Looking for the best gifts for your cats or your cat-loving friends? Skip the cat mug, pass on the cute cat costume, and get something they will really appreciate. First, unless your “cat lady” friend is really crazy (or just gave up and went with it because her friends wouldn’t stop giving her tacky gifts) she doesn’t want cat-themed tchotch·kes. (Sorry, Marnie, about the socks and tea towels. I know we promised each other we wouldn’t do it but you did give me bowls first. May I still knit you a cat?) Cat people love gifts for their cats. Gifts they would want to buy themselves — but have trouble justifying the expense. So below are some of the best gifts for cats and the cat lovers on your shopping list.

Or you can just give them a useful gift card —

The Best Gifts For Cats Are As Warm As Your Heart

Ask any cat person with an electric blanket or heat lamp what cats really want and they will tell you warmth. Sure, you can always get your favorite cat or cat person a new cat bed, but to make your gift special with a heated cat bed. And to truly shine, consider a heat cat cave or house. If your cat lady does a lot of cat rescues or feral cat support, consider an indoor-outdoor product. Several excellent indoor/outdoor heated cat houses and pads are now on the market now. If your budget or space is tight, consider a Pet Bed Warmer which slips under any pet bed or throw. And for cat people with multiple cats or big cats, like Maine Coon or Ragdoll cats, consider a heated dog bed or pad for larger dogs.

Or you can just get the cat people an electric blanket thereby covering two gifts in one.

The Best Gift For Cats Is Space of Their Own

I’ve never known a cat owner — or cat — who didn’t appreciate new cat furniture. Face it, after only a few months, most cat furniture is looking a bit shabby. And cleaning cat furniture has its limits. That’s the reason why most cat furniture is stocked and sold around the holidays.

When selecting cat furniture, keep in mind the space available, the age, and the size of the cats. Older cats and very young kittens often have trouble jumping up or down so look for cat furniture with levels spaced requiring no jumping. Or consider giving a set of pet stairs, especially appreciated if the cat likes to sleep on the beds. Very big cats, like Maine Coon or Ragdoll, need room to spread. One of my big guys kept falling off my old cat tree whenever he rolled over or relaxed completely in his sleep.

And keep in mind the size and style of the space. If the house is all modern, a giant, forest green, shag carpet-covered cat tree may not be appreciated. Stick to neutral colors or something that really matches the recipient’s style. Also, make certain the cat furniture fits because people still need to live there, too. Multi-level, extra-wide, floor-to-ceiling can overwhelm in a tiny apartment — if it even fits in the door. So in those cases, consider a cat hammock or window perch.

The Best Gifts for Cats Are Roommate-Friendly

Sometimes the best gifts for cats are gifts that keep the staff happier. Listen to any problems your cat-loving friends complain about. Is kitty scratching up the sofa? How about some scratching guards? Not enough space for a large litter box? How about furniture that does double duty?

Or maybe there’s an odor issue? Perhaps a room ionizer is an answer. And for those cats that want to explore outside but aren’t allowed, what about a backyard, deck or balcony catio or playpen? And for cats whose staff travel, commute or work late hours, how about a programmable, automatic pet feeder? (Also good for kitties who need some portion control to meet that New Year’s weight resolution.)

The Best Gifts for Cats Are Entertaining

Cat lovers know the importance of enriching our cat’s environment because a bored cat is a destructive cat. Either they begin to damage our homes or their own health. So interactive cat toys that keep our cats busy while we’re busy is always welcome! While the new USB-charging electronic toys are amazing, the classic non-electric hunt and puzzle options that are perfect for low budgets. Likewise, a terrific last-minute cat gift is a simple package of ping pongs found at most USA grocery and liquor stores (for beer pong games). Hours of kitty hockey for under US$3.00! Keep in mind the space available and the lifestyle of the cat staff because it’s no fun tripping over a traffic hazard.

The Best Gifts Come With Love

Above all is the love that comes with the gift. So don’t hesitate to create your own gift filled with love (and treats). I’m going to do a post about the simplest gift you can make to help your older cat eat and drink more easily. (Hint: It’s a rectangular box). There are many YouTube videos and websites offering instructions on making your own interactive cat toys and outdoor winter housing. Also, check out the coolest, best “Christmas Tree” for cats ever.

These are not only cat-entertaining but a great family or kids craft project! Also, a great project to give to your local cat shelter or sanctuary.

And, of course, there’s always your basic cat maze!

I’ve got a basement full of empty boxes which will soon become a treat for my own rescue kitties.

Share your cat gift wish-list or worst gift story in the comments.

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