Let’s talk non-kitschy gift ideas for cat lovers

As nutty as I am about the feline species, I do have my limits when it comes to kitschy cat paraphernalia.

Considering the popularity of ModernCat.net, I know I’m not the only one. Do you have limits too?

I look at Animal Planet’s cat behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, with his tattoos and general badass-ness, and I’m guessing his taste in cat-lover gifts is a little different from your grandmother’s garden statues.

So, how about cat-related gifts that could delight without cute overkill?  Here are 5 gifts that I either already have or would love to get.

Gift ideas for cat-loving friends (small, charming)

1. Cool Cattoos just for play (temporary tattoos)

Designed by Kate of ModernCat.net, these are too fun to pass up.

Non-toxic, easy to apply and remove. They last 3 – 5 days. You can get 2 sheets of one design for only $5! Or the full set for $20.

Who wouldn't get a kick out of these?


2. Beeswax candles for cat-clean air

No essential oils! Better for cats.

Everyone loves these beeswax candles, but what do they have to do with cats?!

Well, tell the person you buy them for that they are ideal for cat lovers because they don’t have essential oils, which are toxic to cats.

While cat lovers would do well to avoid burning essential oil candles too often, beeswax candles are whisker-perfect because they actually give off a slight honey fragrance while also cleaning the air via  negative ionization, which binds particulate matter.


Get the really solid ones. The others burn down too fast. You can find beeswax pillars at Whole Foods in the US. A good option online is Raw Beeswax Pillars by Bluecorn Naturals; they are long-burning so even a small pillar is a gift that keeps on giving.

Gift ideas for cat lovers who read (well-written, but not depressing)

In the holiday season, most cat lovers want books that make their heart feel happy without insulting their brain.

1. Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

By a National Geographic journalist

National Geographic senior writer Jennifer S. Holland gives 47 amazing examples – with photos – of unexpected, documented animal friendships reported around the world.

Cross-species friendship is a theme that tends to make us all feel a touch of wonder.

Robert surprised me with this book and it made my week! You’ll see and read about some famous pairings, like the gorilla and kitten.

You’ll learn about the Macau monkey who adopts a kitten that loves the attention, as well as a cat cuddled up to an iguana!

Getting the back stories really adds to the experience of the pictures, but you can also get these photos as a wall calendar.

2. Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper

A very satisfying read for the literary cat lover, plus it’s a  true story with a happy ending. Check out the hundreds of 5-star reviews on Amazon.com for this book!  You can’t go wrong with it.

Gift for the busy cat lover (thoughtful, generous!)

 1. Smart Scoop Self-Scooping Litter Box

I don’t have this yet, but I looked for the automated litter box that had the highest ratings without costing as much as a used motorcycle.

Best reviews, plus :
  • less than $150 (high-end popular ones are around $300)
  • doesn’t require a cover
  • you can use eco-litter options – any clumping litter (lower-priced boxes didn’t offer this flexibility)
SmartScoop Self-Scooping LitterBox 1073211347

More affordable than luxury models, yet good user ratings


Now to you – what would you add to this list?

This list is too short!  What are your (better) ideas? Opinions?

And please don’t be shy – plug your own product or craft if you like!



9 Responses to Let’s talk non-kitschy gift ideas for cat lovers

  1. Steph January 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    My husband actually bought me Unlikely Friendships for Christmas 🙂 It’s really interesting to learn about the beeswax candles, too. Thanks!

    • Liz-cat January 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      What a nice husband! You are so welcome. I love those candles.

  2. Layla Morgan Wilde (Cat Wisdom 101.com) December 18, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Thanks for the reminder re: cattoos. I love them & forgot to include as stocking stuffers on my list. We loved and reviewed Unlikely Friendships a few weeks ago. Of course I’ll plug my own Cat Wisdom 101 calendar (50% off coupon code at site).

  3. Deanna Smith December 10, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Hi Jen,
    This year I’m giving all my cat loving friends and family “Animal Acupressure Illustrated”, its a great book. It covers how to do acupressure on cats for many ailments, its safe and easy to use. It also covers dogs and other small animals, so everyone with a pet is getting the book from this year. A couple years ago I painted portraits of everyones pet for them, that was a lot of fun, trying to get pictures of the pets without them knowing what I was doing. I neglected to think about the shipping costs when planning my Christmas surprise and it cost me a small fortune to mail all of them. It was still worth the cost to be able to do such personal gifts.

    • Liz-cat December 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

      Deanna, I love that picture-painting idea! How sweet. I’ll be touch with you about our guest post plan. Sorry it’s taking me so long.

      • Deanna Smith December 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

        Liz, don’t worry about it. I am just thrilled you want to do it. I love what you do here on your blog. I enjoy your writing and subject matter of coarse.

  4. Jen December 10, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    I gave Homer’s Odyssey to my cat lover friends last year and it was a huge hit. 🙂 I would LOVE if someone would get me one of those self-scooping boxes. I’m just afraid my two skittish babies would be afraid of it. It waits 15 mins, but, I don’t know, if they’re still in the room they might not like it.

    • Liz-cat December 10, 2011 at 8:48 am #

      Hi Jen, yeah the only risk with Homer’s Odyssey is that someone might already have it! I too wonder if the self-scoopers might be scary, but I assume most cats would get used to it. I don’t know anyone who has invested in one of these yet, so I hope I’ll hear a report from someone.

      • Jen December 18, 2011 at 10:19 am #

        Thanks, I’d really appreciate the review! I’d love to have something like this replace the box that they favor the most. 🙂

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