best gifts for cats lead

Whether the cat in your life is a bouncy kitten, a sweet senior or a fluffer in between, they own a piece of your heart. And if you spoil your pet just a little at the holidays, you’re far from alone. But what can you get your cat that’ll please both you and them? With the help of vets, cat behaviorists and other cat experts, including our kitty-parent editors, we’ve pinpointed this season’s purr-worthy gifts for cats. Need more gift ideas this holiday season? Check out our gift ideas for men, gift ideas for women, Nordstrom gifts, practical gifts, beauty gifts and gifts for under $25.

Gifts for cats

Cats love boxes. To be more specific, they love squeezing themselves into boxes that are too small for them. Snug boxes make cats feel safe in a hiding spot where predators — ok, the family corgi — can’t sneak up on them. Knowing that, is this not genius? This cute felt-lined box will feel (and look) so much better than a chewed-up cardboard one.
Editor Favorite

Want to upgrade a certain cat’s food bowl? You can’t get any more chic than the new Jason Wu Mesa bowl and tray from Cat Person. The bowl is elevated to help keep your cat from crouching and to avoid whisker fatigue, aka overstimulation. (It may sound silly, but it’s actually a not-fun thing for your cat.) Both pieces are dishwasher-safe. We also really love the brand’s canopy bed.

It’s hard to disappoint a cat with a gift of a special new treat — especially these heart-shaped US beef nibbles. "When I look for ready-made treats for my cat Ray Ray, they have to include real food and natural ingredients, like Bocce's Moooo Moooo cat treats,” shares Lindsay Hadfield, Doggo nutrition consultant.

Cats need a stocking to open on Christmas morning just like the rest of the family. This modern plaid one is definitely strong enough to be used again next year (and the year after that). Kitty will sniff out burlap toys, a wand and a plush mouse, plus cheese treats — a flavor more commonly found in dog treats — and cat-safe eggnog mix!

Dr. Julie Andino, veterinarian at URvet Care in New York City and mom to felines Muffin, Austin and Willie, is all about fun toys when it comes to cat gifts. She recommends picking based on your pet’s usual activity. “Do they like to ‘hunt’ on the ground? Then I suggest something they can chase. Or do they prefer to jump and bat? If so, consider a feather wand," she says. This marvel in motion covers all cat bases. The robotic toy scurries around the room unpredictably, luring your cat to play along. It has a censor that keeps it from getting stuck in corners, and the feather attachment can be swapped out for new and different toys.
Editor Favorite

An Underscored editor favorite, this window perch provides an elevated platform for cats to nap and, more importantly, keep an eye on squirrels and birds.
Editor Favorite

Want something a little fancier? Lots of our editors love this Tuft+Paw window hammock that can come with a furry blanket to keep them snuggly while they snooze.

Dr. Darcia Kostiuk, senior veterinarian for Orijen pet food, gives her cat-gift vote to cat trees. “They’re a rewarding present for cats, and their parents,” she says. “Cats naturally love to climb and to have options for resting and eating spots. I always recommend Pawz for cat trees.” The brand has other cool trees on Amazon, but this one is such a conversation piece, sure to charm your cat and your guests.

Your cat romping under, into and around this Swiss cheese-esque playmat is what will make Christmas morning, we’re thinking. It’s a favorite cat gift idea of Dr. Mikel Delgado, a certified applied animal behaviorist and cat behavior expert with Rover. “It creates lots of fun textures and hiding places for your cat,” she says.

“You can never go wrong with getting some new interactive toys for your cat,” insists Delgado. “I’m a fan of Litterboy Pets.” Cats go bonkers for the simple, but super-realistic, colorful critters. The Blue Striped Flyer Bird is shown, but you have tons of others to pick from.
Editor Favorite

When we asked Chyrle Bonk, veterinary consultant for Excited Cats, “What should you give a cat for Christmas?” she didn’t hesitate. “One of the best gifts for cats is their own cozy bed.” This comfy shearling wool bed is one of Tuft + Paw’s bestsellers — and also an instant-favorite nap spot of several of our editors’ cats. Lightweight, very well made and sleek enough to suit any decor, it’s a winner. (It also comes in wide for those portly pusses.)

