11 Best Catnip Toys of 2023

Posted in: Cat Supplies - Last Updated: January 3, 2023 - Author: Rebekah Carter
Posted in Cat Supplies 
Last Updated: February 25, 2022  
Author:  Rebekah Carter
tabby cat playing with a catnip toy mouse

If you’re a cat parent, you’ll know that there’s one thing that can delight your kitten or kitty unlike anything else – catnip. Catnip is a naturally occurring plant – so you don’t have to worry about causing any problems by giving it to your feline friends. However, this plant contains an oil named nepetalactone – a substance that triggers the pheromone receptors in your cat’s brain, causing them to feel happier. 

Catnip toys can be an excellent way to upgrade your kitty’s playtime. Just like your cat needs cat scratching posts to keep them healthy and to give them both exercise and calm, you can also use some catnip toys to keep cats calm and happy during stressful times. The question is, which are the best cat toys that contain catnip?

We’ve examined the market to help you answer that question.

SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys

Our choice is the SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys, the best Catnip Toys you can buy for your cat!

SmartyKat, Astro Nip SpaceKat & Rocket, Soft Plush Cat Toys, Catnip Filled, Pure, Potent, with Feathers and Faux Fur, Set of 2

Who Should Buy Catnip Toys

The first thing you need to know as a pet parent is that your kitty needs toys to bite on and exercise their claws on.

Cats are often active and intelligent creatures. They need to play and exercise to feel happy. If your cat doesn’t have enough toys lying around, it’ll often make do with what it can find – such as pieces of trash, your laundry, and your curtains. 

Lack of entertainment is a serious problem with cats, as it often leads to bad behavior. When your cat isn’t stimulated enough, it’ll end up scratching your sofa with its bored paws, spraying, and potentially fighting with other animals in your house. 

Catnip toys are made out of durable materials and are an excellent way to encourage your kitty to play with the right things. Thus, protecting your precious furniture and fabric possessions. Just like another kitty essential, a quality cat scratcher

Just remember that catnip won’t affect every cat equally. In some cases, the catnip in these toys will excite your kitty’s senses and encourage them to exercise. In other situations, the catnip will do nothing – but your cat will probably still appreciate the opportunity to play.

cat playing with a best catnip toy

Important Features to Consider

So, what makes for an amazing catnip toy? If you could talk to your furry friend, they could probably tell you a thing or two about their preferences. However, barring that, we have a few suggestions on what you should be looking for:

  • Durability: When your cat plays with a catnip toy, he’s going to be scratching, chewing, and throwing. That means you’ll need to invest in a toy with a decent level of durability if you want it to stand the test of time. Toys that break easily could even end up being food to your cat- that’s not a good thing.
  • Catnip quality: All catnip toys use catnip. However, some options, like organic catnip, have a better quality of catnip than others. Look for something that can deliver long-lasting effects. Catnip actually in the toy will be better than toys that are just rubbed in catnip.
  • Safety: Double-check that the toys you buy are safe for your cat. This means ensuring that there are no dangerous materials that your cat might accidentally ingest. Avoid anything that could lead to health complications if your feline friend gets carried away.
  • Washability: Ideally, you won’t want to wash your catnip toys because this could damage the substance within. However, if the toy ends up in a litter box or food bowl, you might need to give it a quick wash. Some products are designed for this purpose, while others aren’t.
  • Fun: The toys you pick need to be appealing for your cats. We’re talking crinkly materials that grab your kitty’s attention, easy to toss around, feathers that they like to pounce on, strings, and so on. Some interactive cat toys even make squeaking sounds that appeal to your feline friend’s hunter instincts.

Remember, the more you play with your cat, the more their preferences regarding the right kind of toy will begin to shine through.

picture of a catnip plant

Catnip Toys FAQ

Q: What is a catnip toy anyway?

A catnip toy is any toy for your kitty that utilizes the plant, catnip. Many of the most popular toys are stuffed with catnip, though some are only sprayed with the oil within the plant. Cats generally prefer to play with toys that feature catnip because they pick up the scent of the herb and this stimulates their senses.

