Wondering what to buy your cat this festive season? Find inspiration with our ultimate guide to the best Christmas presents for your cats.
Throughout the year, our cats bring plenty of companionship and joy. Which means it makes sense to treat them to a special Christmas gift (or three). Petplan expert Nicky Trevorrow offers six suggestions for how to treat your cats at Christmas, from a sustainable new bed to toys and treats.
And remember: your cat doesn't actually know it's Christmas, so it won't matter to them if they don't get anything from Santa. A Christmas cuddle will be more than enough!
1. Cat puzzle games
Puzzle games are a good way to offer your cat the mental and physical stimulation they need. There’s a wide range to choose from, including food mazes and activity boards with compartments (you can hide treats for your cat to release using a range of techniques). These challenge your cat and encourage them to use their natural, problem-solving skills. If your cat isn’t used to puzzle toys, choose a beginner version that won’t be too challenging. Show your cat how to use it by ‘pawing’ at it with your fingers as this will help to reduce frustration or boredom.
2. Cat toys
When the weather’s cold and miserable, your cat might end up spending more time inside. Treat them to a gift that helps replace some of the physical activity they’d normally get outdoors. Some cats love kicker toys that encourage their natural hunting instincts, while others can’t get enough of fishing rods or toys they can scratch and climb. Perhaps buying your cat a variety and seeing what they like best is the answer.
3. Merino wool cat bed
If you’re looking for a sustainable alternative to regular cat beds, merino wool is a great choice. These beds are often made by artisans using biodegradable and renewable merino wool in a range of colours. They can be used as a snug cave for your cat to crawl into or flattened out into a bed for them to stretch out on in the summer. In addition to being a natural material, merino wool is antibacterial and long-lasting.
If your cat loves to stay extra warm or has sore joints, try adding a pet-safe heated pad for extra snuggles. When folded flat, these beds also slip easily into your cat’s carrier, helping add some familiar scents during trips to the vet.
4. Tasty treats for cats
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a few festive foodie treats and if we're indulging ourselves, we often want to spoil our pets as well.
But cats at Christmas shouldn’t be offered table scraps, which may be high in fat or contain unsafe ingredients. Instead, choose a range of pre-packaged treats or set aside some time to make your own festive treats. Just remember not to go overboard – treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily calories. You’ll also need to reduce the size of their meals accordingly to help them maintain a healthy weight.
5. Cat hiding places
One of the most welcome cat Christmas gifts will undoubtedly be a new hiding place for your four-legged friend – think of it as a mini cat sanctuary. With all the new faces and extra visitors during the festive period, your cat will love a retreat when it all gets a bit much. You could look for a cosy Christmas cat bed, a cat cave or – if your cat’s more of a climber – a cat tree, allowing them to observe the festivities from above.
6. A cat Christmas stocking
Can’t decide what to buy? A Christmas stocking full of cat-friendly treats is the answer. You can often buy this ready-made, but it’s a lot more fun to get creative and fill your own with little luxuries your cat will love. Fun suggestions include a small puzzle ball, homemade treats, a catnip stuffed toy or a ping pong ball. Or go practical with personalised food and water bowls.
What not to pick
You might have seen posts on social media with an adorable cat Christmas jumper or a cute cat Christmas outfit. While these might seem tempting, most cats don’t enjoy wearing clothes, as it restricts their natural movements and behaviours, and some cats find it scary. Cats should only wear clothes for medical reasons on veterinary advice – for example, to help protect a wound.
What are you buying your cat this Christmas? Share your best gift ideas with the tag #PethoodStories on social media.