Your cat’s about to have a birthday – how do you celebrate it? Cake and candles could be a recipe for a messy disaster, whereas a game of Musical Statues would simply be a non-starter.
The amount that pet owners in the UK spend on pet Birthday presents is unknown – yet the amount spent for December 25th is understood to be worth millions. During the Christmas festivities in 2011, Americans spent a staggering $41bn or (£26bn), according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. This gift-giving trend has spread to the birthday market, with a growing number of pet owners shelling out on their furry friends’ special day.
So how do you mark your cat’s birthday?
Throw a party
Your cat is part of the family, so why not treat him to a party similar to one you would throw for a child or spouse? Just don’t expect your moggy to write the invitations or for him to mingle with all the guests.
Keep the guest list short and sweet. Mostly human guests with family and friends will be easier to manage, whereas the inhabitants of a local cattery could turn the party into a feline frenzy.
Dogs? Invite them at your peril. It doesn’t take an animal psychologist to predict what the consequences might be. You have been warned…
Games without tears
Encouraging your four-legged-friend to join in games could be like trying to herd cats. Here’s an alternative: How about a game of cat and mouse? Not a real mouse of course. Get a ball of wool, unwind it and gently pull a distance in front of your cat. Time the speed it takes for your cat to pounce on the ball and give her a treat (and the ball of course!) for her best time.
Cat uninterested? No worries, then usual ‘human’ party games apply.
Birthday presents – what to buy?
Keep the feline teeth clean and mean…
As a birthday present, why not buy your cat a dental care product to help keep his or her teeth white and bright? This is especially important if he’s had his fair share of birthday treats – from dental rinses, chew sticks and dental tooth wipes – to even pet toothbrushes.
A goody bag
One idea might be to buy or make a goody bag for your cat and guests. It can be filled with fun feline presents, including snacks or cuddly toys.
Looking the part
For enthusiastic cat owners, how about buying a birthday outfit or collar for your cat? There are many outfits to make her look the part on her birthday.
How about cat insurance as a birthday gift for your cat? He or she won’t realize what pet insurance is – but a policy could be a suitable present, covering aspects such as ailments, vet’s fees, theft and straying.
Cats can enjoy birthday cakes just as much as we do, and there are special cakes available with ingredients intended for their diet. There is a broad choice of cat food on the market – but they eat this everyday. Cook up a cat-friendly cake, provided the ingredients are healthy and suitable for your cat’s pallet. There are plenty of pet-friendly recipes available online which can be wrapped in foil like a present, unwrapped and fed to them on their big day.
Lastly, don’t worry too much about how to age your cat, albeit in feline or human years. After all, the oldest cat lived to a ripe old age of 38 human years! That’s 169 in cat years. That’s quite a few birthdays…
This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.