Humans get so busy during the holidays that sometimes they forget about their cats. Can you imagine? It’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year, and so many cats are bored and neglected! It doesn’t take that much effort to give kitties a good time during the holiday season. You humans can even do it while you are in the middle of other holiday activities. I put together a short list of easy-peasy ways for you to have a fun Christmas for your cat. They take almost no effort, and your cat will love you for it.
- Trim your tree with your kitty in mind! Maybe you have some precious (and fragile) heirloom ornaments. Of course you will want to put those high up on your tree, out of your cat’s reach. But what about the lower branches? Many savvy humans put their sturdy, unbreakable ornaments down there… but you can go one step further and place some cute cat toys on those lower branches instead! That way, your cat can play with them and knock them down, and it’s totally okay. (Also remember, if you have a live tree, to keep the tree-watering receptacle covered up with tinfoil or otherwise made inaccessible! That water is not good for kitties. My human has a fake tree so we never have to worry about that.)
- Let your cat help you wrap the presents. Most humans see this as a recipe for disaster, but it’s not necessarily so. While you are wrapping presents, lightly crumble up some tissue paper and sprinkle catnip on it. Your cat will have so much fun that she may forget to stick her nose in whatever it is you are wrapping (at least temporarily). And you always wind up with scraps of wrapping paper — so crumble those up tightly and toss them for your cat to chase! They can go into recycling later.
- Get a giant-sized Christmas stocking for your cat, and hide fragrant catnip, silver vine or valerian toys (whichever is your cat’s preference) inside. Then let your cat pull them out herself as a cool holiday activity.
- You know how cats like boxes and wrapping paper – so why don’t you give yours a nicely-wrapped box as a holiday gift? Even better, fill it with crinkly tissue paper for extra fun! Many years ago, my human gave Sparkle a gift-wrapped box for Christmas and it was a big hit.
- This is the easiest one ever — when you are watching all the holiday specials, make sure your cat’s favorite throw or blanket is spread out on the couch (or your lap) so she can enjoy it with you.
- When you are cooking your holiday meals, make sure they includes a special treat for your cat. For example, most cats enjoy turkey liver, giblets, or the heart, so boil them with no spices and give a few bits to your cat. (You can refrigerate the extra for later… or you can do what my human does, and chop them up and put them in the stuffing for the humans.)
- If your cat is shy and all that extra holiday bustle makes her nervous, create a kitty sanctuary for her — a guest-free room or secluded part of your home with some of her favorite things, and lots of places to hide. I know some humans who wish they had this during the holidays too.
- If you are going out of town without your cat, do your best to leave your cat home instead of boarding her. We kitties prefer our familiar spaces and going somewhere unfamiliar without our humans is stressful for us. So if you can arrange for a pet sitter to either visit your cat a couple times a day, or even housesit, that is ideal. And make sure you bring home some special treats for your kitty when you return.
- Cats know that Christmas morning is a special time, and they may be as excited as the humans! If they are, let them help unwrap the presents, and share in the pleasure of giving. After all, your cat is a treasured family member, and should be part of every important activity in your home.