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Last Updated: 03/10/2009

      The Evolution of a Pawbreaker!

1. What’s a Pawbreaker!? – “Pawbreakers! The Candy for Cats” are the all natural, healthy, safe and fun toy treat ball, all rolled into one- a purrrfect combination (see the picture above)! Pawbreakers are the catnip equivalent of a ‘Jawbreaker’ for cats (without the sugar)!  Weighing in at a hefty 1/2 ounce, we packed them solid with the freshest, highest quality USA grown catnip available. Made proudly in Michigan, USA.

2. What’s in it? – Our secret recipe is 100% natural and uses only pure, fresh catnip and human-grade ingredients that are healthy for your cat! Pawbreakers do not contain sugar or any other unwanted ingredients. We call it ‘candy’ because it’s such a treat for the kitties (even though its healthy and all natural)! Please see question 10 for more information on our ingredients.

3. How are Pawbreakers different from other catnip toys?

A - Pawbreakers are an EDIBLE toy! – There’s simply nothing else like it! Would you like someone to wrap up your favorite food in something you can never open or eat?! Of course not! Its no wonder so many cats get frustrated with other catnip toys that end up sitting in the corner. Not only do they go stale, but they cant eat them anyway~! With Pawbreakers, your kitty can PLAY with his catnip AND EAT it too!
B - Pawbreakers are made fresh! – We use fresh harvested of catnip, and then lock the delicious flavor into every bite. Unlike many fabric covered, boxed or bagged catnip products that can sit in a warehouse for a long time, Pawbreakers are made and delivered fresh! We are the only maker of Pawbreakers and therefore EVERY shipment of Pawbreakers is the freshest available.
C - Pawbreakers lock in the flavor! - Any fragrant substance (herbs, spices, coffee etc.) will lose their smell if left open in the air especially in hot, humid or bright/sunlit conditions. Pawbreakers are specially made to lock in the flavor. Every time your kitty chews or scratches on their Pawbreaker, they are releasing the fresh aroma locked in every bite of a Pawbreaker. A plain old box of catnip, or catnip stuffed in a fabric pouch will lose much of its aroma (if it hasn’t already before you bought it). While it may still work, its just doesn’t stay as fresh as a Pawbreaker.

4. What benefits do Pawbreakers Have?

A - Health benefits! - Pawbreakers can provide many mental and physical health benefits.
a - Helps keep kitties frisky! – The combination of the powerful aroma and an interactive/edible toy help to perk most kitties up and make them happy and more active. Every time they bite into it, even more of the natural aroma is released, making them even more interested.

A. Florsheim, DVM, TX: “I'm a veterinarian with the goal of becoming board certified in feline behavior. I think this product has a great deal of potential as environmental enrichment for cats…”

b - Provides Nutrients! – The high-quality catnip used in Pawbreakers naturally provides vitamins and minerals including: Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, multiple B vitamins and more!

c - Aids in digestion! - The catnip in Pawbreakers can help some kitties with stomach upset and gas.

d - Provides fiber - Helps keep things moving along, including furballs.

B - Exercise and Stress Relief! - Pawbreakers help to provide exercise and relieve stress by providing both interactive play, and edible catnip at the same time. NO other toy on the market is quite like Pawbreakers. Pawbreakers are soft enough to be easily chewable and edible, yet tough enough to take even the roughest cat for days even weeks full of fun.
5. Do I need to ‘take care’ of my Pawbreaker? – Our advice is to replace what’s left (if anything) every 2 – 4 weeks for the freshest catnip experience. The life expectancy of a Pawbreaker depends on the ferociousness of the cat. J Some large cats or exuberant kittens can eat a Pawbreaker in a couple of days or less, but with most cats they will last longer. Usually they are slowly gnawed on, licked silly and chewed on, bit by bit, until kitty can get a good bite on it and eat the whole thing; they usually disappear and are consumed entirely. But, if your Pawbreaker is still in good shape, they can be cleaned up a bit with a damp paper towel (use water only!). Scratching the surface (or rubbing it on their favorite scratching post, etc.) will help to revive the locked in fragrance. There is no expiration date on Pawbreakers, but like all herbs, the longer it sits around (depending on the environment, temperature.) the more potency they lose.

