Last updated: September 5, 2021

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Although most cats are strict carnivores, some enjoy playing with flowers and other herbs; some even like eating asparagus and lettuce. Catnip and cat grass are two of the plant-based products that cats really go crazy over; it tastes great to them, and it also has many benefits for your cat's health. We have created a shopping guide for you to pick the best catnip or cat grass for your feline friend.

Key Facts

  • Catnip and cat grass are two terms that are usually used interchangeably but are not the same. Catnip is used more for recreational purposes while cat grass is usually meant to help your pet's digestive system.
  • Catnip will put your pet in a state of euphoria. In many cases, a cat will become more active when it consumes catnip, which is great, especially for lazy cats.
  • When purchasing your catnip, you should always pay attention to what the product is made of, which we will go over later in shopping criteria. Most brands use 100% natural ingredients, but you should always double-check the product description.

Our Selection: The Best Catnip

Choosing the best catnip for your pet can be a difficult task, so we have made a list of the best catnip on the market to help you with your purchase.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Catnip

As you have probably realized, catnip is not just an ordinary plant that you feed your cat. Catnip actually has many functions and different uses depending on where it comes from. To help you with your purchase, in the following shopping guide we have answered the most common questions about catnip from buyers like you.

Although cats are strictly carnivorous, there are numerous benefits that come with feeding your cat catnip.
(Source: HHelene B: 113643190/

What is catnip and cat grass exactly, and how can I use these plants with my cat?

First of all, you need to understand the difference between catnip and cat grass. Although people often use these two terms interchangeably, technically, there is a difference. Catnip is used for your cat's pleasure and is mostly recreational.

On the other hand, cat grass usually refers to a type of plant that you buy as seeds and then plant. Cat grass is usually used to help your pet's digestive system as it boosts the cat's gastrointestinal health and helps get rid of hairballs.

What types of catnip and cat grass are there?

Now that you know the difference between catnip and cat grass, let's delve deeper into the properties of these interesting plants. Catnip or Catmint, also known by its scientific name: Nepeta cataria, is a plant originally from Europe, but currently can be found growing in the wild in West Asia and North America. This plant has a euphoric effect on cats.

Cat grass, on the other hand, is made up of a combination of different plants. These plants are meant to help improve your cat's health and generally are not used for recreational purposes. Using this product is a great way to help your cat with its digestive system. Although there are many different plants that you can find in cat grass, the following are the three most common:

  • Umbrella papyrus (Cyperus alternifolius): This plant is completely safe and can be ingested by your cat with no problem. In fact, many cats love this plant. The only downside to the umbrella papyrus is that its leaves are a bit sharp.
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum): This plant has a vomit-inducing property. We know this might sound off-putting, but it is a great option if you are looking for cat grass that helps your cat get rid of its hairballs. The only downside to this plant is that it absorbs harmful substances from the air.
  • Wheat, barley, and other grains: Plants like wheat and barley culture very quickly and are quite inexpensive to purchase.

What are the properties of catnip?

Catnip acts as a stimulating drug for cats, but do not worry; it is completely harmless. Once your cat comes in contact with the catnip it will become very extroverted, playful, and much more affectionate. The effect of catnip usually only lasts about ten minutes.

After the euphoric effects of the catnip subside, your pet will be normal again. Although the effect only lasts about ten minutes, your cat may continue to show playful behavior. Catnip works thanks to nepetalactone, the active ingredient in catnip or catmint that stimulates the sensory neurons and activates the central nervous system of your pet. It is a good idea to give your pet a cat scratcher while it is under the effects of catnip.

Catnip or catmint will give your cat a euphoric effect and will make it more affectionate and playful.
(Source: Birgit Brandlhuber: 20616058/

As we have mentioned before, cat grass does not produce these euphoric sensations. The main purpose of this product is to improve your cat's health. You should keep these two different properties in mind when deciding whether you want to buy catnip or cat grass for your beloved pet. We have provided you with the table below to help you with your decision:

If you want you should get:
to make your cat more playful. Catnip.
your cat to concentrate more on its toys. Catnip.
remove my cat's hairballs and improve its digestive system. Cat grass.
Help your cat digest its food and improve its gastrointestinal health. Cat grass.

