By Natalie McKee author of Leapingcats.com
Christmas is a time for friends, family and tradition. Your pets are just as much a part of the family (sometimes more!) as the people seated at the dining room table, so why not find ways to include your cat in the festivities and spoil your cat this Christmas
In the spirit of giving, I’m going to share a few ideas with you about how to spoil your cat this holiday season:
1) Call Santa
It’s the time of year to give, and finding your cat some new toys is a great way to get him in the holiday spirit. The best part? The items don’t necessarily need to be new. It’s always a clever idea to put some of your cat’s toys in storage, and rotate what you already own.
Notice Whiskers is getting tired of the felt mice? Put them away and pull out a feather toy instead. Every time you swap them out, your cat gets a “new” toy.
But if you do want to treat your cat to something wholly new, why not scan Pinterest for DIY cat toy ideas, or look through Etsy listings for something handmade? It’s always great to support artisans in their craft.
2) Wrapping Paper
On second thought, what cat needs gifts when she can hide under gift wrap and play in the boxes? I don’t know about your cat, but Pumpkin always loves finding a quiet spot under the pile of torn wrapping paper to hide out while we all sit down to Christmas brunch. Those shiny bows make great toys to bat around, and empty gift bags replace his (expensive) cat bed.
Instead of putting all the paper and boxes into the recycling right away, why not leave a few items sprinkled around the house for your cat’s enjoyment? Just be careful that your cat doesn’t start eating anything she shouldn’t (like small pieces of tissue paper).
3) Catnip Spray
We love the smell of evergreens, but it’s catnip that gets Whiskers in the Christmas spirit! Plus, you can use it to attract your cat to his cat tree instead of the Christmas tree. Spritz some onto his favorite spots, over his new toys, and anywhere else you’d like: Then watch your cat go wild.
*Note: Not all cats react to catnip, so if you’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked, maybe skip this idea and try the others instead.
4) Deck the Halls
Consider hanging cat-friendly toys (large pom pom balls, feather bunches, etc.) from your cat tree like ornaments. This is another great time to look through Pinterest for DIY ideas — and again — it’ll keep your cat interested in something other than the heirloom glass ornaments on the living room Christmas tree.
You could even combine this with #1 and simply use the new toys you made or purchased as decor. Pick out toys in festive colors to keep the whole house feeling Christmasy. Just made sure you secure them safely so there’s no strangulation hazard
5) Stay Safe
A house full of guests and all their belongings can mean a house full of new hazards for your feline family members. Make sure to avoid leaving tinsel, ribbons, or other choking/strangulation hazards where your cat can reach them, and ask your visitors to do the same.
If necessary, keep the doors to all guest rooms closed during the day in order to reduce risks, and ask visitors to watch the exterior doors if you have an indoor cat who wants to play in the snow.
Even though, yes, I recommend leaving wrapping goods laying around for your cat’s pleasure, be sure to gather up any small, swallowable items and long loose ribbons as soon as you’re done unwrapping gifts. Oh, and keep electrical cords that can be chewed on out of Whisker’s reach.
So, what do you think? Are you going to try any of these this year? Do you do these already? Let me know in the comments.