6. Will Pawbreakers stain my carpet or furniture?- Rarely. The main ingredient (catnip) has natural pigments that make it ‘green’. If combined with a heavily drooling kitty or damp location and a light colored material, it can stain. But, these stains can usually be cleaned up with a light solution of laundry detergent and water. There is no coloring added to Pawbreakers! We prefer to keep them 100% natural and healthy, and not put in any extra ingredients.

7. Can my cat eat too much, should I take it away? – Cats generally self regulate their intake of catnip and your kitty should be able to eat as many Pawbreakers as you and he or she wants. Pawbreakers are safe to leave down for your kitty to play with whenever they want (please read the warning on and inside our label regarding safety around children).

8. My cat didn’t react at all! Should I worry? – Some cats do not react to catnip and kittens generally need to be at least 4 to 6 months old before they will react to catnip. It can also take some cats a while to realize that Pawbreakers are edible! When a kitty has had their favorite food locked up in a wood ball, or wrapped up in fabric, they think ALL catnip can’t be eaten. Sometimes we have found that breaking off pieces of a Pawbreaker in front of them and leaving that out for them to munch on can help.

9. My cat played with Pawbreakers like crazy the first day, now the next day he/she doesn’t seem interested? – Imagine going and playing a hard game of soccer for the first time in a long time…hehe! This is what frequently happens to some of the kitties! Depending on how in shape your cat is, all this exercise can wear them out! If their first response was to go crazy, it wont be long before you will hear the familiar ‘knock knock’ of a Pawbreaker rolling around the house again…. Sometimes it takes time for them (sometimes more than a couple of days!) to recuperate from all the excitement and exercise after their first experience with a Pawbreaker.

10. What are the ingredients/What’s the binder? – All the ingredients are all natural! Pawbreakers use an all-natural secret recipe with human quality ingredients. Pawbreakers went through a year of testing before we found the perfect ingredients: safe, healthy and above all tasty to the kitties! While we can’t divulge our secret recipe we can tell you this: The ingredients used in Pawbreakers are extremely common, and have been in use for over 50 years in the human-food industry. Our natural and hypoallergenic binder is consumed every day by millions of people around the world, withstanding the “test of time” as a VERY safe product. Even companies in Europe, which has much stricter food additive laws than the United States, use our ingredients in human foods.

What is Catnip!

This is Catnip.
(Variety of catnip)

Nepeta Cataria Catnip Plant Blossoms

Catnip is a relative of the mint family and when you compare the two, you can see just how similar they look. Both plants are edible, and have a history of being used for a wide range of ailments in both humans and cats. Both mint tea and catnip tea have been used for centuries, you can find them both here:

Both catnip and mint grow wild in various locations throughout the world. In fact, catnip is far more common that you might expect, and can be found in many locations, from the city to the mountains. Always be careful when picking your herbs, and make sure that the soil they come from is not obviously contaminated. Picking mint or catnip from around a junkyard, mine, trash dump or places that dump chemicals is probably not the best location, as any herb can absorb chemicals from its surroundings.

12. Can I grow my own catnip? - Almost any time you buy catnip, you will have seeds. They are a tiny black seed, about the size of a couple of grains of salt.

As someone who has grown catnip for a long time, I believe it’s a bit difficult to grow. Start with a small pot (couple of inches is fine) and a good potting/seed starter soil. Fill the pot about 1 inch from the top, sprinkle in your seeds, and put a fine layer of soil over them (less than 1/8 of an inch) and pack it moderately. Then place the pot in a warm location that gets a bit of sun for the first week or two. You have to keep the soil damp (not water logged or too wet) almost constantly. A good way to do this is to keep a spray bottle with water next to it, and spray the top of the soil gently but religiously. After the seeds sprout, its important to give it full sun and water it every day (but not too much)! A young catnip plant is very fragile, and even ½ to 1 day without water in full sun can kill it. Once your plant gets larger, they are very hardy and more tolerant of going without water. Catnip generally prefers a slightly to moderately damp soil. Once your plant starts to get larger, it can be transplanted like any other plant. Your cat will enjoy catnip fresh off the plant, or you can pick it ahead of time and dry it in a sunny location.

