Category Archives: cat condo

Purrfect Christmas Gifts for Cats


By Julia Williams

I don’t enjoy shopping for Christmas presents for my family and friends. There is too much pressure to find the perfect gift, e.g., one that won’t get returned or be met with that “what is this thing?” look. Cats, on the other hand, are quite fun to shop for. For one thing, buying Christmas gifts for cats won’t bankrupt my budget. Cats are also incredibly easy to please, and get just as excited about a simple catnip toy as they would with the latest, greatest “must have” cat toy of the season.

Here are a few Christmas presents for cats that I recommend. I think any of these items would make this holiday season merry for your feline friend. But here’s the thing: even if they don’t absolutely, pawsitively love your gift – they can’t return it, so it doesn’t really matter!

Elevated feeders let your kitty eat at the perfect height, which is said to be more comfortable and aids digestion. Elevated feeders are especially helpful for cats with arthritis, neck or back problems and other conditions that make swallowing difficult. Whether you choose the single elevated feeding station that holds one bowl or the double feeder, look for styles that have a sturdy metal frame and long-lasting stoneware bowls.

A water fountain provides a continuous flow of filtered H2O, which may motivate your kitty to take a drink more often. Most cats don’t drink enough water, so a fountain can help them stay properly hydrated and in good health. Another plus is that most water fountains for pets have a three-layer filter which removes impurities and makes the water taste better.

A “crinkle sack” is a great gift for a new kitten. I found a red velvet one last Christmas that I thought my paper-sack-loving cats would enjoy. Surprisingly, it didn’t interest them so I gave it to my friend’s new kitten, who loves the crinkling noise it makes and is always playing inside it.

Filled pet stockings are perfect if you are short on time – they come stuffed with all sorts of fun cat toys. To save money and time next year, shop the after-Christmas sales and you can pick them up at a steep discount.

Cozy window sill perches let your cat soak up the sun and watch birds, squirrels and other wildlife without endangering the critters’ safety.

A desktop cat seat gives kitty a comfy place to be near you while you work or play on your computer. It attaches to the side of your desk so the cat stays off your keyboard and doesn’t knock over your coffee while trying to get your attention. I need one of these badly (hint, hint) because my cat Mickey does this all too often.

Cat toys: Furry mice are always a feline favorite. Cats (especially kittens) can go through these quickly – buy a multi-pack or two so they never run out. Another inexpensive but highly entertaining cat toy is a ping pong ball. I put my cats into the bathtub with these; they can chase them without the ball ending up under the sofa or behind the fridge. Other favorite cat toys are feathers or streamers on a stick and catnip-filled soft toys. This year, my kitties are each getting a super cute Ho Ho Hairball cat toy, a furry round puff with eyes and a Santa hat.

Cat condos or cat towers provide your kitty with its own space to climb, stretch, scratch and sleep. Posts are either bare wood or covered with carpet or sisal, so be sure to get the scratching surface your cat prefers or buy a condo that has a combination of all three.

Dried bonito fish flakes are a natural, healthy treat that cats love. You can find these in many pet stores and in the ethnic section of most supermarkets.

A plush pet bed is a great Christmas gift for a cat, since a typical feline spends most of every day (and night) sleeping. Cat beds come in a myriad of styles and sizes. However, a cat will only care that it’s comfy, so choose the fabric and color you like, and everyone will be happy.

Buying Christmas gifts for cats is so much easier than trying to pick out that perfect present for Aunt Sally or Uncle Joe, or that co-worker you barely know. And one thing is certain – cats never complain that Santa didn’t bring them what they asked for!

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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How to Keep an Indoor Cat Happy


By Julia Williams

Until recently, I didn’t believe an indoor cat could be happy. I thought that “depriving” a cat of the outdoors would surely make them depressed, lethargic and overweight. I saw how much my own country kitties enjoyed climbing trees, fences and trellises, lounging in the garden, and hunting the ever-prolific gophers on our five acre field.

Then we moved back to the small town of my childhood, and my cats became primarily indoor cats. They were scared at first, and hid in the bedroom closet for a week. I wasn’t going to let them go out for at least a month anyway. When they finally did come out of the closet, my California born-and-raised cats took one sniff of the cool Montana air and must’ve decided then and there that being indoors suited them just fine. And when the snow came, it pretty much sealed the deal.

I worried that they’d hate being inside and cease to be the joyful kitties I knew and loved, but soon realized that my concerns were unwarranted. In fact, to my surprise they now show little interest in going outside, even when offered the opportunity. I did make some adjustments to their indoor environment however, to make it as kitty-hospitable as possible. The key to keeping an indoor cat happy, it seems, is providing them with plenty of stimulation and attention, along with an enriched environment.

So what does that entail, exactly? I keep my indoor kitties stimulated by having lots of different cat toys for them to play with. I bring home a huge bag of Christmas clearance cat toys from my local pet store every January, and rarely spend more than $10. Some of those toys have a holiday theme of course, but the cats don’t know the difference or care, and neither do I.

The important thing to remember about cat toys is that every kitty is different; for example, mine go crazy for furry mice but get bored with balls in a nanosecond. If I buy assortments that have balls in them I give those to my sister, whose cats love to bat balls. Soon enough you’ll discover which types of toys your cat likes best, and you can get more of those.

Another other thing to keep in mind is that you need to rotate your cat toys frequently. Once a week I swap out all the toys with others that I keep in the “cat toy drawer.” In a feline’s world, this is like getting brand new toys to play with every week.

I also buy them toys that require human participation – like mice-on-a-stick, lasers, and cat “fishing” poles – which accomplishes both the stimulation and attention aspect. I also try to give each of my three cats my undivided attention every day, no matter how busy I am. I brought these cats into my family because I wanted to give them love and a good home, and I owe it to them to pay attention to them. Now that they’re primarily indoor cats, they are a bit needier and they crave more attention than they did before, so I adjusted to accommodate them.

Besides playing with them, you can also give your cats attention by having petting sessions, lap time, and grooming time. As with the toys, you need to discover what your cat likes the most, and do more of that. Annabelle loves to be brushed and combed (that’s an understatement), so this is what I do for her time. Mickey loves to sit on my lap, so I let him, even if it means I have to sit two feet away from my keyboard. Rocky prefers plain vanilla petting, so he gets that.

The third aspect to keeping an indoor kitty content is an enriched environment. In other words, you need to provide things besides toys that make them happy. My cats like to lie on the back of the sofa and watch the birds, so I placed a comfy sheepskin kitty mat there to contain the cat hair. You can also buy window perches that accomplish the same thing. You might want to get them a cozy cat bed or cat “donut” to sleep in, too. If your kitty likes to nibble on grass, it’s easy to grow special cat greens for them.

Cat towers and cat condos are a great way to provide your cat with a place to nap, scratch, climb, play and perch, all in one day! It’s also a good idea to provide your indoor cat with various scratching surfaces— I have several styles of corrugated cardboard scratchers, as well as a carpeted scratching post. I’ve learned that when it comes to cats, you really can’t have too many scratching posts!

My cats are probably not as happy indoors as they were outdoors, but they are happy enough. Given that indoor cats live longer and are typically healthier, that is good enough for me.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.