* Prices may differ from that shown
As anyone who owns a cat knows they can be fussy little critters and you can end up spending a fortune on things for them only for them to turn up their nose at it. My cat is like this. For example even though he has literally hundreds of toys to play with his favourite thing at the minute is a piece of plastic string that he will happily spend hours chasing around and throwing up in the air ignoring all his other toys. I bought some Armitage good girl catnip leaves as Dashel absolutely loves catnip and I thought that I would treat him. Catnip is a herb which works as a natural hallucigen and stimulant for cats. Basically it is kitty drugs. Now not all cats react to it but when they do it works to send them into a bit of a frenzy then a relaxed state. Well at least it does on my cat. The Armitage catnip leaves are supposed to be good quality 100% dried catnip. For £1.85 you get 25 grams worth of catnip so it isn't a bad price and I have paid more for other catnip before. Now as mentioned Dashel normally loves catnip and I have to hide it away from him or else he will do whatever he can to get to it including knocking over dishes, scratching drawers etc. When I got the Armitage stuff home with me I took a pinch of it out the bag and sprinkled it on top of his scratching post as this is his favourite position to roll around. After sprinkling it around I waited for him to smell it and go running towards the scratching post and do his usual crazy cat impersonation but he didn't react at all to it. Thinking that he must just not be able to smell it properly I placed him on top of the catnip but still he didn't show all that much interest. He sniffed it and had a little roll but then proceeded to jump down and ignore it. This really isn't like him where catnip is concerned so I can only assume that the Armitage catnip just wasn't as strong as the other stuff that I have bought. I have tried it with him a couple of times and he still showed no interest so I bought another brand and this he absolutely loved so it was definitely the brand and not Dashel just being his usual awkward self. Even though it was a good price I just wouldn't recommend it as it is the only 'proper' catnip that I have bought that he has shown no interest in so I would recommend spending a little bit more and buying a better one for your cat.
I love my cat - she's a lovely affectionate little thing, quite happy to sit on a lap, chair arm, or newly washed pile of clothing and purr contentedly all day . Sometimes though, I miss her crazy kitten antics - the days when she would bounce off the walls chasing her own shadow, spend hours stalking invisible monsters, or just belt in and out of the catflap at top speed. So, I decided to try the cat on some catnip - and rather than go for the stuffed mouse, I went straight for the good stuff - dried catnip leeaves, costing a £1.75 for a 25 g bag in my local petshop. That may seem a little pricey, but a little bit of catnip goes a long way, and that bag will last you ages, assuming you only use it as on occasional treat for your cat . The bags not resealable, so we decanted the catnip into one of those banking 'change' bags, something that caused some hilarity later . (More on that a little later in the review) Now, not all cats react to catnip - some do, some don't. Thats just the way it works, apparently its a genetic thing , so who knows if your cat will like it . I held a little out to my cat between my fingers, and she had a good sniff, and began playfully nipping at my fingers . I scattered a little over *her* chair (yes, she has her own chair) and she bounced up and began rolling around for a few minutes . After that, she jumped down, began grooming, every so often becoming hyperactive and bouncing on and off the chair, and at the wall. She lost interest in about 10 minutes and drifted off to sleep on the bed upstairs, but returned to the catnip a little later and began the cycle of bouncing and rolling again . You do need to keep these well out of reach of your cat, preferably in some kind of sealed bag - I used a bank change bag, and kept the catnip balanced on top of a picture hanging on the wall - which prompted some interest when the police visited my house while doing smartwater in my area. As they applied the magic water to my electricals, one of the police spotted my little baggie of green herby stuff, and became all stern, until I proved it to be catnip by giving some to the cat and sending it bouncing off the walls again . I think kitty was happy the police didn't confiscate her 'stash' though . I now keep the catnip in a tin for safetys sake . I only tend to use this as an occasional treat for my cat - I've never heard of it being harmful to cats or any potential for overdose, but I believe that like many things, its far more enjoyable as on occasional indulgence than as part of an everyday routine. I'm sure my cat would agree, but she's too busy chasing her own shadow to comment right now . The petshop I got this from is an independant shop, but I'm sure this product, or something very similar would be available in any petshop.
We've had a decent amount of success with toys with catnip, so when we saw these on sale at the cats' kennel we figured we would pick them up (okay, so guilt at having left them for a week may have figured in it). Basically they're dried catnip leaves - fairly simple. You can get a 25g bag for £2 - not cheap, but because they're quite light that's quite a lot. From the moment we opened the bag, the girls were watching us. Drop a couple of the floor and they went delightedly crazy, rolling on them and dashing around excitedly (and they still roll in the places where they were dropped). Be aware that not all cats are affected by catnip. It's a genetic thing - some won't be affected at all. For those that are however, it's apparently like getting into the Good Drugs. These can just be dropped on the floor for amusement value, or you can use them to interest cats in new scratching posts and suchlike. If you're crafty, you could also try stuffing your own mousies with this stuff. Theoretically you could even use it to tempt cats into a box pre-vet-trip. I say theoretically - sadly the girls are too smart for that. It might work with ones who aren't so bright. A quick warning - the bag we got these in was nonresealable. YOU WANT TO MOVE THESE INTO A RESEALABLE BAG. Not only does it stop the leaves losing their potency, but it stops the cats smelling where they are and climb onto the shelf while you're out to wreak havoc (argh!).