Q: How does catnip affect a cat?

A: Catnip isn’t like giving your kitty drugs or alcohol (so don’t worry). The substance in the plant called nepetalactone triggers pheromone receptors in cats and causes them to feel elated.

Usually, cats roll around in the plant, become more energetic, or even start purring. Cats that eat fresh catnip are more likely to become calm and relaxed.

Get 30% off and FREE shipping on cat food!

U.S.A. only

To Find out why we recommend chewy.com, click here

Q: Does catnip work on every cat?

Unfortunately, no. Catnip only works on around half of all cats. Some will be affected heavily by the substance, while others won’t change their behavior at all. The sensitivity that cats have to the plant will depend on many things, including their genetics. Cats can even develop a tolerance to catnip after regular exposure.

Q: Will catnip make my cat aggressive?

It’s very rare for catnip to produce aggression in cats. All felines react differently, and some can become hyperactive when exposed to the plant, which might make them seem more aggressive. The good news is that if your cat behaves badly on catnip, the effects won’t last long (usually around 10 minutes).

Q: What happens if my cat has too much catnip?

It’s best to start your cat with only a small amount of catnip, to begin with, so you can gauge their reaction. However, remember that cats can’t overdose on catnip. The only risk is that they might get a stomach upset if they start eating too much. This might lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

cat pawing at a multicoloured catnip toy mouse

The 11 Best Catnip Toys

Now that you know the basics about catnip toys let’s look at some of our top pick catnip toys:

1. SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys - Amazon Best Seller Cat Nip Toy Option

This adorable catnip toy features a spaceman-style kitty and a rocket ship, both infused with catnip, and made from polyester and cotton. To entice and delight your feline friend, these toys come with multiple textures to enjoy, from feathers and felt, to faux fur and ribbons. 

There’s pure, potent catnip inside of the toys, with absolutely no pesticides or chemicals to worry about. We love the fact that there are feathers included in these toys too. These toys are a little fragile, however, and might not hold up to chewing.

SmartyKat, Astro Nip SpaceKat & Rocket, Soft Plush Cat Toys, Catnip Filled, Pure, Potent, with Feathers and Faux Fur, Set of 2


  • Adorable rocket ship and space-cat design
  • Genuine potent catnip insight
  • Feathers and multiple textures to enjoy
  • No chemicals


  • Can be torn apart quite easily

2. SmartyKat Catnip Skitter Critter - Best Budget Cat Nip Toy Option

Sometimes, enticing your kitty to play with a toy is half the battle. With the SmartyKat catnip skitter critter, you don’t have that problem. These adorable mice come filled with catnip, and they’re perfect for throwing and chasing. Available in a set of three (so they last a little longer), these catnip cat toys are ideal for batting around and carrying. 

You also get the peace of mind that you’re not harming the environment, as the fiberfill in these toys is 100% recycled. The biggest issue is getting rid of the stickers and packaging.

SmartyKat (3 Count) Skitter Critters Catnip Cat Toys - Gray/Cream, 3 Count (Pack of 1)


  • Pack of 3 to last a little longer
  • Filled with pure potent catnip
  • Recycled contents for sustainable playing
  • Easy to throw, bat, and carry


  • Hard to remove stickers and packaging

3. Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy - Best Pure Catnip Toy Option

If you’re looking for a way to refill your existing catnip cat toys or simply infuse new toys with catnip, this Hartz product is the perfect pick. A bag of pure catnip means you can sprinkle the nip wherever you choose and delight your feline friend.

This is a great product to have around if you want to entice your furry friend to use a new bed or scratching post. You can also get separate toys to fill with catnip alongside the pack too. Unfortunately, pure catnip does make a bit of a mess.

