A phone interview survey was conducted by the Associated Press in October of this year asking pet owners if they planned on giving their pet a gift for the holidays.  52% of the pet owners answered yes.  The survey didn’t differentiate between dog and cat owners.  60% of the planned pet gift givers were female and 40% were male.

I am not someone who gives my cats gifts (new treats would be the exception), but I know lots of people who do plan to give their cat a gift for the holidays.  I started thinking about what kinds of gifts people could give their cats and came up with ideas that ranged from the practical to the decadent.  Maybe I should reconsider; my cats might like some of these things!

Practical Cat Gifts

New cat food–It actually isn’t a bad idea to alternate food for your cat, unless there is a health issue that requires a special diet.  As a change, you could add in some canned food too.

New cat treats–My cats love treats and fortunately they enjoy a variety.  Treats are fun to give your cat and always appreciated.

New bed–With the colder weather, most cats enjoy curling up into something soft and warm.

New toy–There are lots of fun toys available but sometimes a simple thing like a laser pointer/mouse provides great entertainment for your cat.  At our clinic we carry a line of toys from Go-Cat (http://www.go-cat.com/index.html) and Da’Bird and the Cat Catcher are very popular with our patients and clinic cats.

Grooming or grooming tools—Your cat may not appreciate this as much as you do, but maybe it’s time to take your kitty to the groomer for a clean and fluff.  If you groom at home, products like the Furminator (http://www.furminator.com/), ergonomic metal combs, and grooming gloves work well.

Pet Fountain—There are several types and most cats that enjoy drinking out of a running spigot, love them (http://www.vetventures.com/).

Microchip—Having a microchip placed may not be appreciated by your cat, but it is a gift of love and helps if an emergency or accident separates you from your cat.

Dental cleaning—More than 70% of cats have enough dental disease to warrant dental cleaning.  Although this procedure is not cheap when performed correctly by your veterinarian, it will save teeth, decrease oral pain, and give your kitty better breath.

Cat tree—When they are given the opportunity, cats prefer to rest in high perches.  Cat trees also create vertical space which decreases stress in multi-cat households by giving cats their own safe spots.

Bird Feeder—Indoor cats can get bored and having some entertainment by watching birds through the window is very stimulating.

Decadent Cat Gifts

Cat clothes—You may be the owner of one of those special cats that tolerates getting dressed up.  There are many costumes, hats, and even wigs available for cats (http://www.thesophisticatedcat.com/cat_clothes/index.html).

Designer collars and charms—We like a little bling, should we expect our cats to like it too? http://pet-jewelry.catsplay.com/pj.php3, http://www.here-kittykitty.com/

Carrying bags—Should Chihuahua’s and other pocket dogs be the only ones going to the malls? http://pet-carriers.catsplay.com/pc.php3 , http://www.thedivadog.com/dog-juicy-couture-pet.aspx

Strollers—If you don’t have a child to wheel around the neighborhood, maybe you should take your cat.  http://justpetstrollers.com/catstroller.html

Outdoor cat playground—We want our cats to be safe but also to have fun.  There are many companies that sell enclosures and perches that are designed to keep cats free from harm when they are outside. http://www.kittywalk.com/

Cat videos—My cats don’t really seem interested in TV, but I must admit that someone gave me one of these videos as a gift, and one of my cats will watch it for a while.  http://petsittervideos.com/

Heated bed—We are spoiled with the weather here in Southern California, but we all know that our cats like to lie in warm spots.  A heated bed might be something your cat would really use. http://www.catsplay.com/heated_beds.php3

Have a wonderful holiday season with your cat!

Written by Dr. Wexler-Mitchell of The Cat Care Clinic in Orange, CA
Copyright © 2011 The Cat Care Clinic