Take note that you don’t need special tools to do this task.

Some catnip toys have zippers that pet parents can open and close for convenient catnip removal and refills. But, in some cases, you may need a pair of scissors, a set of sewing supplies, and minor sewing skills to open and close certain cat toys.

A cute fluffy cat lying on the floor playing with catnip

How Do I Give My Cat Fresh Catnip?

You can take advantage of different methods to offer fresh catnip to your household feline. Some of these methods include:

  • Placing freshly cut catnip grass next to your pet
  • Sprinkling a small amount on the cat’s scratching post
  • Garnishing wet cat food with fresh catnip

Additionally, you may also put some fresh catnip in your pet’s carrier, which can be ideal for crate training. Use this specific technique to help your kitty stay calm inside their carrier during travels.

What Happens When Your Cat Has Too Much Catnip?

Many cats generally have low risks of catnip overdose because they know when to stop. However, if your pet sniffs or consumed too much catnip, they may experience nausea and diarrhea.

These symptoms tend to last for a few hours before disappearing. Don’t hesitate to see your veterinarian if the adverse effects don’t disappear after extended periods.

Final Words

Cats should only play with catnip for a maximum of 15 minutes. If your household feline plays with the plant longer than that period, you put your pet at risk of becoming desensitized to the grass’s alluring chemical components.

Remember, only give the animal catnip once a day and separate them from the plant before 15 minutes to maximize the product’s usage and benefits.

A cute cat playing with his pink colored catnip mouse on the grass outside the garden, How Long Should You Let Your Cat Play With Catnip?

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