Be careful where you put your catnip plant, especially when it is young….if kitty finds it, it may end up tipped over and eaten! This is especially true after you have recently brushed up against, picked or damaged the plant, as this releases the catnip fragrance. Your kitty will be more likely to find and eat your plant at these times. I have found that in general, its best just to get a hanging planter, or put it in a location where your particular kitty cant get to it while its small. Once the plant is large enough (about 6 inches tall for one cat) your kitty probably wont eat enough to harm the plant, and you can set it in a safe location where your kitty can eat at will. Just make sure the pot is heavy enough, and low enough, or secured so that he or she can’t tip the pot over. If you have any questions about growing your own, please email us and we will be happy to help if we can!

13. What are the Effects of Catnip and Pawbreakers? - Nepetalactone - This is the active ingredient which drives cats crazy. Lactones occur in everything from black pepper, to orange juice and wine. Not all cats react to catnip; estimates range anywhere from about 10% to 30% of cats do not react. Kittens generally do not react until 4 – 6 months old. Whether or not a cat reacts to catnip depends on his or her genetics. Most cats that react to catnip exhibit some or even all of the following effects:

a) Rubbing and rolling in the catnip
b) Flipping side to side or ‘head over heels’
c) Licking and eating the catnip
d) Kitty can get slightly ‘purrplexed’, ‘feisty’ and ‘vocal’, sometimes all at the same time!
e) They all have their own individual reactions; some kitties get very active, some like to take a nap, but it generally appears that they are having fun!

Smelling the catnip is enough to cause a reaction although most cats also like eating catnip. It's said that catnip can improve a cat's digestion, and it also contains a wide range of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and fiber. This can help with furballs, and provide additional fiber and nutrients in their diet.

14. How did you think of Pawbreakers?- Our kitties love their Pawbreakers! They have been playing with them since the very first Pawbreaker, and continue to this day. Our youngest cat Tailor, a Turkish Van, loves batting her Pawbreaker around the house and playing ‘hide the Pawbreaker’. She eats about a Pawbreaker a week, sometimes less, sometimes more. Her favorite time to play with them is at night, when her night hunting instincts kick in. After watching my cats play for years, and watching them lose interest in most of the other catnip toys we had, I decided see if I could make something better.
I knew Pawbreakers had to meet two important criteria; they had to be all-natural and be totally edible (we are VERY picky about what we feed our furbabies). While there were all kinds of yummy stuff that helped the catnip to stick together, we realized that smelly things like fish probably weren’t something you would want rolling around your house…heheh. We researched multiple sizes, weights and formulas of Pawbreakers to find the one that was ‘just right’. It had to be tasty and it had to be tough enough to withstand chewing (and not make a stinky mess, lol). It had to have just enough weight so that they could bat it around and it would roll well across the floor, yet it’s not so big and heavy to be discouraging. We also wanted just the right size to challenge them and keep them active! We worked to make it just the right size so they had to work to hold on to them and gnaw at it first, before they could eat them; just like the prey they love to chase in nature. We finally brought all the best together to make a tantalizing, interactive and exciting experience for the kitties. As many of us know, if it doesn’t taste good, or it’s too easy for them, they will loose interest very quickly.

15. Can other animals eat Pawbreakers? – A small percentage of dogs (less than 10%) actually react to and like catnip! Eating catnip will not harm your dog whatsoever, but we do advise supervision around dogs or you may find your Pawbreakers disappearing very quickly. Even animals such as ferrets and chinchillas have been reported to like Pawbreakers! Catnip has not been known to be harmful to any humans or animals. But, as with any small ball, its best to monitor children and larger animals as they can choke on them.


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