We all know that cats are drawn to the wonders of catnip, but what exactly is catnip and why does it cause felines to act erratically? Nepeta Cataria, commonly known as catnip or catmint, is a member of the mint family that blooms from
late-spring to autumn. What makes this plant so attractive to cats is the feline
“Catnip is a natural, non-addictive plant that can provide friskier behavior
for cats who need a little boost of energy, and for those cats that might be on
the other end of the spectrum, it can help to calm them down, which is where
you hear a lot about that euphoric high that cats get when they get a hold
of some good ‘nip,’” says Chris Glissman, CEO of Kansas City, Mo.-based
Meowijuana has over 40 different catnip products, including their flagship
Jar of Buds, which contains unadulterated bundles of catnip that the company
hand trims during peak harvest season. The company is also known for their
King Catnibas Joints “which are the pinnacle of the whole tongue-in-cheek
imagery” for the brand, according to Glissman.
Cats detect nepetalactone through their olfactory epithelium, which is a tissue
in the nasal cavity involved with the sense of smell. The result is cats rubbing
themselves on the plants, rolling on the ground, pawing at it, licking it and
chewing it. Consuming catnip can also result in drooling, sleepiness, anxiety and
purring. The response usually lasts between five to 15 minutes.
“The sedative effects of straight catnip can really help calm cats down,
helping with anxiety, depression and reducing the effects of stress,” says
Leslie Yellin, executive vice president of Multipet International, based in
Multipet made the decision to expand their cat category from just toys to
catnip, which the company grows in partner with a farm in Maryland that has
decades of experience in the industry.
“We started with a small crop of the plant and have expanded to acres and
acres,” says Yellin. “We grow natural and organic catnip as well as manufacture
catnip sprays and bubbles from the catnip oil.”
One of the company’s best selling products is catnip filled K-cups, as well as
the larger bags, which are great for owners with multiple cats or those looking to
refresh or fill their cat toys.
Petlinks by Worldwise has been in the catnip industry for more than 25 years.
The company’s cat scratcher is No. 1 in the U.S. This inspired them to begin
selling loose catnip as well, which has been available for more than 10 years.
“We continue to work hard to innovate in this catnip category because catnip
is the third most common consumable in pet, behind foods and litters,” says
Lisa Davis, director product development for cat supplies and bedding for
Worldwise, Inc., located in Novato, Calif. “This customer is regularly coming in
to purchase catnip, so we strive for newness and innovation to help increase sales
and help support our retail partners not only with their favorites/best sellers but
also with new catnip offerings and new products that use our catnip to better
serve the needs of their customers.”
Retailers should take advantage of the
vast variety of catnip and cat grass
options to please finicky felines.
BY MICHELE TYMANN
Crazy for Catnip