Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Purrfect 10: Ways to Brighten the Lives of Shelter Cats This Christmas

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

Cats love Christmas too, wouldn't you agree? Our precious fur babies may not understand the reasons why we're in such a festive mood but I have no doubt that they're picking up on the fact it's not "business as usual" in our homes.

This got me to thinking about all the kitties still waiting in shelters for their forever homes, and why shouldn't they have the opportunity to enjoy our most joyous of holidays too? These are cats who won't have a Christmas unless someone brings it to them, so this month's edition of The Purrfect 10 features some ideas to help brighten their lives.

1) Play Santa Kitty for your local shelter by bringing them a donation of toys and treats. (Small toys work best so you can buy more, but a few wand toys work great too.) Are you throwing a holiday party this year? Ask your guests to bring a donation in lieu of a hostess gift. Then spend an afternoon socializing with the kitties and playing with their new goodies. I guarantee you'll end the day just as happy as the cats!

2) Let Amazon play Santa for you. Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime you can have anything delivered anywhere with no shipping charges, plus they'll include a gift receipt for you too! For instance, Tara and Truffles' Alma mater is a good one hour drive north for me, but I always like to send them a little something at Christmas. Last year during the holidays they put out a call on Facebook for their mascot kitty's special diet food, so we hopped over to Amazon and bought them a bag, and also threw in a case of their favorite wet food and a fun pack of 20 assorted toys. 48 hours later our gift was delivered to their door!

3) Use Amazon Smile when shopping at so a portion of your purchase is donated to your favorite rescue or shelter. Simply access and select a shelter from their list, then shop as you normally would. Every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation of 0.5% of the purchase price. (I was recently asked to write a guest blog for Place for Cats in NYC with my cat books recommendations using the rescue's Amazon Smile links.)

4) Create an Amazon Wish List for your shelter and share it with your friends and followers on social media. A local couple did this recently as a surprise for our shelter and ended up donating a whopping 32 cases of wet cat food and a box of miscellaneous toys and treats!

5) Do you enjoy DIY projects? Throw a crafting party to make bunches of cat toys and blankets, or even cat trees, scratching posts and wall shelves to "catify" the shelter. Everything can be donated to the cats or sold with proceeds earmarked for your shelter.

6) Is your cat getting a new bed or cat tree for Christmas? If their old one is still in good shape consider donating it to your favorite rescue!

7) Winter gets cold and cats love to snuggle in blankets. If you have any used but still in good condition blankies around your house, toss them in the washing machine and donate them. Towels work too!

8) All cats love to scratch, but for shelter cats, having a scratch pad can be especially beneficial. Scratching stretches muscles and helps alleviate stress and anxiety, and cats who learn to scratch in an appropriate place are less likely to be declawed or returned. Unfortunately, enrichment items like scratchers can be expensive and aren't always in the budget, which is why Imperial Cat started their Scratch 'n Bits program in 2009. Made from pieces of cardboard left over during the manufacturing process, Scratch 'n Bits vary in size and shape and can be shipped by the case to the shelter of your choice.

9) Grab a bunch of Christmas stockings at the dollar store, one for each cat cage (or dog kennel!) Ask the shelter to encourage visitors to stuff the stockings with toys and other goodies.When the animal is adopted their stocking can go home with them!

10) Foster a cat or kitten for Christmas. Have you ever read the book A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid? In the story a shelter seeks temporary homes for its dogs during the days leading to Christmas in an effort to clear the shelter for the holidays when there is not enough staff available to care for the animals. This not only alleviates the pressure on shelter workers but also gives the cat or dog a sneak peek of what Christmas in their forever home will be like...and who knows, maybe you'll end up discovering you can't live without each other! Wouldn't that be the greatest Christmas gift of all?

We can all do something to shower shelter animals with love and gifts at a time when they might otherwise be forgotten. After all, shelter cats love Christmas too!

Have you done something special for your favorite shelter this holiday season? 
Tell us about it!


Summer at said...

These are really great ideas! I tweeted about it to spread the word.

Unknown said...

Excellent list! I always use Amazon Smile, with the donation going to our local Humane Society. :)

Patricia T said...

Great post, Melissa!

pilch92 said...

These are all great ideas. I donated toys that were sold and all money went to a local shelter, but if I have time I will make some toys for the cats in the shelter.

The Menagerie Mom said...

What wonderful ideas all of these are! I always try to donate toys, treats, and other goodies to various shelters and rescues for Christmas. I wish every furbaby could have a loving home for Christmas, but for those who can't, even our small gestures can make a world of difference. Thank you for sharing this with us!

The Florida Furkids said...

Excellent ideas! Mom has a bag of stuff ready to take to the resale shop that sponsors a rescue here. We also donated a bunch of new cat beds to them last year.

The Florida Furkids

The Island Cats said...

Great ideas! We know our shelter cats would love any of these.

meowmeowmans said...

Those are such wonderful ideas. I know they would make the day of the shelter cats we know!