Your 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for Healthy, Happy Cats

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

While your cat may pretend it’s a complete coincidence you’re both lying on the couch at the same time, you probably understand that that aloofness is only surface deep. Or perhaps you have the kind of cat that demands you put a blanket on your lap the moment you sit down so they have somewhere warm to nap and purr themselves to sleep.


Whichever temperament of cat you may have, you know that no matter what ways our weird little overlords show their affection, we live better lives with them in it! Since it’s the season of giving, it’s only fair to show our appreciation for our feline friends. At Red Dog Blue Kat, we understand that every cat has a big, quirky personality. With that in mind, we compiled this gift guide for cats to cover your bases—whether they’re a food critic, an Olympic athlete, or a champion napper, there’s a gift here for your cat this winter.

Gift Guide Categories

  1. Cat Beds

  2. Food

  3. Entertainment

  4. Fashion

  5. Adventure


1. Cat Beds

The peak “spice of life” for a cat is probably having multiple nap spot options. Since house cats tend to sleep anywhere between 12-16 hours a day, having options to get away from it all and catch some (more) shut-eye is an important part of your cat’s day-to-day operations.


We’ve got some creative additions to add to your home for your cat’s Christmas gift!

An Exposed Throne

Window-mounted cat beds are all the rage these days: they give your cat somewhere to relax while being able to survey their domain, and watching the birds and squirrels outside is an endless source of entertainment. However, some pet parents of larger breeds may doubt the carrying capacity of a few small suction cups. The Kitty Sill assuages those fears: it was designed with big cats in mind, so not only can its sturdy frame hold up to 40lbs, you can install it without any tools! Can't find it in stores? There are popular alternatives, such as the Pawslife Deluxe Window Cat Perch. Whichever mounted bed you decide to gift your cat, make sure you measure the window sill prior to purchasing—both of these beds have specific requirements for how wide the sill must be for proper stabilization.

The Private Lair

For the perfect compromise between a cat who needs a stealthy spot to snooze and the pet parent with an intuitive inclination for interior decorating, there is the Felt Cat Cave by Agile Designs. These beds are versatile and wildly popular—they hold their round shape but can be flattened for warmer days when your cat just wants a soft pad to lay on. And soft they are! These caves are hand-made with 100% wool, so your cat can sink in and snuggle without overheating.


A Cozy Nest

If you want a heated cat bed but you have a professional baker for a cat—which is to say, one who kneads all day—and you worry about needle-like claws pulling at electrical wires, then the Self-Warming Pet Hut may be what you’re looking for. The interior is soft and plush, and it offers a bit more privacy than a standard flat cat bed while being still open enough that your cat can keep an eye on you. What makes this hut unique is its use of an insulating foam layered over a metallized heat-reflecting sheet, so it can capture your pets’ body heat and keep them toasty with no electricity required. As a bonus, it’s machine washable!


 

2. Food

Whether your cat is a Michelin 3-star food critic or the type to inform you the moment they spot the bottom of their dish, helping your cat develop a healthy relationship with their food can be tricky. Fret not: we put some serious consideration into these product recommendations to guide you along the way.


Lick Mats

Pet platters are one of the New Big Things in the pet feeding world—and for good reason. Think about standard pet bowls for a moment: not only can they be too tight on your cat’s face, pushing against whiskers and noses, but they can also block peripheral vision and make feeding a stressful, vulnerable time. Pet platters avoid this issue and go one step further by adding various textures to their mats, like this Reversible Licking Mat for Cats. These textures hold any type of cat food so that you can experiment with spreads, purees, and raw foods; they also scrape your cat’s tongue to reduce bacteria causing bad breath, and the little nubbles soothe anxious eaters.


Not convinced? Get more info on our blog covering feeding dishes


Water Fountains

If you’re still feeding your cat dry kibble, then we’re sorry to tell you: your cat is dehydrated. Our household cats evolved from desert-dwelling ancestors, which means they can go longer before noticing they’re thirsty, and by that time, they’re already on the brink of dehydration! This means we have to trick and entice our cats into drinking, which is where pet water fountains come into play. The Catit Water Fountain has three settings, meaning you can adjust the water flow to whatever your feline friend finds most intriguing. The fountain bowl is stainless steel, so it’ll resist microbial build-up and is dishwasher safe, and the filtration system means finicky cats won’t be off-put by floating dust, hairs, or “old” water. Finally, the backlit water level provides a soothing night-light glow and lets you easily see when the water is getting low.


