What is your cat asking Santa Paws for this year? We’ve compiled a list of some purfect presents that are safe, fun and can keep your pet healthy this festive period…
Scratching posts are great fun for cats – not just for scratching but also for climbing. Cats have a natural urge to scratch, so they are useful for keeping their nails worn down and preventing them from doing so on your furniture! A variety of shapes and sizes are available.
Horizontal scratching boards are available for older arthritic cats. A tall multi-level scratching post or platform with a hiding cave is great as it will give your cat the option to get up high, which they might like to do to escape from some of the Christmas chaos.
A lot of cats can be picky about where they drink. Some often refuse to drink from an indoor bowl and prefer lapping from the kitchen sink! A cat water fountain is a great way to encourage your cat to drink more water, keeping them healthy and hydrated. Many cats prefer to drink from flowing water; with a water fountain, the water is filtered and is never allowed to stagnate, keeping it clean and debris free. You can change the settings to adjust the flow of water from a bubbling brook to gentle stream.
A bit like a hamster ball, but made for cats! Fill it with their dry food and watch them figure out how to get their dinner out. This is great for improving mental stimulation and encouraging movement. Especially for any cats that are in need of a little bit of weight loss. Consider how cats in wild feed… they don’t have a bowl of food plonked down in front of them. They have to hunt and expend energy and burn off calories to get their grub!
Puzzle feeders are another great way to diminish boredom and feed your cat in a more stimulating and rewarding way. Your cat has the challenge of figuring out which part of the puzzle to move to get their food out. These are also great for cats who gobble their food up too quickly and are then sick, as it slows down how quickly they can eat which is easier on their digestion. You could save money and make your own, lots of DIY versions are available online!
When making the change to puzzle feeding, start by going bowl free first and scattering their food in different places. This will get them used to eating not from a bowl. You can then lead on to the puzzle feeder starting with hiding food in the easiest sections for them to find before making it trickier. Clever cats may figure it out quickly so ideally swap your puzzle feeders around every few days.
Rather than lots of calorific treats which can soon pile on the pounds, try treating your cat with some poultry or fish flavoured toothpaste. If built up gradually, this is something your cat can enjoy as a tasty treat, while protecting their dental health.
It’s best to start with a small pea-sized amount on your finger and by gently sliding your finger along their jawline to rub on to their teeth. If your cat tolerates this, you can try building up to a soft children’s toothbrush or a finger brush.
A cosy cave to hide in away from all the festivities, window perch or radiator bed would be the ultimate snuggle spot for your cat this winter to keep them warm and cosy.
Wishing you and your feline friend a very Merry Christmas.