Hartz Just For Cats 100% Pure Catnip - 1oz, Model:3270005231


  • Refill or enhance your exiting cat toys
  • Large bag for lots of playtime fun
  • Excellent for making beds and scratching posts more enticing
  • 100% pure catnip


  • Pretty difficult to clean up

4. SmartyKat Fish Friends Crinkle and Catnip Cat Toys - Best Fish Cat Nip Toy Option

Another great choice from the guys over at SmartyKat. This collection of “fish friends” are ideal for upgrading your cat’s playtime. Once again, the toys come with a selection of textures for kitties to enjoy, like natural feathers and crinkly materials. 

Inside of each fish in this pack of three, you get genuine pure catnip to entice and delight your furry pal. The SmartyKat fish friends are also completely free of any chemicals. The only downside is that there isn’t quite as much catnip inside these toys as there is in other options.

SmartyKat (3 Count Fish Friends Crinkle Catnip Cat Toys - Multi Color, 3 Count


  • Lots of textures like crinkly material and feathers
  • Pure and natural catnip included
  • Three fish friends to choose from
  • Free of chemicals


  • Not as much catnip as some alternatives

5. Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana - Best Bunny Kicker Cat Nip Toy Option

If you’re looking for the best catnip toys that also double up as kickers to get out some of your kitty’s excess energy, then this is the product for you. Made with 100% natural cotton twill; this catnip-filled toy is hand-made in the USA. 

The yellow banana is a popular choice for kitties that like to wrestle with their favorite toys. The high-quality materials mean you don’t need to worry about any chemicals. Unfortunately, the durability on this toy isn’t too great.

Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana


  • Hand-made with natural materials
  • Filled with catnip to delight your kitty
  • Kicker style for those who like to wrestle
  • Funky design


  • Not very durable

6. Hartz Just For Cats Cat Mice - Best Mice Cat Nip Toy Option

Brilliant for pet parents that like to stock up on multiple toys at once, the Hartz just for cats cat mice give you a bundle of catnip filled mice to choose from. There’s around 12 mice in total, so even if you lose a few under your furniture, you should still have plenty of opportunities to play. 

These mice are brightly colored and furry to attract your cats, plus, they’re ideal to bat around the house. The biggest problem is that the mice do start to fall apart pretty quickly after just a few weeks.

HARTZ Just For Cats Kitty Frenzy Catnip Mice Toys - 12 Pack


  • Pack of 12 so it doesn’t matter if you lose a few
  • Brightly colored and furry to attract attention
  • Filled with genuine catnip
  • Great for throwing and batting


  • Easy to chew through (fall apart quite fast)

7. Petstages Catnip and Dental Health Cat Toys Best Dental Cat Nip Toy Option

This “Avacato” catnip toy is one of the top performers on the market for a few reasons. First, it’s just plain adorable, with a unique design that’s sure to grab attention. Second, this toy is brimming with catnip, and it’s the perfect size for your kitty to swat, bat, and carry around. 

Finally, the Avacato toy is also excellent for your cat’s teeth. There are chew materials within the mesh that help to floss the cat’s teeth and improve their dental health. The biggest downside is that your kitty might like chewing it so much that he chews right through it.

Petstages Lil' Avocato Dental Health Catnip Cat Chew Toy


  • Great for play with real catnip
  • Adorable design small enough to bat around
  • Excellent for improving dental hygiene


  • Quite easy to chew through

8. WoLover Silvervine Catnip Sticks for Cats Best Catnip Stick Option

If your feline friend has plenty of toys to enjoy, but you still want to treat them to some extra catnip, this could be the ideal choice. The WoLover silvervine and catnip sticks are made with 100% natural ingredients. Your cats can chew and eat them completely, to help improve their dental health, and encourage better digestion. 

These high-potency sticks will last for a little while, so your cat can carry them around, chew on them for days, and keep them close whenever they want a boost. If one of the layers starts to get a little worn, just cut it away to reveal the next. The only issue is that these sticks can be quite messy if your cat leaves chewed pieces around the house.

