Gifts for Cats and the People Who Love Them
Is choosing a gift for your cat-loving friend too difficult this holiday season? Avoid the long mall lines and make a kitty gift basket instead.
There is always an opportunity to indulge yourself in an act of love. Perhaps a friend has just got a kitten, or there’s a birthday or, as it just so happens, the season of giving is upon us. Whatever your reasons, don't let the vagaries of a busy day get you down; gift giving does not need to be complicated or time consuming. Here are a 10 easy tips to create and fill a gift that keeps on giving: a kitty gift basket.
1. Always a treat, a home-made gift basket is better than anything you could buy prepackaged. Your cat-loving friend will appreciate the effort and thought you put into it -- and the cat will love clawing the basket to pieces!
2. Keeping that in mind, you may want to choose a basket that is strong in form rather than in beauty. You know your friend. If you think the basket will be re-used to decorate the home, then by all means, spend a bushel on an extra fancy basket. But if your friend is not a decorating-with-baskets kind of person, choose a basket with the cat in mind. Make it something the cat can really dig its claws into -- the more texture the better -- or climb into for naps. Knowing the basket may be torn to pieces, you might want to visit your local thrift shop so that you can get the funnest basket for the best price.
3. Putting together a basket is easy. Use either shredded paper or crumpled, colorful tissue paper to line the basket, and cat-friendly, non-toxic paper so the cat can take part in tearing the gift open. Arrange the gifts inside the basket, plonk the basket on top of a swatch of cellophane, and then gather it all up to the top and secure with a ribbon. Easy, no?
4. You may also want to choose a theme for your basket. An entertainment basket can include books and movies about cats. Wanda Gag's 1928 Newbery Honor award-winning picture book, Millions of Cats, a wonderfully written and illustrated picture book. There are plenty of lovely portrait books as well, like Yaginuma and Martin's Zen Cats, in Japanese temples, shrines and gardens. If DVDs are more your type of entertainment, then the long running musical, Cats, and the 1978 family movie, Cat From Outer Space, purrfect.
5. If the gift basket is for a new cat, fill it with a selection of top quality foods and treats (holistic or otherwise) to start the cat out right in life.
6. For the established cat that is partial to one type of food, focus on treats and playthings. Kitty gifts can include ceramic or stainless steel food and water bowls, a place mat, plush blanket, kitty nail trimmers, feathered toys, or a grooming brush. And don’t forget, the basket can do double duty as a sleeping basket.
7. You don’t even have to give a gift that’s specifically for the cat. Cat lovers love everything to do with cats. Take cat pajamas, for instance. They are almost always a hit. And if you know your friend very well, you can make it personal with jewelry (cuff links and bracelets, for example), or a lovely cat figurine.
8. And what if your friend prefers to not have a cat-themed house? Cat mugs, mouse pads, and stationary make for great office accessories. Cat greeting cards are lovely enough to be framed, too. So pairing a frame with a box of printed cards will give your friend an instant decorative piece for the office desk.
9. If you’re the arty type, something simple, sweet, and home-made may add that personal touch. You can print an image of your friend's cat and iron on the transfer onto a T-shirt; other ideas include a drawing, painting, photo, decoupage box, knitted blanket -- anything that utilizes your talent.
10. In the do-it-yourself spirit, you can strategically place a few cat cookbooks in the gift basket, as well. Your friend may be concerned with additives found in some store-bought food. This way, you'll give them natural recipes for treats and meals. Don't be afraid to try making a recipe or two, then place the bite-sized treats in a decorative treat jar -- perhaps one you have designed yourself with little paw prints or birds painted on.
Gift baskets aren’t the only way to go, of course; you can think outside of the basket. For example, cats love plants they can eat, and there are special grasses grown just for cats (but make sure to ask an expert first). And almost everyone appreciates a gift certificate. It can be a non-specific store gift card, or a specialized certificate for grooming or veterinary services. Whatever you decide, do remember that it’s the thought that counts.