Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Cats

Ten Holiday Gifts for Your Cat

Christmas time is around the corner, and most of our cat sitting clients are thinking of buying their beloved kitties a gift for the holidays. The holidays are, after all, a perfect time to give your feline something special, but how to choose? Here are some great gift ideas for your furry feline, courtesy of Angie, one of our dedicated cat sitters. Let us know if your cats approve of the gifts you give them… or if they prefer the boxes they came in!

1.  Quality Time: 15-30 Minutes of Daily Interactive Play Time with Physical Toys Daily! Avoid flashlights and lasers and invest in physical toys for that satisfying catch after the hunt! A physical toy stimulates cats mentally- allowing them to use stealth and strategy. But the best play environment requires you to be present and to set them up properly! Play with your lures the way a prey would act. Keep the

We love NekoFlies– the lures at the end are very lifelike in movement. These toys, like many interactive string toys, are designed to be used with you around. Do not leave them alone around your kitties- keep them safe, and keep the toys special!

2. Cat scratching posts. Redirect your cat from sharpening his or her claw on your furniture with a scratching post. Many sizes and types can be found at major pet store retailers and by doing a quick search on the internet.

3. Puzzle Feeders
We love puzzle feeders for mental enrichment- and you can even make your own DIY cat food puzzle toys! They are a great way to enrich your cat’s day while you’re away at work. Check out Kong Cat Wobblers, Pet Safe, and Our Pets if you don’t have time to make your own.

4. Cat perches or a Catio: There is a variety of types of cat perches where you can place the perch on a wall by your kitty’s favorite sunny spot where he or she can snuggle up for hours. Many cats love being in the highest place in your home.

A Catio is perfect for your indoor kitty. The catio allows them to take in sun, smell the fine air, and observe birds and local wildlife without harm to them or your kitty.

5. Catnip bubbles. Endless entertainment for you and your feline when you blow bubbles for your kitty to pop while they are under the intoxicating scent of catnip. Not every cat loves a bubble, though- be sure to purchase gifts that work with your kitty’s personality.

6. Cat tunnel: These tunnels come in an array of colors and allow your cat to fit through a tight space.

7. Christmas Catnip Toys: During the holiday season, it is quite simple to find catnip play toys for your cat. It’s difficult to tell who gets more enjoyment, the owner or the cat, when using these special smelling toys that can quickly spread Christmas cheer throughout the home. These toys can be purchased at PetSmart, PetCo, Target, and online at various websites.

8. Christmas costumes for the kitty: Okay, so this is more for you. But dressing up your kitty up in holiday costumes to have your annual Christmas photo taken is so worth it (as long as they really don’t mind too much)! These costumes may be found at major pet store retailers and online at different pet care websites.

9. Monthly gift boxes. This is the gift that keeps on giving for your favorite feline! There are quite a few available. These are the top four we found:

10. Litter Genie: Quite possibly the most ingenious device since sliced bread. The litter genie provides an easy way to dispose of cat waste from the litter box to minimize odors and provide a cleaner area for your cat to use the restroom- which is great, considering a cat’s’ sense of smell is fourteen times greater than that of a human!

7 Facts about Catnip for Curious Cat Lovers

cats

Catnip 101 for Curious Cat Lovers

Our cat sitters have all seen our cat clients go crazy for catnip, but what are we giving our furry friends? What is catnip and how does it affect Spot, Hemingway, or whomever your special kitty may be? What do you really know about this so-called “cat drug”? Here is Catnip 101 for any curious cat lovers!

1. What is catnip?

Catnip is a perennial herb called Labiatae, which is one of 250 herbs in the mint family. The ingredient in catnip creating the high is nepetalactone, an essential oil found in leaves and stems of this plant.  Just as humans feel a hallucinogenic effect by ingesting LSD or marijuana, cats feel a similar effect with catnip. The same feel-good pheromones released during sexual courtship between felines are the same released when cats smell or eat the catnip plant. It was once suggested for use as an aphrodisiac for the species, but the idea was unlikely because males and females respond in the same way to the drug. Cats will sniff, chew, lick, shake their head, rub their chin, cheek and body (most likely in that order).

 2. Is catnip safe?

The herb is non-threatening, non-addictive, non-toxic and safe to eat. If cats consume too much, an overdose can cause vomit or diarrhea.

 3. Do all cats get high?

Only 50 to 66% of cats will inherit the gene that reacts to catnip. The gene only needs to be inherited from one parent. Any group of cats, wild or domesticated, big or small, have the same behavioral reactions. Kittens will not respond to the herb for 3 to 6 months or until they reach sexual maturity.

 4. Where can you find catnip, and how do you store it?

Any local pet retailer or garden center will have access to catnip, fresh or dry. It can be homegrown, indoor or outdoor. Catnip is an invasive plant and spreads quickly, so be careful where you grow or plant in a large garden area. Catnip grows wild in temperate Asia, North America, and Europe. Also, be sure to store catnip in an airtight bag in the freezer. Catnip loses its oils and effect if not stored properly.

 5. Is smelling catnip better than eating it?

When smelling catnip, cats are likely to respond with hyperactivity, playfulness and sometimes can become aggressive. When eating catnip, cats will become more mellow and calm, feeling the ecstasy of the drug. Chewing bruises the plant, which releases more oils creating a calming effect. The effect lasts a short 10 minutes and the feeling can’t be resumed for another two hours. Also, be aware male cats may become more aggressive when they first ingest the herb.

6. Does catnip affect humans?

It’s not harmful to humans. People are slightly affected by catnip (although not in a hallucinogenic way). It can be used as a mild sedative or in tea, as it has the calming properties similar to chamomile. It is a natural mosquito and pest repellent, known to be stronger than the brand “DEET” (and most likely smells better). In addition, the plant provides some protection against aphids, corn ear worms, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and mice.

7. Train Your Kitty:

Are your kitties scratching up the rug or couch? Catnip can be a useful for a training aid. Rub catnip on a scratching post to draw their attention from elsewhere. Frequent use in one area may help keep him away from your furniture. You can also buy toys that are meant to put catnip inside. This is a great distraction for cats!

As a pet sitters, we have seen every reaction in the book. Hopefully this helps you better understand the plant and the effects on your kitty. Let your cat enjoy the effects of catnip and use it to your advantage!