5 Great Holiday Gifts for Cats
Posted on December 17, 2014 under Pet Health & Safety
By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a practicing veterinarian for 30 years, focusing exclusively on cats for the past 20 years. Dr. McFarland also writes for the cat health insurance agency, Pets Best.
What are you going to get for the love of your life? The holidays are coming and your cat deserves more than the everyday treats he or she gets. First, what not to get: no Christmas sweaters, ugly or otherwise, please.
1. Climbing Tree
Instead, how about a wonderful climbing tree that you can place next to a window? You can find a cat tree to fit any size residence, budget, and most importantly, cat. If you have multiple cats, think multiple perches of varying heights, especially if one or more of your cats is young and athletic. A one-cat household consisting of an older, sedentary cat might opt for a simple shorter tree with just one comfortable curving shelf.
2. Heated Pet Bed
Another great gift is a heated pet bed, especially if your cat is older or has very short, fine fur. I bought a heated pet bed warmer that I can use in any of our cat beds, and my cats love it, especially my 14 year old cat, Jake. He’s a little arthritic, and the warmth helps keep him comfortable and mobile. Please use a warming pad designed for cats, as human heating pads are not safe for cats and can cause serious burns.
3. Teaser Wand
If your cat loves to play, a teaser wand and playtime every day is a wonderful gift that will keep your cat fit, and help avoid inappropriate misdirected play, such as pouncing and climbing your legs or nipping your ankles. I prefer the wands with leather or cloth strips, rather than feathers, as they tend to be sturdier. Even so, please don’t leave the wand lying around, as some cats will be tempted to eat the strips or feathers, and a trip to the emergency vet is not a recipe for a happy holiday.
4. Litter Box
While a new litter box may not be a very glamorous present, your cat will appreciate a new one, if your current box is more than 1 or 2 years old. Odors tend to linger in the plastic of older boxes, even if they’re thoroughly cleaned. When you buy a new box, please consider an unhooded box, as cats usually prefer them, and they’ll inhale less dust, which is especially important for Persians and asthmatic cats.
5. Pet Insurance
Last, but definitely not least, please consider purchasing pet insurance for your cat as a gift that keeps on giving year round. Veterinary costs continue to rise, and cats need annual preventative care, dental care, and diagnostic tests and treatment if they become ill. How great to know that
your cat’s veterinary care needs would not be affected by financial concerns. Read any policy you are considering carefully, and make sure you understand what it will and won’t cover. I recommend pet health insurance to all my clients, especially new kitten owners.
Please enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season. Be sure to spend quality time with your furry family, as loving kindness is the best gift of all.
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