Valentine’s Day is a welcome chance to shower your kitty with affection. While cats don’t care about roses, candy or frilly cards, they’re always glad to find our focus is on them. Looking for some Valentine’s Day cat-approved date ideas? We asked several experts for their thoughts on how to show your cat you love them this V-Day, and they all agree that the holiday most associated with love is ideal for celebrating your cat.
“Any excuse to show your cats extra love and shower them with gifts is a good idea,” says Rita Reimers, aka The Cat Analyst. “Whatever they didn't get for Christmas, you can give to them on this special day of love.”
Simply spending some extra time together is another good way to show your cat you love them.
“Some extra time for chin scratches, perhaps a nice brushing if the cat enjoys it and an hour on the lap in the evening are the most obvious ways to let your cat know you care,” says Sandra Mitchell, DVM, owner of All Creatures Veterinary Services in Bangor, Maine.
Looking for an extra-special way show your cat your love them on February 14? Say “Be My Feline Valentine” with these ideas.
Snuggle Up for a Warm Winter's Nap
Give your cat some extra snuggles on Valentine’s Day to show them you love them. Can’t be with them all day, every day? (One can only wish, right?) Get them the next best thing: a heated cat bed.
“Because February is particularly cold and dark, it's a good time to gift your kitties with things that will bring them warmth and light,” says Marci Koski, Ph.D., an ABI-certified feline behavior consultant and owner of Feline Behavior Solutions in Vancouver, Washington. “All of my cats love heated beds, particularly in the winter, and they do enjoy snoozing in sunny windows even when the days are shorter!”
Koski recommends the Frisco Self Warming Bolster Round Cat Bed, which is designed to radiate your cat’s own body heat and is machine washable, as well as Kitty Cot Original World’s Best Cat Perch. It requires no tools to attach to wall or windows, and is designed to hold up to 25 pounds of cat.
Let Them Climb to the Top
The experts agree: Cats wanna climb!
“Cat trees are a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for your cats, giving them a place to observe the world from up high, and also nap and flex their claws,” Reimers says.
Dr. Mitchell recommends cat trees over five-feet tall. “They are sturdier and less likely to tip over,” Dr. Mitchell says, due to their typically heavier weight and larger base.
The Frisco 72-inch Cat Tree includes two carpet-covered cubbies for hiding, 10 sisal-covered scratch posts plus two scratch board ramps and a lookout tower.
“Even though it’s tall, it is well-suited for kittens too, who will enjoy exploring plenty of climbing options,” Koski says.
Spoil Them With Cat-Approved Creature Comforts
Valentine’s Day is the ideal time replace any feline must-haves, such as food bowls and scratching posts, that are past their prime. “[These] are always welcome gifts your cat will love,” Reimers says. A food station such as the Iris Elevated Feeder with Airtight Food Storage reduces neck strain when your kitty eats or drinks from the removable stainless steel bowls, and it offers an airtight spot for stashing extra food.
While all cats love to scratch, some prefer stretching upward to do so, while others like the horizontal vibe of a floor-level surface. Giving your cat both options is the Petlinks Scratcher’s Choice Hanging Tower Cat Scratcher. It can be hung from a doorknob or placed on the floor, and even contains concentrated catnip.
Play the Day Away
When it comes to how to show your cat you love them, “a good play session is always a great way to show love and affection to your cat,” Koski says, whose go-to toy choice are long-handled wand toys with a lure at the end of a string, such as the Frisco Bird Teaser with Feathers or the Kong Active Feather Teaser. “Cats usually go crazy about these. While younger cats will burn off excess energy from running around, this type of toy is good for all cats, offering an outlet for predatory behavior, alleviating boredom, stress relief and physical exercise. Best of all, [it’s a great way to] bond with their humans.”
Consider Getting Your Cat a Buddy
Speaking of playing the day away, why not get your cat a playmate?
“I’m a big advocate for having more than one cat,” says Reimers, who explains that a solo kitty can become bored and lonely while you’re at work.
“This can sometimes result in troubling behaviors,” Reimers adds.
Koski cautions, though, that the possibility of getting a buddy for your resident cat is dependent on the temperament of your current kitty.
“[Some cats] are entirely content to enjoy the company of their humans,” Koski says.
If you do get a playmate, she suggests that the new cat’s temperament should mesh well with your cat’s.
“For a mellow senior kitty, an active rambunctious kitten may not be a good fit,” Koski says. “And with any new cat, you'll want to do a slow, supervised introduction to help the cats meet each other in a positive, safe, and comfortable way.”
Of course, you should always carefully ensure that you have the finances, time and resources required when it comes to adding to your fur family. This is a forever decision.
If adopting a second cat isn’t an option, visit a local cat rescue or shelter and offer to cuddle the kittens or spend time with a lonely senior cat.
Treat Them to a Spa Day
While cats self-groom daily, some cats enjoy the luxurious feel of a brush on their fur. Reimers says that several of her kitties actually get excited when they see her pick up the brush! A nice one to try: the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. Groom your cat, then watch the retractable pins let the old hair fall away.
And just as we take pride in our manicured digits, your cat’s claws should be kept trim, not “Wolverine” lengths, which are lethal to your drapes and sofa. If you’re skilled at clipping your cat’s nails, spend some time getting them in shape so they can blissfully enjoy that new scratcher. Cat parents too timid to try on their own can get a lesson from their vet or vet tech.
Serve Up Something Delicious
What cat doesn’t come running when you shake that bag of treats? On Valentine’s Day, give those goodies an upgrade by stretching your culinary creativity and mixing up a batch of DIY cat treats for your beloved furry friend.
With savory turkey as the starring ingredient, this DIY cat treat recipe is perfect for any time of the year, but especially on Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day when you’re looking to express extra gratefulness and love for your feline. Plus, with only four ingredients, they couldn’t be easier to make!
Keep Them Healthy
“One of the best ways to show your cat you love them is to take them to the vet, or have one come to your home, for an annual full-body checkup,” says Reimers, who adds that because cats are masters at hiding illness, “it is up to us to keep tabs on their health.”
While it may not be exciting, Dr. Mitchell agrees that practical ways to show your cat love include staying on top of your cat’s veterinarian-recommended preventative healthcare, such as flea, tick and heartworm prevention and tooth cleanings. February is National Pet Dental Month, after all!
Afterwards, be sure to reward your cat with another one of those DIY cat treats you’ve cooked up. You want them to enjoy Valentine’s Day, after all!
The best way for how to show your cats you love them on Valentine’s Day is to remember Reimers’ advice: “Your cats want to be talked to, touched and acknowledged when they are in the room with you, just like human children.” Give your cat the free-but-priceless Valentine’s Day treat of your time and attention. They’ll respond with the magical purring rumble that is the soundtrack of ultimate happiness, on Valentine’s Day or any other cat-approved holiday.