The case against kibble: why a water fountain isn’t enough to offset

the damage of dry food

Raw Bones: Time-Occupying and Tasty!

If you’re hoping to avoid your cat trying to swipe scraps from the table this holiday season, it’s possible that having a decadent treat of their own to distract them will be enough to keep their paws off your food. A lot of pet owners associate raw bones with dogs, but your cat is just as much of a carnivore! RDBK offers recreational bones (fun for gnawing, not for eating) and edible bones, which are fully consumable. If your cat hasn’t had a raw bone before, chicken necks are a great place to start!


Is your cat already a lover of raw bones? Try gifting your cat one of our new Kangaroo Tails (in the small size). Always supervise your cat when feeding bones, and check our bone guide to select bones that may work best for your individual pet.


Hungry for more? Our blog Bones 101 has everything you need to know

about feeding raw bones


Incentivizing Treats

Did you know you can teach your cat tricks, just like a dog? The difference is dogs will do anything for a treat, whereas cats need to be convinced the effort will be worth the reward. If you want to train your cat to high-five you after a long day of work, you’ve got to have the goods on hand. RDBK’s dehydrated treats are minimally processed, sustainably sourced with free-range kangaroo and wild-caught salmon, and absolutely irresistible to cats. You’ll be surprised at how fast your cat trains you to be their high-fiving, treat-dispensing servant!

Find a Red Dog Blue Kat Retailer Near You!



 

3. Entertainment


Extra Long Feather Teasers

While you may adore and pamper your household friend, your cats think they are ferocious hunters, and it’s best not to disabuse them of that thought—the exercise is great for their body and brain. Unfortunately, sometimes they are fierce hunters, and that’s demonstrated in the collection of broken and ripped toys that all pet owners seem to collect. The Da Bird Cat Wand by Go Cat has a swivel clip on the string, so if your hunter extraordinaire destroys the feather tips, you can buy a wide assortment of hand-crafted toys that are compatible with the wand. At 36” plus 31” of string, it’s also one of the longest feather wands we’ve found, so you can have your cat chasing their prey across the living room without leaving the couch.


Catnip Baguette

Some cats are less physically-inclined than others and need to be persuaded to workout (don’t we all sometimes?) Just like the promise of cake at a later date might get you to the gym, even the laziest of cats are unable to stop themselves from going to town on a healthy dose of catnip. These irresistible baguettes are made with soft, eco-friendly felt and filled with 100% organic catnip. They’re big enough for fierce bunny kicks but small enough that they can be carried back to a secret lair for cuddling. If you need more food-themed catnip toys in your life, MiniTigerDesigns on Etsy also sells catnip tacos, tortellini, and blueberry pancakes, so your cat can have a catnip treat for every meal.


Furniture Protectors

For the cat who lives to scratch, this gift is also for you—and your furniture. While you should never stop your cat from scratching altogether (it’s a natural instinct, good exercise, and good for their claws), it can be frustrating getting them to scratch the appropriate places. If your home is already littered with scratching posts and pads, but your cat keeps beelining for the sofa, then the decision has already been made for you: this is your cat’s favourite spot. Maybe it’s the height of the couch; maybe it’s right by their favourite nap spot and the first thing they see when they wake up. Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t count on them stopping voluntarily. In the meantime, the Sofa Scratcher comes in seven colours to match your decor and in a rounded, squared, or flat-panel shape to match the edges of your sofa. Alternatively, you could get a Scratch Mat Sofa Protector, which is a similar product that offers a little more protection at a more palatable price. This way, your cat doesn’t have to find a new scratching spot, and your furniture can stay unshredded another day.


 

4. Fashion

Bow Ties, Sailor Bows, and Scarfs

Your cat already thinks they’re the hottest thing in a cold winter, but the holiday season is always an excellent excuse to dress up a little. One of the best reasons to get your cat a snazzy little bow tie (other than they look like a Maître d’ judging your cheese board, which, if we’re being honest, is a notable upside) is the ability to support local artists. Tailsofwhiskers on Etsy is a small, Canadian-run shop with a huge selection of holiday fabrics and styles to dress your feline friend. You can customize them by size (get a matching one for your canine companion!) or by collar type (clip-on or with a separate collar). Now when you have your guests over for your holiday dinner, you can be sure your entire family is dressed to the nines!


Tella & Stella

If the standard collars at the local big box pet store don’t reflect the spunk and personality of your favourite kitty, turn to Tella & Stella. A Quebec-based company, Tella & Stella’s wide range of beautiful, cute collar patterns are designed by local Quebec artists, and they’re made of durable materials that stay soft on your cat’s silky fur. These collars also come with a break-away buckle if you have an outdoor cat or just one who tends to get stuck where they shouldn’t be (which really, is most cats).



