In the event you somehow forget to get your cat something for the holiday season, we have some tested items that are sure to please your cat as much as they did our furry friends.  Some of these can still be shipped in time for Christmas by Amazon.  But your cat probably won’t care if they have it in time.  Ultimately your cat wants you, your time, and a warm home.  But some of these items will help you connect with your cat.

A new book by the animal trainer for the Harry Potter movies will get you involved with your cat.  Think your cat can’t learn all the tricks dogs know?  Then you need to read Superstar Cats: 25 Easy Tricks to Make Your Cat Shine in the Spotlight.  Professional trainer Julie Tottman explains what is needed (like treats, a blanket, etc.), how long the trick might take, and step-by-step her method of getting Daniel Craig’s cat to lie down on command in Spectre, or Crookshanks the cat to carry an object from point A to B as in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  Get it for your cat or your favorite cat lover for a stocking stuffer available now from Running Press here at Amazon.

Rule one of playtime for any pet?  Don’t let them play unsupervised.  Animal hospitals are full of cats and dogs that swallow a small item, and many toys can be chewed up and swallowed if the cat or dog has enough time to do it.

What have we found to be the #1 toy for our cats?  Just like the National Toy Hall of Fame named the ball, the stick, the blanket, and the cardboard box to its list of toys for humans, our cats routinely pick this over the rest:  It’s the plastic strapping material that holds heavy shipments you might find wrapped around a boxed self-assembled shelf.  Home Depot and Lowe’s have these literally lying on the floor in their aisles, as they are used to hold multiple boxes on shipping pallets.  We learned ours was a toy when a heavy box arrived and the cats went crazy for it.  Just wash it before use.  How do you use it?  Just run it along the floor, twist, or twirl it, and watch your cat go crazy.  And it’s free.  We picked up a few extra lengths from a helper at Home Depot.

The #2 favorite cat toy?  A cardboard box.  Any box will do.  They’ll sleep in it.  Hide in it.  Chew on it.  If you order anything from CatIt, their box has great pre-printed holes, so you pull out the item and your cat is likely to use the reassembled box with cut holes longer than the toy it contained.  Drop in a ball (or another piece of cardboard, or one of these things I don’t remember buying that my cat found under something somewhere) and they’ll never get tired of it until it falls apart and you replace it.  Again, it’s free.

Still want to buy your cat some actual toys?  Here are eight more recommendations, tried and tested by our cats:

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