I have come to the conclusion that there is no point buying specially designed ‘presents’ for cats. They’re unpredictable, have bad taste and the more expensive their present, the less they like it. Don’t be fooled by all the photos of cats online snoozing in lush kitty hammocks and looking all lively doing cat agility tests.
I have put together a list of tried and tested suggestions for presents that you can get your cat this Christmas.
For the lazy cat
It’s hard to tell if your cat is a lazy one as some can sleep for up to 20 hours a day. So let’s just assume that all cats are lazy.
Your favourite jumper
The perfect present for lazy cats is a jumper. Ideally, one of your favourites.
Cat appreciation score: 8/10 – generally, the more expensive and more loved, the better.
Cost: The heart-break of giving up your favourite jumper to your cat.
For the Fat Cat
Some cats are like dogs and would probably eat until they died. You can recognize such cats due to their slowness, little barrel body and rolls of lard. Especially fat cats will have short legs as their stomach slowly consumes every other part of their body. These gifts are subtle ways of telling your kitty friend that they need to lose weight; these force your cat to eat more slowly over a longer period of time and so feel full more quickly. The human version of this is chopsticks.
Stimulo Feeding Bowl & Intelligence Toy
Whilst this is the ugliest thing around, it is also a moment of realization for the owner; is your cat clever enough to work out how to use it? The grey base resembles something Fred Flinstone would have in his cave and the garish green feeding tubes are guaranteed to clash with everything in your house. The feeding tubes have 2 levels – and the idea is that your cat has to use his paws to dig out the food. Otherwise, he goes hungry. It’s a bit like a form of torture for stupid cats. Clever cats will show you they’ve solved it, make a point of getting out all the food and then stare at you until you stop playing silly games and give them their food in a more dignified receptacle.
Cat appreciation score: 2/10 – cats don’t want to have to work for their food. Humans are there to serve their every need.
Toilet roll with food
If you don’t want to pay money for such a contraption, why not show your cat how much you love him with a hand-made gift. All you need is an empty toilet roll filled with your cat’s favourite dry food. Watch him pat and roll the tube in his little attempts to get his food out. Just make sure you don’t have floorboards with gaps large enough for food to fall down.
Cat appreciation score: 04/10 – this makes a nice rattle when it rolls and also has the added pleasure of leaving crumbs for the humans to clear up
Cost: Toilet roll and food is free (if you have these already)
For the Fashion-conscious cat
Cats are naturally pretty stylish creatures who wear their fur and claws with panache. However, you’ve always got the ones who want to uber cool; like the cat version of the Shoreditch yuppies. For these, they want something more than just freshly groomed quiffs.
The cat tank top
This shows off your cat’s nicely toned shoulders and keeps cat snug in winter and cool in warmer weather. Plus, for any cat that is a bit on the wimpy side, this can toughen up his look.
Cat appreciation score: 07/10 – your cat will probably struggle when putting this on but once he catches a glimpse of him looking so trendy, he’ll love you for it.
The cat bandana
Cat appreciation score:09/10 – this will give your cat a little bit of extra warmth in winter and because you can make these yourself, he can have a large variety of bandanas to mix and match as the occasion requires.
Cost: Nothing – you can make this yourself. Just cut a piece of material into a square, approximately 30cm x 30cm, fold into a triangle and tie loosely around your cat’s neck.
For the cat who has everything
It’s tough finding the perfect present for a cat who has everything. But I bet your cat has never been given a lipbalm or pen as a present? Fun, reasonably priced and hours of fun, these are often overlooked as the greatest presents for cats. Best played with on wooden or tiled floors for extra slidiness.
Who would have thought a great present for a cat would be lipbalm? Pretty much any style of lipbalm will be appreciated by your cat – whether it’s in a tube or a pot. They will love knocking it off tables and chairs and hitting it just right so it slides under the sofa right to the back. Cats will love this present even more if you have chapped lips and this is the only lipbalm in the house.
Cat appreciation score: 08/10 – hours of fun, apart from when it slides under the sofa. Human participation is required to retrieve.
A Ballpoint Pen
If only cats could write, this would be a dual-purpose gift. However, until they get thumbs, it ain’t going to happen. Your cat will love a ballpoint pen – it slides easily, it spins and only needs a small paw pat to send it shooting across the table.
Cat appreciation score: 09/10 – similarly to the lipbalm, this requires human retrieval from dark, low places. Particularly fun for spinniness.
For the intellectual cat
It’s not often that cats want to improve their knowledge but if your cat shows signs of intellect, you must push them to achieve everything and more that they can achieve. Who knows, cats may rule the world one day (they already rule the internet) and you want to be in a good place when they do.
With more and more cats having their own profile on Facebook (check out Maru my favourite), it’s essential your cat isn’t held back by technology. Plus, laptops also double up as a heatpad – perfect for cold winter nights.
Cat appreciation score: 07/10 – be careful not to pressurize your cat to become too good too soon, let them take it at their own pace. Sometimes the keyboard can be a little hard for kitty’s soft head.
Cost: Snap up a bargain laptop at PC World. This Asus is only £179.99. Don’t forget this is an investment pieces, especially once your cat has learnt how to do the online shopping for you.
For the explorer cat
For indoor cats, the outside world can be a scary place. Therefore, your cat will appreciate a human accessory to help them navigate.
A human on a leash
Often available in many different sizes, smells and colours, your indoor cat will love you for getting him a human on a leash. Just make sure it’s a well-trained human.
Cat appreciation score: 08/10 – make sure you can run as fast as your cat otherwise, he’ll get grumpy.