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My cat Whizz is literally driving me crazy! She has always bit a bit temperamental but just recently she has been really trying. She is an indoor/outdoor cat but just recently at night time she has been asking to go outside and then will want to come in a few hours later, then go out again a few hours later and so it carries on night after night. We do not have a cat flap as my husband does not want to get one so she will just scratch and pull at our door seal until we get up and open the door for her. Its destructive and annoying and I am at a bit of a wits end to figure out what to do. One of the things I thought about trying was to spray cat nip onto her bed and see if that would help and make her want to stay there all night rather than go in and out all the time. So what exactly is catnip and what does it do? Well, I am going to quote an article I read to help explain it a bit better as all I really know is that it is called crack for cats!! The article says, "Given to the right cat, catnip can cause an amazing reaction! The cat will rub it, roll over it, kick at it, and generally go nuts for several minutes. Then the cat will lose interest and walk away. Two hours later, the cat may come back and have exactly the same response. Although no one knows exactly what happens in the cat's brain, it is known that the chemical nepetalactone in catnip is the thing that triggers the response. Apparently, it somehow kicks off a stereotypical pattern in cats that are sensitive to the chemical. The catnip reaction is inherited, and some cats are totally unaffected by it. Large cats like tigers can be sensitive to it as well." I decided to purchase the Kong catnip spray as I know Kong to be a good name in pet products and that was the one they had in Pets at Home. The spray comes in a small 30ml bottle and Kong call it a concentrated oil specially designed and distilled from finest North American catnip to ensure maximum fun is achieved by your cat. All you do then is spray it onto things that you want your cat to have fun with but I just sprayed it onto Whizzs bed to see what she would do. There wasn't much of a smell to my nose, perhaps a bit of a natural plant smell but nothing chemical smelling or too wrong for the house. I think the smell is a bit like dog whistles, only dogs can hear high pitched dog whistles and alternatively, only cats can smell catnip. When I first sprayed it on Whizz did seem to like it and came straight to her bed and rolled and snuggled around in it. She seemed to be very attracted to it, more than usual but unfortunately this has not had my desired effect and kept her in her bed all night so maybe this is not really what it was intended for so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I have kept the spray and spray it onto her favourite toys now and again and she seems to like that so hopefully I am pleasing my cat even if she is not pleasing me in the middle of the night. The bottle will last for absolutely ages as you only need a few sprays and I have hardly made a dent in the liquid. Catnip, fun for a while but not a cure all formula for cat obedience!
I have found that with my cat Dashiel that some cat nip is hit and miss with him. Whereas I have bought expensive brands and sprinkled it all over his scratching post and it has had no effect some cheap toy from the market with some in will have him in ecstasy for hours. Although I like dried catnip and Dashiel seems to prefer it for convenience sake I find that catnip spray to be much easier not to mention cleaner to use with the only down side being that the effect doesn't last as long as with the dried stuff. Like with the effectivity of the dried catnip some sprays are better than others and the Kong catnip spray is one of the better ones in my experience. It contains pure catnip oil and distilled water and is supposed to be all safe and natural. The price for a bottle of the spray is £3.49 in my local pet shop and I find that the little spray bottle will last me a good couple of months before I have to buy a new one. To use the Kong catnip all you need to do is spray a small amount on a toy, scratching post etc and then wait for your cat to catch the smell. Dashiel gets excited as soon as he sees that I have the bottle in my hand and he jumps around my feet until I spray his toy or his bed and as soon as I have sprayed it he loses all interest in me completely and gives his undivided attention to whatever it is that I have sprayed. His reaction to this catnip is slightly different to the dried catnip I also use. With the dried he goes a little wild but with this one his reaction is more calm and he seems to just enjoy rolling over it and giving it a little chew. The only problem that I have with this catnip spray is that it just doesn't last that long. Dashiel will be having the time of his life but only for about half an hour before the scent must fade and he loses interest. Because Dashiel enjoys this spray so much I have to give it quite a high score but I am deducting a star due to its longevity or lack off.
Just over a month ago I lost one of my gorgeous boys (cats) at the age of 16 and his brother who is also the same age was left without his lifelong playmate and companion and was showing signs of distress and grief. Unable to think of much I could do to help him through the difficult time I decided to try distractions in the form of new toys, plenty of company and TLC, a change of beds and some fresh catnip spray to entertain him. One thing I've learnt over the years is not all catnip sprays are created equal and some smell pretty fine and others have no effect so I wanted a brand that I could trust. A quick Google search brought up the Kong catnip spray and I ordered one for about £4 from an online company. The Kong spray is only a 30ml bottle but claims to be highly potent so for refreshing toys it seemed ideal and you'd be surprised how far 30ml of catnip goes when you just spritz the toys with a couple of sprays. I can't remember exactly where I purchased the spray but it is widely available, although by the time you get to the foot of this review you probably won't care! Not all cats respond to catnip but those that do generally react immediately to the scent and it acts kind of like alcohol does with us. The Kong spray is in a small pump action bottle which unfortunately seems to leak very easily, when I received mine it had leaked in the jiffy bag and when I've shaken it I've ended up with drops of it on my hands too. It may just be my bottle but either way it's not ideal. The claims on the bottle are "irresistible scent, no mess and highly potent" and advises us to shake well before use. The ingredients are distilled water and catnip oil. When I sniff the product I can smell something herby so everything was as it should be until we tried it. The first time I tried this spray it was very soon after losing my boy's brother and when he didn't react very much I thought he might not be ready for play yet so put it away for a bit. The next time I offered him the bottle to sniff and he could definitely smell something mildly interesting but gave none of his usual reaction to catnip. The next time I sprayed his toys thoroughly and then played with him for a while to see if I could get him interested but again he wasn't displaying any signs of catnip frenzy. My lad has always responded to catnip so it isn't that he's one of those cats who doesn't get it, it's obviously the spray. I've tried many times over the last few weeks to get him interested in the Kong spray but he just isn't getting the normal scent from it. I have no idea why this would be but it just doesn't seem to smell like catnip, or perhaps it just doesn't smell strongly enough of catnip. I've actually worked my way through, and had some leak on me, almost half the bottle with still not much of a reaction so I'm about to bin this little item. To test my theory that perhaps he isn't ready for play I purchased some "cosmic catnip cups" (review to follow) which contain dried catnip and nothing else and he reacted exactly as I'd expect to those so it is definitely the spray that isn't working. Overall I'm very disappointed, Kong is a brand I trust and it never occurred to me the spray wouldn't be up to scratch. My boy though has a fine nose and if this had smelt as it should it would have had some effect on him. Perhaps there's too much water and not enough oil in this, or maybe the leaking was mostly oil so when I shake it there isn't much left. I'm not sure what the answer is but it's got to get a lowly 1 star from me and my lad for being ineffective.