Whatever winter holiday(s) you celebrate, it's never a good idea to forget the most important person in your life: Your cat!
In the spirit of Small Business Caturday, I am focusing mostly on small and local cat businesses. A few of them also offer services for dogs, too! (And of course there's a few of my absolute favorite cat toys and some of my own services thrown in there for good measure) Please go support these local businesses! There are much less cat oriented services out there despite being a large need for them. Spending your money at one of these places helps keep them open while having a HUGE positive impact on cats!
For The Pampered Cat
Cats are known for being meticulous groomers and keeping themselves clean. However, sometimes they need assistance! This is especially true of longer haired cats. Unfortunately, most places that groom cats seem to approach them the same way as dogs or use practices that are unsafe. There have been too many stories of animals being hurt or even killed at big box groomers recently.
That's why I'm such a huge fan of Liz at Sunshine Pet Spa! She services both dogs and cats, but her approach to cats is amazing. She takes into account some of the quirks of cats that don't apply to dogs when grooming and does so in a very cat friendly way. There is less distress for your cat this way AND it ends up being much safer! Plus, she's also got some adorable handmade bow ties for purchase that will leave your feline friend shining brighter than any holiday light display!
For Homes With Many Cats
One of the biggest challenges in homes with multiple cats is space. Cats are territorial and if they don't have enough of their own space? You're risking serious conflict! One of the easiest ways to add in space for your cat (and I'd argue an absolute requirement for any home with a cat) is with a cat tower! I will be having a whole blog post coming up on picking out a good cat tower, but as long as the tower is well built and safe having one is better than not having one.
I personally really love the cat towers available at Purrniture in St. Paul. They're high quality, well built, and have lots of features cats love! Plus, they have so many options of finishes that you can pick one that you like so you don't have to worry about the cat tower clashing with your decor. If you have multiple cats, I strongly suggest one with multiple levels and places for each of the cats so they can each have their own place. It's well worth the investment! If you are short on space, they offer ones that won't take up too much of your space. As another solution, you can get wall perches to attach to your walls. This creates a way for your cats to climb while using space you probably wouldn't use yourself. It also allows the floor space to be used for human things while giving your cats the vertical space they love!
For The Cat Loving Human
After you get your cats their holiday presents, you'll probably have a few humans you need to get gifts for. As cat lovers tend to attract other cat lovers, chances are at least a few of them would appreciate something cat themed.
The mothership of all things cat related in the Twin Cities is probably The Cafe Meow, the only cat cafe in the cities! They have a cat lounge with adoptable cats (!!!!) that you can go hang out in for an hour at a time. If you're feeling really fancy, you can even rent the whole lounge for a private hour. A gift card to the Cafe Meow will allow your loved one to pick a time to go (and who knows, maybe they'll even invite you!), get themselves a nice treat, or even purchase some of the cat toys they have for sale to bring home to their cat. It's a win for all involved!
I'd also suggest a pet friendly plant from the ever amazing Planty Queens as well. They have a pet friendly section on their website and they are the knees of the bees. Hoyas or a peperomia are generally pretty easy to take care of!
For The New Cat
Getting a new cat is a very exciting time, but it can also be very stressful. This is especially true if you're going to be introducing any resident cat (or cats) to the new cat. Thankfully, you don't have to do it alone! Class Act Cats offers new cat consultations to help prevent behavior concerns. They are especially useful to assist with the process of introducing multiple cats to each other. Our Welcome Home package is your best bet as it includes an introductory session, two follow up sessions, and e-mail support between sessions! Learn more by checking out our services page.
For The Charitable Cat
Is your cat feeling generous? Or do you have a special human who cares about cat wellbeing? Many cat rescues and charities are in dire need of support right now so a donation in the name of that special cat lover is a way to spread some joy. Plus, you're saving lives! There are many, many options out there, but here are some of my favorites:
For The Bored Cat
Cats need a lot more stimulation than what people generally think they do! For example, one of the most persistent myths out there is that cats will be completely fine left alone for a weekend with just a bunch of food, some water, and a freshly cleaned litter box. That's a separate issue that can be addressed at a later time, but the point being that cats are creatures that want to hunt, play, and get attention. One of my favorite ways to engage my cat is clicker training! I incorporate clicker training into many of my behavior modification plans for folks as it's not only satisfying, but it's fun! A training package from Class Act Cats is a great way to get started on teaching your cat the magic of ~The Click~ and get them stimulated!
Another fun way to reduce boredom? A feeder toy! I love feeder toys as you have to feed your cat anyway so you might as well satisfy two needs at once. I have a whole blog post with some suggestions of some of my favorite feeder toys.
For The Playful Cat
Note: Links in this section are affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Lastly, we can't forget cat toys! Rather than a list of cat toys, I want to focus on the three I've found most successful with the majority of cats I work with. The first is the Cat Dancer.
This toy drives cats WILD. It's a very simple toy that bounces around and, to the cat, is similar to a bug flying through the air. It gets their hunting instincts in high gear so the cats really want to chase, pounce, and catch it. They even make a deluxe version that you can attach to the wall so your cat can play with it on their own while you're busy or away!
Keeping with the theme of simple toys that cats love, the second suggestion are these spiral springs.
I originally got them as a free gift with one of the feeder toys I got my cat. I originally just tossed them on the floor as I was unpacking to see if he was interested and boy, was he ever! Cats really seem to like the rolling action of these toys. They're also springy and relatively resilient so if you step on them (as I 100% have), generally no big deal. My cat and I like to play a game where I roll one at him and he rolls it back to me. They're also fun to set on ledges and give your cat something to push off the counter that you don't mind that they push it off!
Third, I know a lot of folks really like cute cat toys. Many of them are appealing to us, but not necessarily to cats for a variety of reasons. However, these mice toys get both right:
The mice are similar size to real mice and contain a tail that's, again, similar to that of a real mouse. These are fun to toss and move around so your cat can hunt them! There are a ton of similar ones out there besides this brand, but these ares are pretty easy to get most places cat toys are sold.
I hope these suggestions help your holiday shopping go a little easier! Whatever holiday or holidays you celebrate, I hope you and your cats have a safe, healthy, and healthy holiday season!
About the author: Joey Lusvardi CCBC is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and cat trainer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He runs a behavior consultation service, Class Act Cats, where he helps cat parents address a variety of unwanted behaviors. He is available for consultation in the Twin Cities or virtually wherever you are located.