11 Thoughtful Gifts for People Who Love Cats

iStock.com/idealistock
iStock.com/idealistock

Some cat lovers would say that owning a feline is gift enough. For others, you may want to consider supplementing with some toys, novelties, and utilities that can help human and cat strengthen their bond. Check out some of our purrfect gift suggestions for the floof wrangler in your life.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Kitty House

A cat sits inside a K&H heated cat house
Amazon

For cats who like to roam outdoors in the winter months, this cat crib is a perfect shelter against the elements. Flap-style doors and a heating element keep them warm and a Velcro-assisted frame makes assembly easy. We make no guarantee, however, that the cat won’t just sit on top of it.

Find It at Amazon for $32 and also at these other retailers:

2. The Ultimate Scratching Post

A front view of a SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
Amazon

Not all scratching posts are created equal. The SmartCat post is a towering 32 inches so cats can get in a full stretch while they satisfy their urge to dig their claws into the fibers and not the couch. A 16-inch base helps protect against tipping.

Find It at Amazon for $42.

3. Grreat Choice Hash Cuddler Pet Bed Gift Set

A pillow and blanket sit inside a Grreat Choice Hash Cuddler pet bed
PetSmart

If there’s one thing cats don’t get enough of, it’s sleep. Encourage them to take some downtime with this ultra-plush bed gift package, which includes a matching blanket and pillow.

Find It at PetSmart for $28.

4. Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed

A front view of the Aspen self-warming pet bed
Amazon

For cats in drafty houses, consider warming up their naps with this self-insulating bed that uses a pet’s own body heat to provide warmth. Raised and bolstered edges help cats settle in for a cozy burrowing session.

Find It at Amazon for $20 and also at these other retailers:

5. Petcube Bites Pet Camera With Treat Dispenser

A look at the Petcube Bites pet camera with treat dispenser
Amazon

You can help cat owners spending time away from home keep tabs on their troublesome furball with this camera that doubles as a treat dispenser. The device lets owners peer in on their cat’s activities via a cell phone app and also allows them to fling treats from up to six feet away.

Find It at Amazon for $229 and also at these other retailers:

6. Wellness Kittles Grain-Free Turkey & Cranberries Holiday Recipe Crunchy Cat Treats

A look at the Wellness Kittles cat treats
Amazon

As tempting as it might be to slip your cat some holiday meal leftovers, you never know what those finicky types will wind up vomiting on the place setting. Keep it simple and safe with these turkey and cranberry-flavored treats made from real turkey meat.

Find It at Chewy for $2.

7. Petsafe Zoom Rotating Laser Cat Toy

A cat plays with the PetSafe Zoom laser cat toy
Amazon

Know someone who gets tired of playing with a laser pointer before their cat does? Check out the PetSafe automated laser game, which projects that maddening tiny red dot in a 360-degree pattern. Twin lasers can help keep two cats busy at once.

Find It at Amazon for $20 and also at these other retailers:

8. Petlinks Mystery Motion Concealed Electronic Motion Cat Toy

A look at the PetLinks Mystery Motion cat toy
PetSmart

If there’s one thing cats love and owners hate, it’s mutilated rat and bird carcasses. Satisfy a cat’s need to corner hapless prey with this motorized toy that mimics an elusive target. A feather tip moves in erratic patterns under a cloth, providing stimulation and physical exercise.

Find It at PetSmart for $26.

9. DJ Cat Scratching Pad

A cat uses the DJ Cat scratching pad
Uncommon Goods

Raise the roof with this scratching pad that should amuse cats and their owners alike. The “turntable” moves as a cat kneads its paws, giving the impression DJ Fluffy is kicking out some sick beats.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $35 and also at these other retailers:

10. Purina® TIDY CATS® BREEZE® Cat Litter Box System

A look at the Purina Tidy Cats Breeze litter box
Purina

If you can identify a cat owner’s house by its smell, it might be time to help them rethink their litter box approach. The Purina Tidy Cats Breeze uses pellets that allow urine to pass through the litter and into a disposable absorbent pad to trap odors.

Find It at PetSmart for $33.

11. Cats On Catnip Book

A look at the 'Cats on Catnip' book from Running Press
Running Press

Cat owners will revel in this photograph collection of cats tripping out on their recreational nip of choice. Free of their inhibitions, these felines cut loose in a series of candid freak-out sessions.

Find It at Amazon for $13.

11 Patriotic Products to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Amazon
Amazon

Whether you’ll be lounging by the beach or grilling in your backyard this Independence Day, don’t forget to show off your all-American spirit with a little swag. Here are 11 products to help you celebrate Fourth of July—all of which would pair nicely with your collection of presidential bobbleheads.

1. Declaration Of Independence Signatures Mug; $15

Mug decorated with the signatures from the Declaration of Independence.
CafePress, Amazon

The names of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence are on display on this ceramic coffee mug. Studying the signatures each morning might inspire you to perfect your own John Hancock.

Find it: Amazon

2. Stars And Stripes Cufflinks; $55

Cufflinks with images of stars and stripes on them

Cufflinks Inc., Nordstrom

Brighten up your wardrobe with a splash of American pride. One half of this cufflinks set is striped red and white and the other is blue and spangled with stars. Together they make a patriotic accent piece.