Copper Paws

Originally a dog-only company, Copper Paws has tapped into the community of cat-lovers who only want the best for their furry friend. This company makes unique, durable, perfectly cat-sized metal ID tags; each one is hand-stamped, and you can choose from 11 different fonts and 3 metal types (copper, aluminum, and brass), meaning you can make an ID tag just as unique as your funky little feline.


 

5. Adventure

Gone are the days of the strictly indoor or outdoor cats: the concept of adventuring cats has been blossoming over the last few years, and has led to a broad scope of products on the market. If your cat is the type to paw desperately at the window, you might have an adventurer on your hands; fortunately, we found some of the best necessary products you’ll need to introduce your kitty to the great outdoors.


Backpacks

When shopping for a pet backpack, there are a few elements to consider: first and foremost, the size and weight of your kitty. Make sure the pet carrier you choose is sized appropriately for them—too large and they might not feel secure enough and get jostled around; too tight and they won’t be able to settle comfortably. The second thing to consider is your own comfort! Padded shoulder straps and padding on your lower back/hip line will be necessary, as most cat backpacks have a solid mat on the bottom that can chafe without protection. Lastly, most bags come with an internal tether. This can be a controversial subject: some pet parents like knowing that their cat can’t make a break for it when the top is down; other cat owners worry about them trying to jump out and dangling themselves or getting tangled and turned around in the carrier. You’ll have to determine your cat’s disposition and your own comfort with this feature.

If you love the bubble window feature, then we recommend the Jackson Galaxy Convertible Cat Backpack. This bag can hold up to 25lb of floof, and you can swap out the bubble window for a flat mesh screen. It can also convert into a regular cat carrier with a shoulder strap and a mat that refolds to fit lengthwise and maintain stability.


If you’re looking for something for urban adventures in the city, check out The Kurgo K9 Rucksack. It’s fashionable with faux-leather accents, and it has a laptop sleeve plus a few other little pockets to hold your essentials.


On the other hand, if you’re doing big hikes in the backcountry, consider the Kurgo G-Train: structured more like a proper hiking pack with pet capabilities, it’s well-padded with sternum and hip straps, as well as two water bottle pockets. While ventilated, this bag retains heat well so your cat will stay cozy even in winter-wonderland hikes. That said, it may not be as suitable for warmer weather.


Bike Baskets

For the cyclists with cats who long to feel the breeze in their whiskers, a pet-specific bike basket may be in your future. As with many products, there are so many types to choose from: we settled on the Pet Pilot Wicker Max. This basket checks all the boxes: Cute? Yes. The wicker-like material makes you feel like you’re going on a whimsical picnic, but since it’s coated in a waterproof resin, it looks cute and stays functional. Cozy? Check. The black removable sherpa lining hides dirty paw prints after exploring, and the cushion underneath keeps it comfortable. Finally: safety? Of course! While it has a harness attachment, the thing we liked best about this basket is the detachable containment cage with the integrated cover. Without obstructing your cat’s view, the metal frame means your kitty is less likely to even try and launch themselves out of the basket at an unsuspecting bird.


Harnesses

Our cats are fiendish escape artists at the best of times, so when you’re bringing your cat outside, having a harness you know they can’t wriggle out of is wildly beneficial. (If you haven’t tried walking your cat with a harness yet, let us warn you: they will try and get out of it at first.) Fortunately, the Martingale Cat Harness by Sleepypod is practically 100% escape-proof; plus, the soft, breathable mesh and durable design mean that it’s comfortable enough that they’ll quickly forget it’s they're wearing it. It’s easily adjusted at the neck and belly, and the leash attachment has a gentle cinching feature to remind your cat not to pull, and keep them put should they try to wriggle away.


Remember that harness walking is not for every cat. This type of adventuring takes a lot of training, time, patience, and hyper-vigilance of your surroundings—you never know what you might encounter on a walk, and even the most confident cat could get spooked and panic when it can’t escape a perceived threat. Being an advocate for your kitty means making their safety your priority!

 

The holidays can be a stressful time—not just for us, but for our pets too. Make sure you have quiet spots set aside for cats to escape to and enough stimulation to keep them from climbing the walls—or worse, your tree!


Got any cute holiday photos with your pets? We’d love to see them! Tag us on Instagram at @reddogbluekat


Note: We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with any of the brands mentioned in this article