Sunday, December 5, 2010

Arguably The Weirdest Thing We've Gotten For Our Cats, Xtreme Cat Nip Spray.

The Good: It generally entertains and amuses the cats, Nothing bad in it
The Bad: Expensive, Seems largely pointless.
The Basics: For cats not addicted to actual catnip, this spray offers cats the opportunity to become enticed by spraying anything with the essence of catnip and letting them get busy.

Sometimes it astonishes me what products are on the market for pet owners and what pet owners will actually buy. As one who now worked for a brief time at a pet store, my sense of surprise only grew. I was shocked, for example, for find on our shelves Xtreme Super Concentrated Liquid Catnip, which originally confounded me; after all, I asked, why would anyone need Liquid Catnip and what does it do? I received the answers soon enough when I bought a bottle and began using it at home with my cats, Brillo and Gollum.

The short of the review is that this is an entirely pointless product whose purpose is mostly to make less active cats more active. In Monty Python's Flying Circus, there was a sketch about a service, "Confuse-A-Cat" which would shake the lives of inert cats up by confusing them. The cat watched in bewilderment as skits were put on for it until it moved from its spot and walked away. The Xtreme Liquid Catnip seems to be the “make your own Confuse-A-Cat” as this is designed to make cats go wild and be active again. As ours have completely dismembered one of their toys, it is safe for us to say that this is working.

The Super Concentrated Liquid Catnip is contained in a red spray bottle with little fanfare or information. The back has very simple directions: shake well and spray on anything that you want your cat to play with. The bottle recommends the cat’s favorite toy or a scrunched-up piece of paper, but I disagree. First, my cats have a favorite toy: Mews Ments Krinkle Mouse (click here for that review!). They play with that because it has a faint amount of catnip in it and they like the sound it makes when it is squeezed and they enjoy chasing after it when I throw it. Everybody wins. They don't need liquid catnip sprayed on it to be active.

The second reason I do not recommend spraying the liquid catnip on a piece of paper or most cat toys is simple: your cat will tear them apart! My wife and I sprayed this on two cat toys, one of which was essentially a beanbag with feathers. It turns out it is exactly like a bean bag with feathers and the way I now know this is that the beans from inside are all over our house! Our cats – a nine year-old Siamese (Brillo) and our energetic four year-old black cat (Gollum) literally shredded the toy we sprayed this on before going into a stoner haze.

As the bottle notes, 15% of all cats do not have the necessary gene that makes them respond to catnip. I honestly suspected Gollum was in that minority, as he had never displayed an inclination toward catnip or the mayhem that comes with it (Brillo once was very into catnip, but I weaned him off it). Well, this spray proved Gollum has the love of catnip in him; he played with the toy we sprayed it on until it was eviscerated. If you want your cat to tear into things, this is a great product for you!

But for those who want more placid cats, this is certainly not the ideal tool. It is, however, good for getting less active cats moving again. Brillo came out when we sprayed this on a little pillow we had and he vigorously began licking said pillow, so he has a clear attraction to the catnip which is exactly what the makers of this liquid are hoping for. As long as the cat has the right genes, this seems to be a great way to get lazier cats moving and playing when they are more typically sedentary. However, it is worth noting that Brillo quickly wore himself out playing with this and afterward, he slept for a long period of time, whereas Gollum tore through the toy we sprayed with this and then went on to play with the pillow we sprayed for Brillo.

There are, however, two other problems that I can find with the Xtreme Super Concentrated Liquid Catnip. The first is that because this is a totally unnecessary product, despite it being 100% natural, I'd want it cheap. At seven dollars a 4 oz. bottle, that's a bit steep for me (online it does appear to be less expensive). Sure, it works, but it does something that other toys with catnip in them do anyway and there are other ways to get cats playing.

Second, while the product claims it leaves no mess (which is technically true, though the cats might make a mess of whatever one sprays this on), it can stain. We sprayed this on white yarn which was holding the beanbag ball and it became brown. Light colored fabrics or furs will get stained and the only items that we've seen discolored by the product which have returned to their original color are products that the cats have licked all of the super concentrated liquid catnip off of.

That said, this is like drugs for your cat: there is no nutritional value (or detriment) to using it and it may be used to reward cats for good behavior . . .or just spray it around and watch them run around (and into things) like stoned idiots. This works, but after a few uses, I see little point in using it.

For other cat toys and cat treats, please visit my reviews of:
Vroom Around The Room Cat Laser
Spotnips Crazy Cluster Glow In The Dark
Lipiderm Liquid Catnip


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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