Monday, December 2, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas, Day 4: Kitty Fashions and Note Cards

Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas, Day 4:

NOTE: These ideas originally linked to products sold on the Old Maid Cat Lady retail site. Those links have been removed, as the store no longer exists, but I've left the ideas for you.

Kitty Fashions and Note Cards!

We wouldn't be old maid cat ladies if we didn't like to dress up our kitties! There are always a ton of fashions out there for dogs. Some will work on cats, but cats are really shaped differently. They have longer bodies, thinner legs, and are less barrel-chested than dogs. And most cats will not tolerate the same amount of clothing dogs will. So we're at a bit of a disadvantage.

Some cats actually need to wear clothing when it gets cold. The Sphinx and Peterbald breeds don't have coats to keep them warm, so they need a sweater or some flannel jammies on chilly days and The Cat's Pajamas from Meow Wear ($14.95) shown above. Even on sunny days, they can sunburn, so it's a good idea to put either some sunscreen (yes, we sold that for cats, too) or some type of clothing on them to protect their skin from UV rays. Older cats may also benefit from a warm sweater on a chilly day.

It's tough to find companies making garments specifically for cats. Many are cottage industries, and if they have their own Etsy store, they can't handle the additional volume of selling through retailers like Old Maid Cat Lady. But I was able to find some items that worked and looked cute, as well. Here, then, were several ideas for those who either wanted or needed to dress up their cats. You may be amazed at some of the options! (Prices shown for all items did not include shipping, and are for the year this post was originally published.)

Day 4 Gifts for Cats: Sweaters and Kitty Fashions

Festive party collars always help set a holiday mood! These tended to sell out early as bricks-and-mortar retail stores would buy up our supplier's inventory. We offered them in Christmas Stars, Jingle Bells, Christmas Trees, and Christmas Snowflakes, as well as many other styles and colors. They were elasticized for safety. And at only $5.95 each, you could have afforded several for all of kitty's holiday parties! But you had to act quickly because the closer to Christmas it got, the scarcer these would become.

Collars may look pretty, but they won't keep a kitty warm. For those hairless breeds, Meow Wear made this spectacular sweater they called The Cat's Meow! It would keep out drafts while also looking quite fashionable, all for $19.95:

The Mousin' Around cat sweater ($19.95) was also very popular with Old Maid Cat Lady's customers this year. And, as you can see, even cats with coats can enjoy the extra warmth:

Kitty going outdoors? Perhaps a lovely jacket like this Meow Wear Quilted Vest ($19.95) would be the perfect wardrobe choice:
Sadly, Meow Wear went out of business even before Old Maid Cat Lady did, selling off their remaining inventory to another retailer.

Some cats will walk on a harness and leash, so a good harness that fits comfortably would make a wonderful gift for one of these kitties. Harnesses are also good for tethering a cat into a carrier, stroller, or car seat. We carried many harnesses, including the Choke-Free Collars ($14.95) from Leather Brothers. They came in eight metallic colors and five non-metallic colors, as well as croco-texture ($17.95) or faux ostrich ($19.95) texture, and they even had matching leashes available! All were soft, high quality leather with a paw print ornament on each side. They were easy to get on and off your cat. Here's one in blue metallic on a kitten:

This denim harness vest by Doggles was made for dogs, but fit cats just fine! My Golden Boys each have one, and are shown below wearing them in October at the No More Homeless Pets national conference. Gilly's even smiling and Captain's so comfy he's snoozing in his! The detailing on these harness vests was very nice, including a D-ring on the back to which you could attach the leash or tether:
The same company that made these also made a very popular Black Biker Harness Vest and Dress, for those tough kitties. All of the harness vests and dresses sold for $11.95 each.

If your cat will be going out in rainy weather, a raincoat may be a welcome wardrobe addition. This Base Jumper Raincoat from Puppia was another item that was made for dogs, but would work okay on cats. A hole on the back allowed you to attach a leash to the cat's harness underneath. They sold for $35.95 and had a coated nylon outside and polyester mesh inside for comfort. They were available in two sizes and six colors, plus camo:

If you didn't think your cat would like the hood, we also offered several of the Avant-Garde harnesses by 26 Bars and a Band ($21.95). They were made from a water-resistant polyester fabric and had a D-ring on back for attaching a leash. Although made for dogs, they had adjustable sides and front, so you could get them to fit your kitty quite nicely. Shown here is the London Calling design, and it was also available in a pink argyle Prep print, houndstooth print Sherlock, brown with Leopard print belt, a Couture Princess pink-and-black print, a cool Death Star print, sophisticated black-and-white Fifth Avenue print, feminine Floral Fling print, a Freebird print for those rockin' kitties, and Green Day print for the eco-minded.

Going boating with your cat? You'll want to keep kitty safe with a life vest from Paws Aboard! Another item that's made for dogs, their sizing chart has them running a little small on cats, so you may want to add an inch or so to your cat's measurements to get the right size. They're available in regular ($24.99) or neoprene ($29.99), shown below. Each has a handle on the back so if kitty falls in the water you can fish him out with a hand or a boat hook. And you'll see from this photo that they're supposed to fit snugly and a little high on the shoulders:
Want to see where your cat goes when he's outdoors, or what he does while you're at work? Simply attach the EYENIMAL pet video cam ($79) to his collar and record up to 2.5 hours of kitty's day! It only weighed 1.2 ounces, so your cat will barely even know it's there!

You could have found many more options in Old Maid Cat Lady's Catwear section, including traditional cat safety collars, jeweled cat collars, and even collar charms like the one shown below. There were two pages filled with great items to put on your cats this Christmas!

Day 4 Gifts for People: Cat Note Cards

There's just nothing like a good old-fashioned handwritten note. One very successful lady I know in the business world suggests sending one each week to one of your old business contacts to touch base and see if they're working on anything at which you could help. It's good to have some blank notes on hand for sending thank-you notes, words of sympathy, or just a how-ya-doin' to a friend. And what better way for a cat lady to send those notes than on a cat-themed note card? So here are some that make great gifts for all the fellow cat ladies (and gents) on your gift list. Some are even pretty enough to frame!

Artist Karen Olsen combined colorful abstract cat designs with sayings in several blank note card designs. Shown above is the Extraordinary Cats design. Also available were the Dancing Cats, Purrfect Cat, and Sit and Be Admired designs. All of her cards were available in packs of 5, 10, or 25, priced from $9.95 to $39.95.

If your taste in art ran more toward the traditional, we offered a lovely assortment of Artful Cat note cards featuring classic paintings of cats by artists including Renoir, Heyer, Marc, and Valadon. Four each of five images make up the box of 20 cards and envelopes that sold for $14.95:

If you were seeking a gift for an aficionado of a particular breed of cat, one of these Cat Crest stationery packs ($10.95) may have been just the thing! They came in a set of 10, and were available for Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Birman, Maine Coon, Persian, Scottish Fold, and Siamese. All cards within each pack were the same. Each featured artwork of the cat with the breed name and a statement about the breed's nature.

Paper Russell's Grrreen Boxed Notecards came in sets of 6 printed on premium recycled paper, tied with a silk ribbon, and packaged inside a gray box. They were available in a Russian Blue (shown here) or Brown Farm Cat for $8.95.

Kate Larsen's quirky cat art was featured on the Box of Cats GreenNotes note cards that feature 8 each of two different images in the box of 16 blank-inside cards for $11.95. They're boxed in corrugated cardboard and tied with a twine tie and gift card, so your wrapping's easy:

You could find these and many more cat cards in Old Maid Cat Lady's Stationery & Paper Goods section, when the site was still in business. More gift ideas to come tomorrow!

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