At approximately 5:30 a.m. on December 26, stores shove the Santa figurines and snowman greeting cards on the discount shelf and start displaying heart-shaped everything. Yep, it's time to think about Valentine's Day and the tokens of affection you plan to bestow on your loved ones. For cat owners like me, that includes pets, because why leave them out of the fun? Happily, there are plenty of Valentine's Day gift ideas for cats that will have them purring their thanks.
Before you start making those tired "crazy cat lady" jokes, you might want to know that Americans spent $751 million on Valentine's Day gifts for pets last year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. That works out to about $5.50 per cat or dog, still considerably less than the $89 average spent on spouses or significant others. So it's not as though people are breaking the bank on their fur babies.
Still, why shouldn't you give a little something to your cats for a holiday that celebrates love? Cats comfort you on down days, entertain you with their antics, provide warmth on your laps on cold nights, and remind you of the importance of treasuring simple joys (relaxing, cuddling, a little catnip now and then). The sound frequency of a cat's purrs may even help researchers understand how bones heal, according to Scientific American.
The gifts you choose for your cat should be as individualized as your kitty itself. Fierce hunter or mellow couch potato, gourmet or athlete, there's something for every type of cat out there. This list should get you started on your quest to find the ideal V-Day present.
1. Catnip Heart Toy
2. Tunnel Vision
For mousers who love crawling into paper bags, this tunnel is a dream come true. Made of eco-friendly paper, it expands to three feet for maximum crawling fun, but collapses for storage when you need floor space. Best of all, the company was founded by a veterinarian who donates a portion of profits to animal charities.
3. Magic Carpet Ride
Also from Dezi & Roo comes this clever "carpet" designed for cats who love playing with anything that crinkles and moves. Put it on a bare floor and watch your pet swat and slide, or put some treats underneath and let them burrow to find it. One caveat: This isn't for you if your cat is the kind who eats plastic bags.
4. Bee-autiful Costume
Some cats are remarkably good sports who calmly endure their humans' need to dress them up as something other than their magnificent cat selves. If yours is one of them, you could buy this too-cute bee suit, which is easy to slip on and snap shut. Other available costumes include a bunny, cowboy, lion and doctor.
5. Cat Treadmill
Some cat breeds, such as Abyssinians, Siamese, and Tonkinese, are high-activity kits who need lots of play and exercise to keep them from getting bored and stirring up mischief. This wheel is a great way for your pet to burn off that excess energy (much as a hamster wheel fulfills a rodent's need for movement). Granted, the price tag is more than you'd spend for a catnip mouse, but it might be worth it to avoid having your knickknacks knocked off the desk for the millionth time.
6. Purrfect Puree
Alas, you can't give a box of Godiva to your fur baby the way you would to your partner; chocolate is toxic to cats. Instead, treat them to a pouch of puree in cat-friendly flavors like tuna, chicken, cheese, and shrimp. (Price shown is for a pack of four.) Users report that it's also good for hiding pills.
7. Fishing Fun
8. Track Toy
9. A Gift For You
10. Heart Bowl
11. Best Box
Okay, we admit it: This is as much of a gift for *you* as it is for your cat. But both of you will appreciate not having to deal with a dirty box every day, and even the changing process is a snap: Just cover the disposable litter tray, toss it, and start again with a new one.
12. Scratch Saver
13. Natural Stress Relief
14. Laser Light Show
15. A Matched Set
Finally, this is an oh-so-sweet way to celebrate the bond between you and your cat. This boxed set has a collar (in Valentine red, thank you) for your kitty, and a coordinating bracelet for you.
After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.