Monday, July 23, 2012

Cat Toy Review: Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip Products

Oskar and Klaus spent the past two weeks testing out an assortment of goodies made by Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip Products out of Burlington, Vermont.  The boys were lucky enough to try the original Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip, the Tuna Sushi Catnip, a catnip-infused Tipsy Nip Ball, as well as the XL Tickle Pickle toys.

Before we get to the reaction of the cats, we just want to say that there is something very rewarding about using products made by small companies that were started by people who simply love animals and combine that passion with an entrepreneurial spirit.  These are companies that are focused on using healthy, quality ingredients;  they're not about maximizing profits and answering to shareholders.  There is nothing better than being able to e-mail or call the owner of the company for a quick chat – try that with big supermarket brands!

The Tipsy Nip products are packaged very well in sealed containers that preserve the freshness of the organic catnip.  The black and white labels are eye-catching, attractive, and uniquely styled.  Oskar and Klaus don’t care one bit about that however!

The Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip runs $5 and comes in a 4oz container.  It is dried fresh, devoid of large stem pieces and “junk parts,” and -- most importantly -- it’s very potent.  Klaus has two reactions to catnip: he either sniffs it and walks away unimpressed or he goes K-R-A-Z-Y like Maru in a shoebox factory.  After the first sniff and taste of the Tipsy Nip, the Klaus was hooked....hard.  We simply had to let him be Mr. Hyde for a while until he crashed and drifted off into a six-hour nap.  Oskar, on the other hand, has a milder reaction.  He simply ate some of the nip with much delight, rolled around in the remnants on the floor, and moved on to another toy, happy as always.

The Tuna Sushi Catnip proved to have the same effect on this duo.  The cool thing is that this variety has flakes of dried tuna and seaweed mixed with the catnip for a little “extra” reward.  Tipsy Nip is the first company we’ve come across that offers this.  Do the cats prefer this variety to the original?  It’s hard to say for sure – the key is that it’s catnip and everything else that's mixed in is just a bonus!  We think it’s a nice product to have on hand to mix things up a bit – it runs $7 for a 3/4oz bottle.  This would make a great gift for someone's lucky cat.

The Tipsy Nip Ball is $5 and it's another fun product that we now hear bouncing off the walls (sometimes at 4am).  It’s a nontoxic wooden ball that is sanded to a smooth finish.  There are no rough spots or potential splinters that could pose a threat to a cat’s paws, mouth, or digestive tract.  The ball is infused with an “essence of catnip,” which probably means it was treated with catnip oil.  Even though there is no bell or other noise-making mechanism inside this ball, Oskar can locate it by the scent alone.  By the way, the container that the ball ships in is filled with more Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip, so if you store the ball inside the container it will absorb some additional catnip oil and scent.

The real hit for Klaus and Oskar was the Tickle Pickle (we were lucky to have two on hand). The Tickle Pickle is a knit tube stuffed with 100% Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip and nothing else!  It comes in two sizes: the standard 6 inch model and the "XL" that measures 11 inches.  Oskar and Klaus tested the XL models, which we recommend since the cats are able to kick the Tickle Pickle with their hind paws while holding on to a portion of it with their front claws and teeth.

The Tickle Pickles come in one color – green – and do resemble a cucumber in a way.  The fact that the color is somewhat neutral and subdued is a welcome departure from the crazy Day-Glo patterns that you see on just about every other cat toy.  You could even go so far as to say that this is one classy looking toy!

The Tickle Pickle is filled with catnip, of course, but the best part is the knit fabric that holds it all together.  Unlike tightly-woven fabrics that cover similar toys, the wider spacing between threads allows a cat’s claws to dig in just a little deeper – which translates to more energy expended when kicking (which will wear out a kitty faster) and probably more gratification (we don’t think of this too often, but cats are born hunters that revel in the sensation of causing damage to an opponent – whether it’s a squirrel or a pickle).  The fabric is also very tough and has not been shredded in the least by our duo’s pointy claws and sharp teeth.  Oskar and Klaus grabbed, squeezed, bit, licked, kicked, tossed, wrestled, and cuddled with their Tickle Pickles every day since we opened the package two weeks ago.  It’s their new favorite toy for sure!

In summary, Tipsy Nip makes some fantastic products with a clear commitment to quality.  Their prices are also very reasonable considering that the toys are not mass-produced in an overseas factory out of nylon or plastic.  You can buy the toys in select pet stores across the U.S., directly from, and after August 1st you will be able to buy them on!  Oskar and Klaus like this brand so much that we decided to offer it in our new web store.

Two dew claws up!

Cool Logo

4oz Organic Tipsy Nip

Tuna Sushi Catnip

Tipsy Nip Ball

The goodies!

Klaus and the XL Tickle Pickle

Klaus Kangaroo-kicks the Tickle Pickle

What's better than one Tickle Pickle?  Two Tickle Pickles.

All this happened to Klaus -- at once!


1 comment:

  1. Too cute! That Klaus... trying to steal Oskar's pickle! ;) Love the way Oskar, like our cats, isn't happy until they knock everything onto the floor.