Find it: Nordstrom

3. Fireworks Light Show Projector; $41

Portable fireworks light projector.
Uncle Milton, Amazon

If you want a low-hazard Fourth of July that still delivers thrills, consider getting a light show projector. When it’s pointed at a wall, the device displays vibrant fireworks animations accompanied by realistic sound effects. And it works indoors, so you can count on your Independence Day party ending with a light show no matter the weather forecast. (There's also a Disney version available for just $20.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Inflatable Cooler; $14

Inflatable American flag cooler filled with ice and drinks.
Fun Express, Amazon

When preparing for a picnic or barbecue this Fourth of July, don’t bother breaking out your tiny roll-away cooler. This 54-by-28-inch inflatable trough holds enough bottles and cans to keep your party going well past sunset. Once the cooler has been drained and deflated, it folds neatly for easy storage.

Find it: Amazon

5. American Trivia Cards; $15

Even players who paid attention in American history class might find this game challenging. Each box comes with 150 cards of United States trivia. Some questions—like what was the first state to grant women the right to vote—highlight important moments in our nation’s history. Others—like how many columns the Lincoln Memorial features—are a little more random.

Find it: UncommonGoods

6. U.S. Navy Blanket; $200

The U.S. military has been going to Faribault Woolen Mill Co. for its blankets for over 100 years. This one is crafted from 100 percent wool and weighs 3.5 pounds. The design is inspired by the blankets supplied on Navy ships—and if it’s tough enough for the Navy, you can bet it will withstand a Fourth of July picnic. We like the gray version, but it comes in several different styles and colors.

Find it: Faribault Woolen Mill Co.

7. American Flag Cornhole; $90

Two American flag cornhole boards with bean bags.
GoSports, Amazon

Baseball faces some stiff competition from cornhole for the title of No. 1 American pastime. This lawn set includes four blue bean bags, four red bean bags, and two boards decorated to resemble the American flag.

Find it: Amazon

8. U.S. Map Cutting Board; $20

Wooden cutting board in the shape of the U.S. map.
Totally Bamboo, Amazon

This 100 percent bamboo board eschews the traditional rectangle shape in favor of the outline of the American mainland. You can either keep it in the kitchen and use it as a cutting board or bring it out to the party as a serving platter for fruits, cheeses, and other hors d'oeuvres.

Find it: Amazon

9. Boston Tea Party Tea Sampler; $15

Six piles of loose-leaf tea.
Solstice Tea Traders, Amazon

A sip of one of the teas in this sampler will put you in touch with your inner revolutionary. Each of the six loose-leaf varieties—bohea black tea, oolong, congou black tea, souchong, singlo, and hyson—was among those tossed over the sides of British ships during the Boston Party. Whether you drink the tea or chuck it into the nearest harbor is up to you. (If you're looking for something to put on display, UncommonGoods also sells a slightly pricier, more elegant option with five teas.)

Find it: Amazon

10. State Map Prints; $27 and Up

A poster featuring a colorful map of Wisconsin
Bri Buckley, Society6

These unique prints by Bri Buckley highlight the beauty of each U.S. state in vibrant color. Each state map is available in both a modern and a vintage style, and like most Society6 art, the design is also available on tapestries, shirts, pillows, tote bags, and more.

Find it: Society6

11. Bald Eagle Pool Float; $15

A man and a woman ride a bald eagle pool float
Swimline, Amazon

Cool down the patriotic way this Fourth of July. This massive 8-foot-by-6-foot bald eagle pool float can fit up to two people comfortably, and will look great floating around your pool during your backyard barbecue.

Find it: Amazon

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated for 2019.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Turn Your Phone Into an Instant Camera With KODAK's New Handheld Printer

KODAK
KODAK

Instant cameras are all the rage, but when you're already carrying a high-end camera everywhere you go in the form of your smartphone, the idea of carrying around an extra gadget might seem like more work than it's worth. You don't have to choose between the convenience of your phone's camera and the fun of having a tangible memento. KODAK's new SMILE digital printer combines all the fun of using filters and image editing on your phone with the delight of having a printed copy of your photo.

Blue, green, black, red, and white KODAK SMILE printers printing photos
The KODAK SMILE line of instant digital printers
KODAK

The handheld Bluetooth printer—which is roughly the same size as KODAK's SMILE instant digital camera—lets you edit photos on your phone, then print your image instantly on 2-inch-by-3-inch sticker paper. Using the KODAK SMILE app, you can add Instagram-esque filters; rotate images and change contrast, brightness, and other characteristics; and add stickers, text, doodles, and borders.

Most uniquely, you can add augmented reality elements to your photos, so that when you (or someone else with the KODAK SMILE app) point the app at the physical print, the image is replaced by a short video clip. The effect is something like the moving photographs in Harry Potter—you can surprise your friends by asking them to view a photo through the app's AR function, then watch their delight as the still image begins to move.

The KODAK SMILE app
KODAK

KODAK sent Mental Floss both the SMILE instant camera and the SMILE printer to test, and while there's a lot of fun in snapping photos on an instant camera and accepting whatever weird flaws that photo might have (though you can do some light editing on the SMILE camera before printing), in our opinion, the breadth of image-editing features and convenience of being able to print photos you've already taken on your smartphone makes the digital printer the better option if you're trying to choose between the two.

This is especially true if you're going on vacation or trying to capture a night out on camera; it's just easier to whip out your phone rather than break out another camera, and it's easier to edit photos on your phone than to manipulate photos on the SMILE instant camera's small screen.

Blue, black, green, white, and red KODAK SMILE instant-print cameras
The KODAK SMILE line of instant-print digital cameras
KODAK

The SMILE printer is available on Amazon and Walmart for $100 and comes in five different colors: white, black, blue, green, and red. The SMILE instant-print digital camera is also $100 on Amazon and Walmart and is available in the same colors.

While the camera and the printer both come with a starter pack of sticker-backed ZINK photo paper, you can get 50 refill sheets for $24 when you run out.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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