WoLover Silvervine Sticks for Cats, Natural Catnip Sticks Matatabi Chew Sticks Teeth Molar Chew Toys for Cat Kitten Kitty (at Least 12 PCS)


  • Excellent combination of toy and treat
  • Contains both catnip and silvervine
  • Supports better dental health and gut health
  • Lasts a decent amount of time


  • Quite messy to clean up after

9. Twirl and Whirl: Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy

If you need a little help getting your kitty to exercise, a wand can be the perfect choice. You can move the wand around rapidly to get your cat whipped up into a frenzy. Many felines love jumping around after the plush twirl and whirl wand from Hartz

This catnip wand is a great way to keep your kitties active and really get involved with playtime. If you want to invest in more bonding moments for you and your cat, then this could be a great way to do that. Unfortunately, the wand can break quite easily after frequent tugging.

Hartz Just For Cats Twirl and Whirl Interactive Cat Toy Wand, All Breed Sizes


  • Great for interactive play between pet and parent
  • Excellent for encouraging your cat to jump and exercise
  • Contains real catnip for great performance


  • Can snap easily

10. Malier Catnip Edible Balls Natural Rotatable Licking Treats Toy

Want a convenient way to give your kitty full control over their catnip experience? The Malier catnip toy attaches to a wall or floor and gives your kitty a selection of rotatable catnip balls that they can lick whenever they want a mood boost. You also get a dust cover to keep the balls hygienic. 

This product comes with a super-strong adhesive so you can attach it to your wall, and there’s 100% natural catnip included too. The catnip will help to keep your feline friend in a great mood day after day. Unfortunately, some people say this product isn’t sticky enough, and it can be challenging to remove the product from the wall when your cat is done with it.

Malier 4 PCS Cat Kitten Toys, Edible Catnip Silvervine Ball Cat Toys for Indoor Cats Lick, Safe Healthy Rotatable Balls Treats Cat Chew Toys Cat Wall Treats Toys


  • Gives cats full control over their catnip dose
  • Great range of catnip treats to choose from
  • Dust covers included for hygiene


  • Not the best for sticking to walls

11. Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Twice The Mice Cat Toy

Entertain your kitty with a pair of adorable squeaking mice! These “Our Pets Play-N-Squeak” mice come with a realistic electronic sound that stimulates your cats to get active. The mouse makes a squeaking sound when batted, which entices your kitty and sparks their hunter instincts. 

Great for physical and mental stimulation, these catnip-filled treats keep your kitties running around and playing to prevent boredom and stress. Unfortunately, if your cat ends up dropping the mouse in their water bowl, this could damage the electronics (and cause endless squeaking).

OurPets Play-N-Squeak Twice the Mice Cat Toy, 2pc (Interactive Cat Toy, Catnip Toy, Catnip Toys for Cats, Real Mouse Electronic Sound, Catnip, Cat Toys)


  • Fun realistic squeaking sound
  • Great for batting, throwing, and carrying
  • Keeps kitties entertained for days
  • Filled with real catnip


  • The electronics can easily get damaged and cause endless squeaking

Final Thoughts on Picking the Best Catnip Toys

There are tons of great catnip toys out there to explore if you’re looking for a fun way to keep your kitty entertained. Our favorite option is the SmartyKat Catnip cat toys, with the space-cat and rocket ship design. These toys look fantastic, and they’re packed full of real catnip too. 

If you’re looking for something a little more interactive, try the squeaking mice from Our Pets, just try to make sure your kitty doesn’t dunk its toy in any water. Good luck keeping your feline friend entertained!

Get 30% off and FREE shipping on cat supplies!

U.S.A only

To Find out why we recommend chewy.com, click here

Affiliate disclosure : We Love Cats and Kittens is a participant in several affiliate programs including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and the Chewy affiliate program. These are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on their sites. If you click on links in our blog posts and articles we may be paid a commission.

About the author

Rebekah Carter is a dedicated animal lover. Her Savannah cat, Roscoe, has a lot of attitude, while her Maine Coon, Dukino, is full of love. When not writing, she’s looking after her cats and researching ways to help them live their best possible life. Her passion for animals and natural skill for writing led her to pursue pet blogging.