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Though we think any day is a good day to treat your cat, the holidays are an especially fun time to let your four-legged friends know how much you appreciate them for filling your year with purrs, pets, and (occasional) pandemonium. But it can be hard to know what to get a choosey kitty—which is why we’ve put together this collection of our all-time favorite Christmas gifts for cats.
The writers and editors at Rover have tested a lot of cat products over the years. This is a collection of the winners: our own cats’ favorite toys, beds, and gear, all tested and approved by our own fastidious felines.
So from our kitties to yours, a few of our favorite things—and our warm wishes to you and yours for a season that’s merry and bright.
Out of everything we’ve purchased for our young cat, the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug has been one of the biggest successes.
The concept is remarkably simple. It’s two rugs, one with a non-skid rubber backing and one thinner with velcro pads to anchor it to the sturdier bottom mat, allowing you to shape it at will.
For a cat that loves hiding in small spaces and is easily bored, this setup is perfect. Regularly rearranging the top rug keeps things interesting, introducing new caverns to explore. It’s also made from recycled materials and easy to clean.
The base rug is relatively large, about four feet by three feet. The top rug is the same size but shrinks in footprint when rippled. They’re easy to put away, too: just flatten and fold for storage.
Over a year of use, the upper rug has lost some of its stiffness, so it’s harder now to achieve and keep large ripples. The dogs may be somewhat to blame; they like to lay on the rug too, obliviously crushing whatever configuration it’s in.
The cat doesn’t seem to mind. He dives through the layers regardless of whether they’re standing up or flattened together. We’ll often also find him lying on top, just taking a nap. Flat or rippled, he knows that the Ripple Rug is his space.
— Carolyn and Peaty
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a cat—or a cat household? We like the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge. High-energy cats and kittens go wild on the sturdy cardboard scratching panel, while older cats settle down on the supportive surface for a snooze. (It’s never been clear to me why my cats like to sleep on cardboard, but two of mine absolutely adore this concave surface for naps.)
If you’ve been frustrated with cheap flimsy scratchers that rip apart in a week and shed paper scraps all over your house, the PetFusion scratchers, with denser cardboard, are a welcome improvement. While some reviewers say these are too tough for their cats, our three cats (who have managed to demolish a cedar porch bench) love to sink their claws into the PetFusion scratcher. Even with as many as three cats using it on a daily basis, an Ultimate lasts us a year or more (well past the 6-month warranty). When it starts to look torn up, we flip over the heavy cardboard frame, and there’s a brand-new scratching surface on the other side.
The Ultimate is big: 34 inches long, 10.5 inches high, and 10.5 inches wide. At just over 7 pounds, it pretty much stays wherever we put it (usually right up against a cat tree). An advantage to the PetFusion cardboard frame (as opposed to plastic housings) is that it won’t scratch our hardwoods—even if the cats do start shoving it around.
— Karen and Mr. Tippy
My cat Mimi absolutely LOVES this heated bed. She is definitely a lap cat, and before we got this bed, we had daily disagreements about whether she or my laptop should be in my lap. Now if my lap is occupied, she has somewhere warm and cozy to nap! She spends most of her time in there at this point.
I like that it’s always on so she can use it whenever she wants—but it’s low-powered, so I feel safe always having it plugged in. The cover is also removable, so you can wash it, but I usually just vacuum it and it looks great.
A note on size: Mimi is a small cat at around eight pounds and fits perfectly in this bed. My 11-pound cat will fit if he tries, but if you have a larger cat, I think you’d want to size up your Christmas gift.
— Sadie and Mimi
While I’ve found there are many pluses to working from home during the pandemic, managing the needs of my social, energetic 18-pound kitty Yaji while chatting with my clients over Zoom isn’t one of them. When Yaji isn’t walking across my partner’s keyboard or batting at my fingers while I type, he’s scratching at the door to be let outside or meowing to be played with.
We were at our wits end until we found the Pet Fusion Ambush Interactive Toy. This motion toy is simple to work, hilarious to watch your cat play with, and, most importantly, effective at keeping their attention so you can do your work.
Turn on the Pet Fusion Ambush Interactive Toy by pushing a button in its center. The toy, the size of a salad plate and about three inches high, will glow green and send a feather through six small openings around the edge of its body in a random order. Depending on how quick your cat is on the draw, you can set the Pet Fusion Ambush Interactive to three different speeds by holding down the center button until the toy glows blue (activation mode). If your cat loses interest, it automatically shuts off after eight minutes.
Small and easy to store, the battery-powered Pet Fusion Ambush Interactive Toy is also relatively quiet. When we set it on the floor and turn it on for Yaji, he quickly notices the flash of colorful feathers and lurks nearby for several minutes, watching and planning his ambush. Eventually, he dives for the toy, sticking his paws on the openings as if playing a kitty game of whack-a-mole.
Yaji is amused by the toy for 20 or more minutes until he eventually curls up on our couch to sleep—allowing us to send our emails and finish our Zoom calls in peace until we can all spend off-hours together.
This is an excellent Christmas gift for any energetic cat (and his parents).
— Alexa and Yaji
My cat Ramona is a creature of boundless energy, curiosity, and affection. She loves to play almost as much as she loves to snuggle—both fine features in a feline—but sometimes it can be hard to keep her entertained when I’m plunked down at the computer trying to work and she’s staring at me, desperately vying for my attention.
When I discovered the PetDroid Boltz Robotic Interactive Cat Toy, I quickly learned it’s the next best thing to wasting your entire day trying to keep an obsessive, energetic, super-smart, and particularly clingy cat busy (which yes, I have done, and no, I don’t recommend).
It entices play with an erratic motion that she can’t predict, starting and stopping at intervals she doesn’t expect. It’s also durable and smart, hobbling and rolling over anything and everything. And best of all, it keeps working and rolls away after sustained bunny kicks.
So whoever is responsible for the interactive, robotic wizardry behind this miracle cat toy, thank you for designing a gizmo that somehow manages to capture a cat’s short attention span, and withstand full-on feline assaults, for more than just a few fleeting moments.
Read on for Ramona’s full review.
— Gwen and Ramona
It’s no secret cats are particular creatures and not as easily excitable as dogs. In my experience, finding toys for my two cats tends to be more of a challenge, with them barely acknowledging or letting a sliver of emotion slip when I present them with a new item. Eventually, I’ll pick up on clues, either if I catch them playing with a toy when they think I’m not around or if it keeps ending up in different spots around the house.
So when I brought home the Wiggle Pickle cat toy, I had some doubts about whether a smiling pickle that moved would bring them delight or collect dust in the corner.
To my surprise, both of my cats showed interest in it immediately. My more adventurous cat pounced on the toy in front of me before regaining his composure and watching the pickle wiggle with amusement from nearby.
My cats now regularly enjoy stalking and pouncing on the toy, and the scent of catnip makes it even more enticing—an easy favorite in their collection. On a human note, not only is the toy hilariously adorable, but it’s made with a rechargeable USB battery pack, so I don’t need to worry about replacing batteries every week. Success!
The Wiggle Pickle has our seal of approval as a surprisingly great Christmas gift for cats.
— Kelsey and Co.
The writers and editors of Rover hope you’ve found inspiration among their cats’ favorite things. From our kitties to yours—wishing you joy, peace, and lots of purrs this holiday season.