A cat caretaker’s time and energy, freely given in the interests of their cat’s welfare, is the best present she can bestow on her cat companion. I’ll try and explain what I mean and why I have come to this conclusion.
The reason why I am addressing the topic of cat presents is because it is Christmas and I wanted to select some super cat presents but then quickly realised it was pointless. The most expensive and interesting presents such as the deluxe litter tray below costing $325 (see above) will be distinctly underappreciated by your cat.
We buy these sorts of gifts for ourselves for a range of reasons. Perhaps it dawned on the cat owner that she had not spent enough time with her cat and so, through a sense of guilt, bought a deluxe present. Perhaps the cat owner is wealthy and she wants the cat litter tray to look luxurious. However, Christmas presents which are commercially manufactured products often miss the mark. They are not what the cat desires. Naturally, this does not mean we can’t do both: spend more time with our cat and buy a nice, practical present.
However, in the modern, consumer-orientated world, for many people living in the developed world, time is more valuable than money. Of course, time is money but this refers to earning it and people are very concerned about devoting their time to earning money. For many people, there is no choice and for others they are driven to do it. Thus time becomes the most valuable asset in our lives.
As a consequence, therefore, for a significant percentage of cat owners, buying a present is the easier and “cheaper” option. When the idea of buying a present for a cat comes around at Christmas it is a poor second best to spending more quality time with your cat. The concept of a “Christmas present” is alien to a cat anyway. Their best moments are spent with us playing and being close, loving and reassuring. The act of doing something is far more valuable than a nicely manufactured object.
Cats can’t and often don’t get enough quality time with their caretaker/guardian. The two reasons are because their caretaker has less time due to life and work pressures and because the domestic cat emanates a sense of independence. They look as though they don’t need us except for food, warmth and security.
However, emotionally, domestic cats do need us. To feed the emotional needs of a cat we need to engage with him/her in play and be in close contact. We are their world, their mother and carer. In the human/cat relationship it is said that the adult cat behaves as a kitten towards us because the relationship prevents the cat growing up. If that is the case we need to behave like mothers in providing emotional warmth.
There is a beautiful symmetry in giving the Christmas gift of our time and energy to our cat. Our special gift is reflected back to us in the pleasurable moments of interaction with our cat friend which are known to be good for our welfare too.