Friday, December 05, 2008

Cat Nip Kitty

I bought Target and Au a ball of dried cat nip in our local pet shop this week.

Experts say that catnip family consisting of some 250 herbs in the Nepeta genus contains nepetalactone, a feel-good compound that many cats adore.

BUT! Kittens aged less than 3 months don’t react to the stuff at all. In some cases cats aren’t interested until they are 1 or 2 years old.

Also, the enjoyment factor appears to be inherited. About half the cat population thinks it’s the bees knees - the other half can’t be bothered. Guess what Au and Target think of nip?

Katz Tales tomorrow in the Weekend section of the Malaysian national daily The Star is all about cat nip and cat toys. For instance, did you know that there are no safety standards for pet toys in Malaysia or Singapore? This means there might be unsafe toys out there with lead based paints, bits that can be chewed off and swallowed and more.

For cats who like nip, one way out is to buy your own nip (presticide free!) or grow it, and then use it to make your own toys.

#1: take a square bit of plain washed cotton or jeans material some 20cm by 20cm. Wash it, dry it, iron it, place dried catnip in the centre, then fold in half and sew up the sides with thick cotton. Your kitty will love to wrestle with this toy. If you're not the sewing type, place nip in the toe of a sock and knot.

#2: wind a thick unpainted, undyed hemp rope around a tree trunk (buy in garden centre). Wrap hemp along with dried lengths of nip plant around your scratching post to encourage your cat to scratch claws here instead of on the sofa!

Check it out tomorrow, and in the meantime, here are some cat nip and poisoned pet toy links:

How does catnip work?

Pet Owner Tests 24 Chinese-Made Dog Toys For Lead

Tests Find More Toxic Pet Toys

Consumers Respond to Toxic Wal-Mart Pet Toy Stories

Dog Toys - the Unregulated Market

Wikipedia's Catnip
Also, if you're in Malaysia, send in a snap of your cat or dog with a caption and win a gift basket from Heartguard (dogs) or Friskies (cats). Send entry to:

Katz Tales and Dog Talk Photo Competition
Star Publications
Menara Star
15 Jalan 16/11
Petaling Jaya 46350

Don't forget to include your name, town and contact number so the prize can be sent to your home/office.


Everycat said...

Thanks for the links to the Toxic Toys articles, very interesting, In the UK there are no regulations for animal toys either. We come across a few catnip impregnated toys that none of we four nip lovin' cats would touch, they got binned straight away. How could two vets say that chromium and cadmium weren't toxic to cats and dogs? The cat's liver is one of the most senstitive organs known in mammals - crazy!

Looks like you enjoyed your cat nip ball!

Whicky Wuudler

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Good tip on checking toys for toxicity. We normally don't use the catnip that comes with the cardboard replacement pad for the Scratch N' Play anyway, because it doesn't do anything for our kitties.

Say, if we were to use hemp, our kitties could get high, right? Whoopeee! Stoned-Age Kitties!

Jeffrey New said...

I love all good kitty cat pictures and stories, I saw a website that would be great for all pets and pet lovers it is see for your self it's awesome.