7 of the best gifts for cats this Christmas

Will your cat sulk if you don’t get her a Christmas present this year? Of course not! But after bringing us so much joy and companionship throughout the year, our pets surely deserve to be treated. Read on for our definitive list of the best festive gifts for cats.

1. A chasing toy

When the weather’s cold and miserable, your cat spends more time inside – so treat her to a gift that will help replace some of the physical activity she’d normally get outdoors. Battery-operated chasing toys and play circuits are ideal, engaging your cat’s natural senses of touch, hearing and sight. As Petplan vet Brian Faulkner explains, ‘They’re a great way for your cat to practise her instincts to hunt and toy with prey – which will help her to stay physically fit.’

2. Cat puzzle games

It's also important to keep mental stimulation in mind, advises clinical animal behaviourist Inga MacKellar. Look for puzzle games, food mazes and activity boards with compartments where you can hide away treats for your cat to release using a variety of techniques. ‘This provides a good challenge,’ explains Inga, ‘and helps your cat exercise her brain as she has to work out how to retrieve the treats. It’s a brilliant way to get your cat to use her natural problem-solving skills.’

3. Tasty treats for cats

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a few festive foodie treats, and if we’re pampering ourselves with extra gourmet goodies, it seems only fair to indulge our pets as well. ‘As long as your cat is healthy and isn’t overweight, it’s perfectly okay to give her the occasional extra snack,’ says clinical animal nutritionist Marjorie Chandler. There’s a huge choice of pre-packaged titbits your cat will adore – or you could go the extra mile and rustle up your own s. Just don’t go overboard. Ensure treats don’t make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily calories, and remember to reduce the size of her main meals accordingly, to help her maintain a healthy weight.

4. A cosy cat bed

Every pet should have her own special space to curl up and rest. Cat beds come in all sorts of materials and shapes: from faux-furry, velvety or felted to igloo, tunnel, cave or den! But whether you opt for something stylish to complement your interior design or go for a novelty option, it’s one of the most useful things you could give your cat at Christmas. And don’t worry if they already have one; cats will be happy to have even more choice…

5. The gift of grooming

As we know, most cats are eminently capable of grooming themselves. But if your pet is in need of extra-special attention, or you have a senior cat who’s struggling, why not book them a visit to a cat spa to enjoy a luxury treatment such as a paw massage, full-body groom or cat facial? Alternatively, buy a grooming brush or glove and treat them to some at-home pampering. Smoothly stroking your cat’s coat will gently remove tangles and loose hair, leaving her looking her festive best.

6. A cat Christmas stocking

A stocking full of cat-friendly treats is the perfect way to indulge your pet. You could buy one ready-made, or get creative and prepare your own by filling it with little luxuries. Fun suggestions might include a motorised mouse or butterfly chaser, a teasing wand, a catnip-stuffed soft toy or catnip bubbles. Or go practical, with personalised food and water bowls, a super-soft cat blanket or a natty new collar.

7. Free gifts for your cat

Strapped for cash this year? No worries! For most cats, an empty box generally brings just as much joy as whatever was once inside it. So as you unwrap your own gifts, pass on the wrapping paper and boxes – and watch your cat have hours of festive fun that won’t cost you a penny.

Finding the purrfect pressies for our cats is just one way to show them how much you care, of course. Keep them safe and well through the holiday season with our expert advice on festive hazards and make sure their cover is up to date.

What are you buying your cat for Christmas? Post your feline gift ideas with the tag #PethoodStories on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.