Posted on December 21, 2018 by Dr. Dale Rubenstein
The other day, while observing our current hospital cat Maingo looking longingly at a staff member who was eating lunch, I started thinking about what he would like as a holiday present. Fortunately, he does have a good appetite despite the fact that he’s a pretty elderly gentleman at 17 with some health issues. So I thought, what he’d like most is something to eat, maybe a special treat.
That started us thinking about how some of us here at the clinic will celebrate with our pets. We did a blog about this several years ago, but with some different staff and some different pets, thought we’d revisit the topic. So here’s how A Cat Clinic celebrates the holidays with our 4-legged friends!
Dr. Mustillo has five cats and they all enjoy the holiday season. Tater Tot loves to help decorate the tree – see the photo above for his 2018 decorating skills in action! Luckily he does not bother the ornaments and absolutely loves sleeping under the tree. Catnip toys are a favorite present for all the cats, but Dr. Mustillo needs to make sure everyone has their own toy so no one fights over them! (In the picture are Sonny and Tater Tot).
Dr. De Bernardis has 3 cats who all dress up for Christmas. Each one gets a stocking stuffed with little toys and a “big” present. Sherlock Holmes likes fuzzy sparkle balls for his stocking stuffers, and this year he’s getting a bed for his big present. Maxwell’s Equations likes plastic jingle balls for stocking stuffers. He loves to go into boxes or tents, so his big gift is a little cat tent. John Watson likes catnip toys for his stocking stuffers, and is getting a scratching pad for his big toy. She doesn’t have pictures of the presents they’re getting this year because they are wrapped, but here’s a picture of the costumes from last year!
Christina has an elderly kitty named Chompers at home. Since she also has 3 young children, she said she thinks what Chompers would really like to get for Christmas is some quiet time with no little ones running around! He’s unlikely to get it, but he does have places to hide to get a little peace and quiet.
Ann doesn’t have any cats at home to shop for, but she does have two dogs. Her dogs would like something – anything! – edible. They would prefer whatever the humans in the house are eating, but that’s not likely to be wrapped under the tree this year.
Vicki’s cats love food puzzles! They are a great way to keep a food-motivated kitty entertained without encouraging unwanted weight gain. Below are pictures of Fry and Juno with one of their favorite food puzzles.
Alex has two pets, Azlon (an 18 year old cat) and Renly, a 5 year old dog. Azlon’s holiday wishes consist of hot rotisserie chicken (but use caution in some cats because it’s usually high in sodium); fresh catnip, dry catnip- any catnip actually but in fact ALL the catnip!; mom not getting out of bed all day so he can sleep on her chest and purr; and a different wet food everyday for a year. Renly is hoping for some cuddles with his mom, a new sweater, winter booties for rain and snow, all the snacks and treats he can eat, long walks and to be able to bark at some deer.
Amanda does not have any kitties at home either, but she does have two dogs. Like most dogs, Bowser and Smokey love food! Bowser would love to have a fruit salad for Christmas, as odd as that sounds, and Smokey is an old man who would enjoy a nice steak. low fat of course.
So what about my cat Athena? Although she’s no longer a kitten, she still likes to play and has her favorite toys. For many years she loved feather teasers and would play with hers as long as you would allow her! You shouldn’t leave feathers such as these Guinea Fowl feathers alone with your cat, so they don’t eat it or any string attaching the feather to the stick that you hold. But these can be a great way to interact with your cat and give them some exercise as well.
Another toy that cats seem to love is a Cat Dancer, pictured below. This toy has been around for a long time, and although it’s quite simple, many cats enjoy flipping all over the place trying to “catch” the little cardboard “logs” on the end of the wire. This is another toy that requires you to play with your cat, but can be great fun watching your cat dance around with this–and great exercise, too!
So we want to close out 2018 by wishing everyone a holiday season filled with joy, wonder, excitement, and fun. May your every wish be fulfilled! And most of all, we wish a happy and healthy new year to all, both two-legged and four!