Compare Kitty Hooch Quality
There's a real difference between Kitty Hooch and typical pet shop catnip. Our experiences with commercial catnip toys were very dissapointing. We would get home and show kitty our exciting purchase... kitty would walk off unimpressed. After some research we reached a conclusion. Sadly it looks like the toys are made more to be pretty baubles to separate you from a few dollars than aimed at getting kitty excited. Cats may not be calling and complaining... but after they get their paws on some Kitty Hooch... you'll see the difference!
- Processing Method
Virtually all volume commercial catnip When we started looking into catnip production we had equipment sales people right on us to sell us the machines to mulch the catnip. Fortunately for us we couldn't afford it. Virtually all the commercial production is done like this and amazingly even some mom and pop businesses that grow their own emulate it. Machine processing is a cost saving measure and a false economy. Kitty Hooch catnip is special. First of all we grow 100% of what we sell. Everything is hand processed! It's more expensive, but it's the only way to preserve the oils. We cut it by hand when it's at it's peak and then we have people individually carefully remove each leaf and flower. Any rough handling would release those oils which would oxidize within a week. It's whole even going into our toys.
Typical commercial catnip Commercial catnip doesn't worry much about freshness. Not after mulching it. Some do hermetically seal organic mulch which stays fresh about a week after opening, but most is not sealed. Cats are stimulated by the release of oils in the olfactory center. Translation? If you don't smell an intense pungent aroma with qualities of mint it is not fresh. Exposure to direct sunlight and poorly sealed packaging will degrade it over time and it could easily sit in a warehouse in the open air six months, a year or more. Our catnip is not only carefully and lovingly tended with organic farming. Our harvested catnip is carefully cured in a slow drying process that can take up to a week. Then it is sealed in airtight containers with dessicant. We were freezing it, but it overran our freezers. We found that dried whole catnip preserves amazingly well in bulk. After a year there are few people besides us that can tell it's not fresh, certainly most cats find it full of the good stuff. We are selective with our catnip and every year reject some of our own stock and recycle the old inventory as mulch when the new inventory arrives.
Typical commercial catnip Quality extends beyond just packaging. Again, it is all about the oils and let's face it...leaves and stems that have been brutally mulched and then left to oxidize for months are no place to look for oils. Take a look at bagged catnip in your favorite pet store and notice how it looks like ground herbs and smells like 10 year old oregano, not the least hint of mint (catnip is in the mint family). By growing catnip like hay, cutting it before it flowers and mulching it commercial producers can never achieve a quality product. The highest concentration of oils are in the flowers. In fact, there is absolutely no comparison! Not only that, but each time the plant matter is handled it releases oils into the air. You want catnip as whole as possible to retain maximum potency. That's what we do! Starting from seeds under lights to where we harvest the flowers in our greenhouses our catnip focused on maximum effect for kitty and left as intact as possible for maximum potency. We then put our catnip in hand crafted toys made from carefully selected materials. Our fabrics are selected for both porosity and durability so they stand up to intoxicated cat abuse... as well as looking darned cute.
Typical commercial catnip We've come to consider most commercial catnip toys more of a game than a toy. The game is "Find The Catnip!" There isn't much. That's only one factor. Let's look at the rest. Most of these toys are cute, but flimsy. We saw one made of gold lame. Then there are the safety issues with beads and bells. What most people miss when looking at safety is filler. Rayon filler has the property that if a cat starts eating some it's toungue won't let it stop until it's all eaten. You have noticed your cat's scratchy tongue? We know of a local "mom and pop" toy in tube form with single stitching an three hand sized chunks of rayon with catnip sprinkled directly on it. Fortunately most of the catnip we saw in it was mulched, even though there was a trace of home grown in there, but sadly this is a toy marketed as "safe". Our catnip toys are hand crafted with 100% whole catnip we grew. Sure they cost a little more but when you put it up to your nose to see if there is a smell you will do a double take! Most people are surprised because of how pungent it is... and because they've never smelled good catnip. Catnip is very pleasant but freshly packaged flowers are a little heady even for people. There is no filler in our toys, just whole leaves, flowers and a thin liner to slow the breakdown and keep the shape. Aside from the quality issues it is probably at least 10-20 times as much catnip as the usual commercial toy. Then again cats don't care about quantity, only quality. Quality is where Kitty Hooch is second to none, not even the mom and pop toy you found once and can't find again.
Typical commercial catnip Giving your cat a "catnip toy" from a chain store can be a real disappointment! Ours looked at us like we were idiots. If you're lucky enough to have a cat that plays with it they will probably lose interest in a week. That's if they don't destroy it first. Our assesment is that the quest for margins with $3 and $4 toys has met the worst marketing philosophies. "Cats are mysterious and even if we don't get repeat business there is a fortune out there and new customers daily". There are an estimated 70 million cats in the US. The fact that not all cats respond to catnip has become an excuse to market catnip very few cats respond to at absurdly high profit margins. Everyone seems willing to blame the cat instead of the industry. If the same safety and quality issues were present in products for children these people would be in court and on the front pages of magazines as the greatest evil villians of our time. Anybody who treats your cat like a number is dangerous. Giving your cat a Kitty Hooch toy is a party! Our initial pricing research led us to believe that next to a $4 toy ours was worth about $80. Obviously we don't price like that, but it does suggest the production cost of that toy at about $0.20. I don't know if they make them that cheap, but I wouldn't give 2 cents for one. Our experience offering a money back gaurantee has led us to the conclusion that it's impossible to support the theory that 20% of cats don't respond. I might believe 2% but we're doing about a 0.2% or less refund rate. Have a look at what our customers say about Kitty Hooch and then try some risk free. See if you don't agree it's the post potent anywhere. In fact we are not just the most potent, but the most durable and the safest. To us your cat is part of our extended family. Kitty Hooch is more about passion than numbers to us.