Maddie's Pet Project

Christmas Gifts for Cats

by Kimberly Wade

Kimberly and Newton

It’s only fitting that I’m writing about holiday gifts for cats, especially as I’m shopping for my own (all adopted) and sharing photos on their Instagram with captions like “Meowy CATmas.” The number of people that I know who include their pets in holiday festivities is off the chart, so here are some fun gift ideas for your feline family:

•  Green Beans, Kickers and Crisps: Not only are these handmade toys local and share a portion of proceeds with local shelters, but For Mew has the coolest cat gifts. My cats love the Green Beans, tiny catnip filled toys they can toss, chew or fetch, but there’s a variety of crisps, kickers and more for even the pickiest cats. There are some fun human gifts, too, including paintings based on adopted cats and shelter cats.

•  Scatterballs Cat Toys: I discovered StarkRavingCat years ago and love their creativity and great customer service. My tabby, Newton, likes the Scatterballs more than anything! They’re handmade and they bounce and wobble across the floor. They’re an inexpensive stocking stuffer for cat lovers, too. Looking for something unique? Check out the pinatas and catnip joints (non-toxic; just a play on words) as both are quite fun for playtime.

•  Tents and Teepees: These two sleeping options are all the rage right now. The teeny tiny tent by Cat Camp is great for indoor and outdoor cats. The Teepees are creative little pet bed houses, with my favorite made by Little Dove and sold on Amazon. They both provide kitty a private space, allowing her to nap or play hide and seek while looking chic in your house.

•  Santa’s Toy Shop Cat Scratcher: When I saw photos of cats trending with this gift we had to have it. Sold by Target, these holiday-themed cat scratchers are $12.99 and add to any holiday décor. They’re easy to assemble, have a durable scratching board and make a great hiding spot. I bought two, and all 5 of our cats love them.

•  Chewy: With fast, free shipping, a local warehouse in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, and their regular donations to shelters and rescues, Chewy is an easy favorite. They have everything from toys to treats to healthcare to condos. Their customer service is top notch and they even send out Christmas cards. Chewy is an easy one-stop shop for all things pets.

•  DIY-ish: If you want to get creative with items around your house, it doesn’t take much. Amazon boxes? Done. What cat doesn’t love a cardboard box? You can also try a paper bag, toilet paper roll or crumpled up piece of paper—after all, cats find adventure in everything.

Caption: Kimberly Wade is the Campaign Manager for Maddie’s® Pet Project in Nevada, a new campaign to increase live release rates for dogs and cats in Nevada shelters and rescue organizations. She lives with her husband and their cats, who have Instagrams to raise awareness for foster and adoption programs. Reach her at

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