A Gift Guide for Cats
Whether you recently adopted a new cat or are looking to upgrade your cat’s stuff, here is a guide for stuff that simply works. I love things that are durable, rather than disposable, and that’s easy to get with cat gear.
I have had cats for 6 years now and spent roughly 1 million (or so it seemed) hours with them from working from home this past year, so here’s what works for me. (None of these items are sponsored.)
A second litter box
It’s recommended that you have at least one litter box per cat. I have the kind with a hood made by Frisco, and found it easy to wipe clean. (You’d be surprised at how many litter boxes have grooves in the bottom that trap gunk!) I took off the door because my cats didn’t like it, but a cat used to pet doors might be fine with it. I’ve also found that these blend in to my home better than a lot of other boxes I’ve owned.
A better litter scoop
Okay, this one is more for you than the cat. This Duranimals scoop is what I have, but you can pick up whatever is available: mainly you want a metal scoop, not plastic. The cheap plastic ones buckle and spray litter everywhere. I’ve had mine for years now, and it’s still going strong.
For extra luxe, you can get a litter scoop holder.
A lot of toys advertise that they have catnip in them, but the smell quickly wears out. Fortunately, you can buy catnip spray and refresh your cat’s toys every so often. I bought a bottle at least a year ago, and it’s still going strong.
My cats go nuts over oat grass, and it is safe for cats to eat. Pet stores sell little kits to grow it indoors, but the grass only lasts a few weeks, and cats will knock over the tiny container.
Instead, I bought a small bag of oat seeds, a bag of soil, and saved a plastic food container (just poke holes in the bottom for water drainage). When the grass dies, I toss it into the compost bin, wash the container and start over. The deeper container lets the grass grow longer, and for about $10, I’m set on grass for the next year.
These are little covers that snap on to cat food lids, so you can save a portion. The type doesn’t really matter; pet sitters or even people within your own house will eventually throw them away. In fact, my cheap plastic ones cracked, so I’m going to replace them with these silicone ones from Frisco and see how it goes.
Food bowls are great for dogs, but not cats. Cats need to eat food out of shallow dishes, or they can get whisker fatigue.
I’ve tried a lot of dedicated cat saucers, but they were all fragile, chipping and shattering easily. I finally bought small appetizer plates from Crate and Barrel. They were only $2 each and so far, have held up so much better than cat saucers.
Worried about a mess? My cats seem to spill food less than they did when they were trying to get food out of the edges of bowls. Save the bowls for your cat’s water.
Trust me, don’t waste money on a fancy cat bed. My cats’ favorite place to sleep is anywhere but a bed that is made for cats. When you have an old towel you’re about to throw away, don’t—put the towel in a cardboard box. Your cat will immediately gravitate to it and take a nap. A towel is far easier to wash than a cat bed, too, and much more versatile.