Birthday gifts for a new cat owner?
June 20, 2006 4:11 PM   Subscribe

GiftFilter: My brother just got 2 new kittens. His birthday is in a week. Gift suggestions?

I'm tempted to get him a gift certificate to a really cool cat supply shop, as he buys things too damned quickly for me to keep ahead of him. I overheard that he wanted a cat water fountain, but I want to get a bigger (/ additional) gift than that (he just totally splurged for my birthday).

Studio City area (Near Los Angeles), if that helps.
posted by sirion to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A second litter box. In addition to some other cool thing. But I assure you, the one litter box per cat rule will benefit not only him but everyone else who comes to visit.
posted by schroedinger at 4:27 PM on June 20, 2006

The Fountain and the Cat Condo. Toss in some Cat Bubbles and you have some happy kitties.
posted by oflinkey at 4:36 PM on June 20, 2006

A cat tree, if he has the room. The large ones are fairly expensive (more than $100), but would be wonderful for two energetic kittens. Plus the carpeted posts would save his upholstery.
posted by timetoevolve at 4:36 PM on June 20, 2006

Laser pointer.
posted by pompomtom at 4:47 PM on June 20, 2006

I'm not sure where to get a cat tree for a reasonable price, but man have the prices gone insane.

I'm also not sure what your price range is, but I absolutely loved my LitterMaid automatic litterbox for my cats until one of them (totally unrelatedly) got sick and decided he didn't like it anymore. It was a wonderful thing to have.

On the cheap - the aforementioned laser pointer provides much entertainment for both the kitties and the "daddy".. good times.

If you don't want to go with an automatic litterbox, the Booda Dome was recommended to me right here on AskMeFi and I can definitely second that recommendation after having purchased one (a mere $29.99).

Alternatively: If he does not have a digital camera, perhaps you could get him an inexpensive one. One thing I'm really sad about is that I did not take enough pictures of my kitties when they were... well.. kitties.. I still love 'em even though they're ginormous now, but I wish I took more kitty pics...
posted by twiggy at 5:04 PM on June 20, 2006

ne thing I'm really sad about is that I did not take enough pictures of my kitties when they were... well.. kitties.. I still love 'em even though they're ginormous now, but I wish I took more kitty pics...

Definitely! I'm exactly the same, very few kitten pictures and much regret. They only stay that kind of cute for a short while and there can never be enough pictures. Also multiple kittens in the house can mean so much activity and changing of cat litter that the photos get overlooked.

If you can get over there, take a bunch of photos and start a nice album for him. This will give him a bunch of kitten shots now and he can add to it as they grow and track how the cuteness changes. Once I realised I'd missed the kitten stage of my cats I started taking oodles of photos, and now that they're old and one is now dead I'm really glad I did. Oh, or you could get him a flickr pro account (assuming he doesn't have one) to share the kitten cuteness with the family (heh, and us).

If photos aren't your thing than gift vouchers sounds like a nice idea. There are always so many cool things to buy the cats but it's not always possible to justify the expense. Having vouchers means he can buy something totally frivolous to spoil them with and have fun with it himself. Watching kittens scale a fancy cat tree provides hours of fun. And watching older cats snoozing cuddled up together on said tree is also pretty great.
posted by shelleycat at 6:25 PM on June 20, 2006

Another kitten! Can't have too many!
posted by Hildago at 7:29 PM on June 20, 2006

Aww I second the camera or photos idea. Also cat trees are awesome. Lazer pointers are inexpensive but ohhhmmannnn are they fun. You don't need the crazy spinning kind they sell at Petco, just a lil keychain cheapie.
posted by radioamy at 8:32 PM on June 20, 2006

Hildago, will you marry me?
posted by koenie at 9:01 PM on June 20, 2006

Cleveland Amory's books about his cat Polar Bear.
posted by brujita at 9:03 PM on June 20, 2006

The Cat-It water fountain is great. it keeps water fresh and cool, and has the added advantage of being hard to tip over. my kittens were notorious water bowl upsetters.

Get a cat tower, and you will be the best sibling ever. the taller the better, since cats like to perch high. and sissal posts instead of carpet, so they won't learn to scratch carpets.
posted by gilsonal at 9:10 PM on June 20, 2006

Another vote for a scratching post- if you can get them started early the furniture will be safe forever.
posted by pointilist at 9:14 PM on June 20, 2006

Cats love sisal scratching posts and will use them all the time. This is a good quality post, a little taller than the average one.

I'm not sure how big a splurge you're looking for, but both my parents and my husband and I have purchased cat trees from this guy. Shipping out of state was fairly costly, but these trees will last for a great many years and to my mind were better quality than the Drs Foster Smith trees.

The cat condo site is peaking my interest, have you had good luck shopping with them, oflinkey?
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 12:16 AM on June 21, 2006

The ultimate litterbox

Poke around at your pet store or, horror, Walmart. You should be able to find a litterbox that has three parts: a basin, a screen, and a clip-on shield. Purchase two of these (add a third if you want a pair of litterboxes). Also purchase a rubberized blanket, to fit the bottom of the tray; something in the nursing mom's section might do the trick, or the child-bedwetter's section. You might need to trim to fit. It's also nice to attach some sort of loop with which to hook it when cleaning the litterboxes.

Teach him this: pull the loop, sliding the rubberized mat out from under the litter. Lift the screen portion of the litterbox. Dump the clumps and debris into a bag. Place screen in second basin. Place mat on screen. Clip shield into place. Put second basin under first. (Unless there are two litterboxes, in which case repeat.)

The mat keeps the turds from being mashed into the screen. It's the second basin that really makes this a slick setup, 'cause it means you never have to fart around with the litter. Quick, easy, and way the hell cleaner!
posted by five fresh fish at 12:31 AM on June 21, 2006


My friends use these and their cats don't mind them at all, just like the site says. They come in fun colors, and while the kittens may be too small for them now, in a couple of months he's going to have a couple of furniture destroying monsters on his hands.
posted by hermitosis at 6:47 AM on June 21, 2006

This tree has been very successful for us. Small footprint, cat loves it.
posted by omnidrew at 8:27 AM on June 21, 2006

Omnidrew, that looks like just what I need. But it looks like it would tip over really easily... does it?
posted by hermitosis at 9:19 AM on June 21, 2006

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