Your cat may not understand that it's the holiday season, but that's no reason to leave it out of the celebrations. Keep your feline friend active, healthy, and clean with these 10 products tested and approved by veterinarians and WebMD pet experts Katherine Scott, DVM, DACVIM, and Mark Stickney, DVM.
Here are the vets' picks in four categories: brain boosters/play, grooming, soothing/behavioral products, and food treats. All are available online or at pet superstores.
Holiday Guide for Pet Owners
Most dog and cat owners consider their furry friends members of the family. So when the holidays roll around, pets are often included in the festivities, too. To make sure you and your pets enjoy a safe, happy season, WebMD has pulled together a healthy holiday guide just for pet lovers.
Go-Go Bug (made by Petlinks System): This little ladybug toy will tap into your cat's hunting instincts and keep him occupied for hours as it zooms across the floor, Stickney says.
"Like a kid's car toy, you pull back and it goes 'zzz' all over the place," says Stickney, director of general surgery services at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. "If the cat catches it, it kind of crinkles in their mouth. Cats loved this. They'd drop it and they'd go after it again."
Looney Loops (made by Petmate): Simpler is often better when it comes to cat toys, and these lightweight, curly plastic loops are the "simplest toy you can buy," says Scott, a lecturer in internal medicine at Texas A&M. They come three to a package and are easy for any cat to bat and roll around with their paws, she says. Scott says that even her 15-year-old arthritic cat, which can't play with many toys, had a ball with the colored loops "and has been enjoying them for two weeks in a row."
Kitty Kong with Kong Stuff'N Easy Treat (made by Kong):Squeeze a little of the Kong salmon paste (or your cat's dry kibble) into this bottom-heavy, refillable treat dispenser and sit back while your cat goes to town trying to retrieve the treat. Your cat will get a workout chasing after the toy as it rolls and bounces out of reach, Scott says.
"This would really be best for young cats that are a little bit on the hefty side who you want to encourage to exercise but still give a low-calorie treat," Scott says. "If you give the cat the toy with a treat inside, it may encourage them to exercise, which is a really hard thing to get cats to do on their own."
Grooming Foam for Cats (made by Earthbath): Cats loathe water so much that waterless soap is "the way to go" if your feline can't easily groom herself or needs a spot cleaning, Scott says. The green-tea scented foam from Earthbath made bathing a cinch with an older cat who isn't able to groom herself as she used to: "It got rid of some of her dirt and made her coat shinier. She just lay there the whole time the owner was rubbing it into her fur."
Stickney tested several grooming products on cats but did not find one he would recommend.