Contrary to popular perception, many cats don’t like catnip. If yours is one of them, you might want to tuck a pack of Silvervine sticks into their stocking. “Silvervine, also known as matatabi, has a chemical similar to that found in catnip,” reveals Joey Lusvardi, a cat behavior consultant in Minneapolis. “Cats who don’t respond to catnip often respond to silvervine. I feel like it’s the behaviorists’ best kept secret.” Lusvardi calls Meowy Janes “the absolute best silvervine out there.”

Short on space? “Wall shelves are a great alternative to cat towers, and they come in so many cool designs,” says Lusvardi. “This one is a favorite of mine. It looks really elegant, actually enhancing your decor. Plus, your cat will appreciate the extra place to survey his domain!”

Made by Nacho cat food, treats and toppers are all masterminded by chef Bobby Flay. Well, his cats actually. “Nacho and Stella are on the front lines … they are both the taste makers and taste testers,” Flay tells Underscored. “And for dessert, my kitties have their fave …. duck liver freeze-dried cat treats.”

Many feline experts like the concept of food-dispensing toys, or slow feeders, to keep cats from mindlessly munching from a bowl and eating too much or too quickly. Dr. Brian Evans, the clinical director of Dutch, points to this one specifically. “This simple feeder system evokes their natural hunting instincts and provides exercise while they bat the feeder around,” he explains. “This makes a great gift for the active cat or a cat who seems to need a more engaging environment.”

This felt wrap-around cat hideaway, available in gray, green and taupe, will be your fluffer’s favorite hangout, especially during the hectic holidays. Dr. Lisa Lippman, veterinarian and director of virtual medicine at Bond Vet in New York City, loves it. “It offers cats a safe, comfortable area to chill out if they’re feeling overstimulated or stressed,” she says. “Even well-adjusted cats can be spooked by houseguests and unfamiliar noises, so a refuge that is just for them can go a long way in helping reduce anxiety.”

Cats are usually thought of as being virtually impossible to train. Not so, insists Dr. Janet Cutler, certified cat behaviorist at Cat World. This kit gets her vote for a top gift. “Teaching your cat tricks gives them mental stimulation, and spending time working on those skills helps to improve your bond with your cat,” she says. “Clicker training can be fun for both cats and their parents.”

Cutler also suggests this entertaining plaything made of food-grade materials as an ideal kitty gift. “Puzzle toys are great to keep cats playing when you’re busy or even out of the house. With adjustable levels of difficulty, let your cat spend time finding food or treats, moving pieces of the puzzle to get at them,” she explains.

Charlotte Reed, host of the syndicated radio show The Pet Buzz, likes to buy gifts for her three Himalayans that they can enjoy with or without her, and that contribute to their nature. She points to this interesting scratcher as a prime example. “Cats scratch for exercise, to remove their dead nail sheaths and to mark their territory,” she notes. But their preferred position can vary. “This unique scratching station by Archie & Oscar may help save your furniture,” she adds.

Gifts for cat lovers and cat parents

All you need is a clear picture of the fur baby’s face, and West & Willow will turn that sweet expression into a gift that’s both functional and personal. Compatible with wireless charging, it can be ordered to fit most iPhone and Samsung phones.

These minimalist works of modern art will look amazing in any home. You can choose a cat’s breed from 29 options, then personalize the heavyweight poster by color, design style, size and the cat’s name.

Designed in France, the pieces in this circular feline cluster puzzle are all kitten shaped, except one. You see, there’s a story. The cats are poised to take their rightful place as rulers of the world, but the one dog (the indignity!) who snuck in might ruin everything. There’s a dog world domination version too.

Look to this book for the cat parent in your life. This collection of missives from cats was put together by a professional comedian. They are hilarious, and anyone who shares their home with a feline will relate.

If your goal is to make your cat-adoring giftee smile while spending less than $15, congratulations.

At a purrr-fect (we had to) price for a gift for that co-worker or neighbor who’s a feline fanatic, these cheery, kitschy kitties will see use well beyond the holidays. You get six stoneware dishes, to hold everything from nuts to candy to ketchup. (A dog set is also on offer.)