This Christmas, when it comes to choosing a present for your cat, get them a gift that they’ll really enjoy. No flashing collars or cute Insta-outfits…
In an attempt to distract from the Christmas tree (you can try), give your cat a present that will also help keep their nails in check: their very own scratching tree! The charity International Cat Care explains that cats love to scratch for two main reasons. Firstly, as a way of marking their own territory: “Scent and sweat glands in between the pads of the feet mix to produce a unique smell. When claws are scraped down a surface the scent is deposited.” Secondly, as a precursor to play or a way to attract attention from their owners.
While it’s not a good idea to over-indulge your cat in any season, there are some fun ways you can make their diet more festive. Christmas cookies, for example, will be a well-received present! Blend canned tuna or salmon with flour and egg until it forms a dough. Roll out on a floured surface and use Christmas cookie cutters to cut into pieces. Bake for 20 minutes, leave to cool, and you have the perfect fishy treats for kitty!
DIY snack cracker
Make your cat a personalised present for Christmas. Take a ready-made cracker, open it at one end and remove the toy, hat, joke and “snap” mechanism. Refill with a handful of their favourite treats, and close, twisting the ends so your cat has more of a challenge to get inside. The smell of the treats inside the cracker will send their senses into overdrive and give them some great playtime.
You could even make the whole cracker yourself by using a toilet roll and wrapping paper secured with string on both sides. Avoid using tape, which you don’t want your pet to swallow. One word of warning: you may end up with bits of destroyed cracker all over your living room floor afterwards. But that’s Christmas, right?
Tinsel teaser toy!
Another ultra-easy home-made toy for cats can be created by using a few festive items. Take a stick (between 50cm-1m) and tie a 30cm piece of tinsel on the end. There you have it: a ready-made cat teaser toy for you both to play with!
You could make the toy even more exciting for your cat by attaching a little bell to the tinsel, so that it jingles every time your cat jumps to catch the toy. Because cats are naturally made to hunt, they won’t be able to resist this themed teaser which will stimulate their chasing instincts.
Boxing day for cat heaven
A great gift to offer your kitty this season is their very own feline palace! The day after Christmas, don’t put your cardboard boxes into the bin right away. Make a cat castle instead. If you type in “cardboard cat castle” online, you might be intimidated by the complicated constructions on social media. Don’t panic. Even just with one or two boxes you can make a fun little house for your cat to explore or nap in.
Cut a few entrance doors in the cardboard, then place a smaller box over a bigger one, making sure your cat can get up and into the top box from inside. Glue together and leave to dry. It’s a great way to make use of boxes you were going to throw away anyway: Upcycling!
Enjoy the holiday season with your furry friend, filled with love, play and purring…
Read also: 5 Best Christmas presents for your dog