The Joy of Catnip Balls: Why Cats Love Them and How to Use Them

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cat owner holding catnip ball // Healthier Pets Today

Catnip is likely a cat’s best friend. The green herb that looks a lot like a dried garnish is primarily used for one thing: fun. Every cat is different, so their reactions to catnip will differ. However, cats perform very similar actions when interacting with catnip. They usually roll around, become playful, or very relaxed. Over the years, cat enthusiasts devised a clever way to intertwine this beloved plant and the love of play by creating catnip-infused toys. However, one has come out on top as a feline favorite: catnip balls. 

What Effect Does Catnip Have?

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You may have seen it personally with your cat or in a funny video, but the effects of catnip on cats can make many people laugh. It brings out their silly and playful side, often making them act like a kitten again. Some cats may become calm and docile, while others bounce off the walls. It is just how different cats’ bodies react, like humans. The spurts usually last around 15 minutes. It depends on your kitty’s size. 

What are the Benefits of Catnip Balls?

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  1. Encourages cat’s playful side – Play is a great way to bring your cat back to its kitten days and release some built-up tension. 
  2. Reduces stress – Catnip has been known to help with any anxiety or stress a cat may be experiencing. Depending on how your cat reacts to it, it might give your cat a burst of energy or a calming wind-down. The duration might be short, but it’s beneficial.
  3. Mental stimulationHouse cats can become lazy as they lie around most of the day, enjoying sunny windows and long naps. This is not good for their physical health and has a negative effect on their cognitive ability and mentality. A catnip ball helps your cat stay busy while it encourages them to play. 
  4. Physical stimulation – A catnip ball can help keep cats active as they run and jump while playing. Even the laziest of cats pounce and hop around. The ball rolls around, keeping them fit. 

Different Types of Catnip Balls

  1. Solid Catnip Balls – These are made of compressed catnip. They are the most potent kind, and cats usually react to them the most. 
  2. Catnip-Stuffed Balls – These balls feature a strong outer material filled with catnip-dried leaves
  3. Interactive Catnip Balls – Some products have toys inside or attached to them, such as feathers or bells, which makes them even more exciting during playtime.

Where to Buy Catnip Balls

You can purchase these catnip balls from any online or offline shop that sells pet supplies. Chewy, Amazon, and Petco all offer products that enable user reviews and side-by-side comparisons between similar models. Many stores and markets sell these catnip balls and other catnip-related toys. Seeing and examining the toys closely before buying them can be really helpful. 

Catnip Ball Care Tips

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1. Cleaning and Storing

You must keep all their toys clean, especially those with catnip. Toys containing catnip can get dirty quickly because cats favor them above their other toys. But we have a solution! You can use a very mild washing liquid, soap, and warm water to help scrub and clean them from germs and filth.

2. When To Replace Toy 

As we mentioned, cats tend to play with catnip balls and toys frequently, so not only is maintaining them in good condition important, but knowing when to replace them is, too. Over time, despite being looked after, these toys can wear down and break. This can pose potential threats to your feline friend as pieces can break off and cause them to choke, fibers could be inhaled, or sharp edges could cut them. 

3. Replacing the Catnip

The catnip ball will lose potency after being played with, chewed, bitten, scratched, and drooled. Many toys do not allow the catnip to be replaced as it is sealed inside, but this doesn’t mean they can’t still be effective. You can still use these toys by infusing them with the scent of catnip by either rubbing it on the toy or dropping a few drops of catnip oil on it. When you examine the toy, take a deep smell to see if it is still detectable, but the most significant sign will be that it no longer gives your cat the same effect. 

FAQs

1. How often should I change my cat’s catnip ball?

If the catnip ball becomes worn out, it should be replaced. Regularly replacing the toy will ensure it stays safe and interesting for your kitty. This can be every few months. 

2. How much catnip should I add when replacing it?

Sprinkling new catnip all over it and pressing down should do the trick. Alternatively, you can put the ball into a container filled with fresh catnip overnight or add a dash to the replaceable toy. 

3. What are signs my cat has been given too much catnip?

Biting, hissing, or swatting are some of the ways cats show signs of overstimulation. If this happens, pause playtime or temporarily remove the catnip toy. 

Conclusion

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Catnip balls are not only just fun toys for cats to play with, but they also include properties that can help soothe them mentally and physically, stimulate them, and give them a sense of wonder. Thankfully, there is no shortage when it comes to catnip-infused or filled toys, and they can be bought online or at any of your favorite markets. Ensure that you choose a catnip toy of high quality, as it can quickly become worn out from extensive play sessions