“ Brand: Cosmic Catnip / Type: Catnip Spray „
When I bought my cat's scratch post in an effort to save our newly delivered sofa from being tortured, I also bought some catnip spray which I thought might encourage him to use it. This is the one I chose, although bizarrely I can't see it on the Pets At Home website where I bought it from. Looking around online, however, it is readily available, and the cheapest I could find it for was £3.59 for a 8oz spray (amazon.co.uk).
Firstly, for anyone who doesn't know, catnip is basically a safe perennial herb, and is a member of the Mint family which is well known for its ability to get cats high. Cats can react in various ways to catnip, from becoming all mellow and chilled, to intense activity involving running round the house, rolling round a lot and generally being quite excited. Catnip is non-toxic to cats, so is safe to use, and is a nice way of giving them a bit of a treat that doesn't involve food. This is useful if you have a cat which is slightly on the larger side.
This spray comes in a little pump dispenser bottle, with a plastic lid. The pump dispenser is designed to release the product in quick spurts, rather than a continuous aerosol. This means you have more control over how much catnip you're using and subsequently avoid wasting it. I did a bit of research before using this to check whether it's possible to give a cat too much, but apparently once they've reacted to one lot of catnip, they won't react again until the effects have fully worn off. This can take from an hour, to a few days depending on the cat, and the upshot is that it's not possible to "overdose" as it were.
The catnip is quite strong smelling, so I would suggest if you have asthma or any breathing difficulties you either don't go overboard with this, or ensure you can leave the room and leave it fully ventilated. It has a slightly menthol smell to it, but is quite herby and not overly pleasant on first spray. This initial smell does wane quite quickly as far as humans are concerned, but cats can still pick up on it from a distance.
I tend to spray this catnip around the base of my cat's scratch post to remind him to use it to sharpen his claws, rather than using our furniture. He can pick up on the smell even if he's upstairs, and will come down looking rather inquisitive. We then have about ten minutes of him being weird, rolling around rubbing his head against the scratch post, and then his activity increases and he starts playing with it, followed by a bit of running round the house like he's being chased. After ten to fifteen minutes, he tends to chill out and lies perfectly still for a while, as if he's on a comedown, and to be honest after sniffing this catnip, he tends to sleep for a good few hours afterwards, as though he needs to sleep it off!
Although I felt a bit weird about altering my cat's mood at first, I realise after using this that he does enjoy it, as he actively seeks it out. It's really useful for getting him to use his scratch post, and has helped to save our sofa. It's also useful if he's being naughty and I want a bit of peace, because I know he'll sleep for hours after having this! It's worth bearing in mind that all cats react differently, however, so you might end up with a frenzied cat on your hands or a chilled out moggy, depending on how they react. I don't use it very often at all, maybe once or twice a week, but it's a nice little treat which he seems to enjoy, and it helps to save my furniture.
(Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)