How do I grow cat grass?

Usually, when you buy cat grass, it will come in little bags of seeds that you just have to plant. Certain products do come with specific instructions, but they are usually pretty similar. If you are thinking of growing cat grass in your home, you should follow these steps:

  • Try to use natural soil that is not industrially treated.
  • Soak the seeds in water for 1-2 hours.
  • Get a pot or use the kit that comes with your cat grass to put the seeds in.
  • Plant the seeds. To get the best results, plant the seeds only 3/4" deep.
  • Put the pot in a sunny spot in your house.
  • Water the seeds evenly. Do not overwater them.
Dr. Kim SmythVeterinarian and Instructor of Veterinary Sciences in Charlottesville, Virginia
"Rest assured that it is safe for your cat. Catnip is a plant in the same family as mint—you can even grow it in your garden to have a ready supply for playtime! The compound in it that causes your cats to seem so frenzied is called nepetalactone. When inhaled, the compound stimulates the olfactory bulb, which then sends a signal to the amygdala (responsible for emotional responses) and the hypothalamus, which controls behavioral responses."

Is catnip effective with all cats?

First of all, cats usually do not respond to the active ingredient of catnip until they are more than 6 months old, but there are always exceptions. Also, keep in mind that if your cat uses catnip frequently, it will have less effect than before as your pet will produce a tolerance for the plant. If you find yourself in this situation, taking away the catnip for a while will allow your cat to enjoy its effects again. It is also important to note that catnip is not harmful or addictive at all. Not all cats react in the same way to this plant.

What are the pros and cons of cat grass or catnip?

You might be wondering if there are any cons to using cat grass or catnip. We know that you want the best for your feline friend. For the last part of the shopping guide we have made a table of the pros and cons of using cat grass or catnip:

Cat grass

  • Helps improve the gastrointestinal health of your cat
  • Is completely safe and natural
  • Very inexpensive
  • Can be fun to grow
  • Some have extra vitamins
  • Most cats love it and have fun playing with and eating it.
  • Cat grass made of umbrella papyrus is sharp
  • Spider plant cat grass should only be used every once and a while


  • Makes your cat more playful
  • Makes your cat more affectionate
  • Completely harmless and not addictive
  • Great to get your cat to play with its toys
  • In some cases, it can calm your cat
  • You can fill your cats toys with the cat nip
  • Some cats can become aggresive

Shopping Criteria

We have come to the moment where you will decide which catnip or cat grass to buy for your feline friend. Now that you know a lot about these interesting plants, you might even feel even more lost, but do not worry! We have provided the following shopping criteria to help you with your purchase.


If you want to make your cat more playful and make it play with its toys, you should get catnip. However, if you want to improve your cat's health and digestive system you should get cat grass.

Packs or Individual

You should be careful the first time you buy catnip because not all cats react the same. Your feline friend may not react to the plant or may not show any interest in it. That is why it might be a good idea to buy an individual pack at first. If you are confident that your cat will like the catnip or you have used it before on your cat, you might want to buy the catnip or cat grass in packs.

Did you know that cats can spend up to 60% of their time grooming themselves? This can lead to hairballs in their stomach or throat.


One of the biggest pros that come with shopping on Amazon is that you can compare the different products you are considering based on the reviews that other purchasers like you have left on the page. This will help you choose the best catnip or cat grass for you. Also, keep in mind that every cat and cat owner is different.

Catnip is available in spray, treats, seeds, or dried.
(Source: Oleg0: 112897057/


If you want the best for your cat, you need to look for natural and ecological products. If you are going to buy a catnip spray, read the ingredients and make sure that it does not contain any chemicals that can be harmful to your cat. Remember, cats are much more sensitive than human beings.


Cats are very sensitive and elegant animals. If you have one as a pet, you need to take care of it the best you can mentally and physically. Purchasing catnip will make your pet happy and playful, and cat grass will keep it healthy.

In this article, we have gone over the benefits, properties, and different types of catnip and cat grass. We hope that we have provided you with the correct information to make the best purchase for you and your feline friend.

(Source of Featured Image: Юлия Завалишина: 118792204/