11 Brilliant Gifts for the Cat in Your Life

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iStock

Cats love playing with tinsel and tissue paper, but discarded wrapping materials shouldn’t be their only holiday goodies. This season, treat your favorite feline to one of these 11 creative gift ideas.

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1. DJ SCRATCHING PAD; $35


This DJ Cat Scratching Pad lets your kitty channel its inner disc jockey while giving its claws a workout. It comes with a record-shaped corrugated cardboard pad, which sits atop a mock record player plastered with old-school-inspired band stickers. And if you’re up for a silent jam session with your pet, the cardboard “record” spins, and the record player’s tone arm is posable. (For easy assembly, the Scratching Pad arrives in a flatpack, and comes with instructions detailing how to fold it together sans glue.)

Find It: Uncommon Goods

2. GRASS PATCH HUNTING BOX CAT REST AND TOY PLAY BOX; $20

Inside every cat beats the heart of a hunter. If your kitty’s an indoor pet, you can arouse its natural instincts with the Grass Patch Hunting Box. It’s filled with tiny jingle balls, which felines can swat and chase by sticking their paws inside peek-a-boo openings on the box’s top and sides. To give your cat a taste of the great outdoors, the box’s top is covered in faux grass that’s suitable for either scratching or lounging.

Find It: Amazon

3. CATIT FLOWER FOUNTAIN; $30

This bubbling, flower-shaped water fountain keeps your cat’s water as fresh as a daisy. A water-softening filter is hidden inside the fountain, along with a re-circulating system that keeps clean liquid flowing. Since every cat drinks at a different speed, it comes with three water flow settings.

Find It: Amazon

4. CATNIP FORTUNE COOKIES; $24


Cats prefer tuna to Chinese food, but they may want to give these catnip-stuffed fleece fortune cookies a nibble. Each hand-sewn cookie is filled with organic, farm-fresh ‘nip and features a randomly chosen cat-themed fortune. (Example: “Your litter box will always be clean.”) The toys come in sets of four, and arrive inside a Chinese take-out carton.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

5. KITNIPBOX; $19-29 PER MONTH (15 PERCENT OFF WITH THE CODE "MENTALPAWS")

KitNipBox is a monthly subscription box for cat owners looking to spoil their fuzzy friends on the regular. It sends customers a curated package of healthy cat treats, toys, accessories, and other goodies—and if you own two kitties, you can opt for a multi-cat box that includes even more feline swag. A portion of KitNipBox’s monthly fee is donated to animal welfare organizations, so your purchase also helps less-fortunate cats.

Find It: KitNipBox

6. PETCUBE PLAY; $199


If you’ve ever wondered what your cat does when you’re not around, the Petcube Camera will help solve the mystery. The Wi-Fi-enabled video camera connects with your smartphone via a website or app, letting you check in with your pet when you’re on the go. And if you’re really missing your kitty, a two-way audio feature and an interactive laser toy allow for long-distance bonding sessions.

Find It: Amazon

7. HEPPER CAT POD BED; $130

This lofted, pod-shaped cat bed is crafted from fabric-covered foam, and its reversible liner—sewn from microfiber and sherpa fleece—is machine-washable (perfect for removing cat fur). The bed’s top is also removable, allowing you to transform it into a hammock-shaped lounger. If your pet ends up preferring discarded boxes to beds, you can return the pod and receive a full refund.

Find It: Amazon

8. MUSIC FOR CATS; $15-25

Typically, felines don’t like music, as it often features pitches and tempos enjoyed only by humans. However, they might dig Music for Cats, an album created by composer David Teie and a team of animal scientists. According to Teie’s website, the 40-minute CD is “based on feline vocal communication and environmental sounds that pique the interest of cats.” You can purchase a single album for $20; a digital download for $15; or a four-CD version of the album for $25. (It features silence between the songs, so you can play it for your cats for extended periods of time while you're away.)

Find It: Music for Cats

9. PETSAFE POUNCE TOY; $28

Hunting mice is all about the chase. Pounce features an electronic mouse that races around a circular track, providing your cat with a heart-pounding pursuit. Just like a real rodent, the mouse is unpredictable: It twitches, zooms, hides, and changes direction. Pounce is also suitable for all feline ages: The toy offers four speed settings, including high and medium for active cats, and low or variable for older, less-agile ones.

Find It: Amazon

10. VESPER CAT FURNITURE; $108

Feline furniture can be stylish, too. This sleek, modern cat tree features a cube cave, two platforms lined with memory foam cushions, and a dangling toy.

Find It: Amazon

11. FROSTED DONUTS WITH SPRINKLES CATNIP CAT TOY; $29


Your cats might like playing with these doughnut-shaped, catnip-stuffed toys almost as much as you enjoy eating the real thing. The eco-friendly felt toys are sold in sets of three—chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry—and come with fake “Nutrition Facts” that tell you how many “Meows of Fun” and “Total Purrs” are in every bite.

Find It: Etsy

10 Lotions and Balms Perfect for Your Chapped Hands

These lotions and balms can help revitalize your dry, cracked hands.
These lotions and balms can help revitalize your dry, cracked hands.
Duke Cannon/Dr. PawPaw/Bliss/Amazon

Chapped, cracked hands are one of those little annoyances that can turn into a big headache after dealing with them for a few days, but after a long winter, and with all the hand-washing everyone is doing due to coronavirus concerns, it’s nearly unavoidable. To give your skin a sigh of relief, we’ve rounded up our favorite lotions, creams, and balms that will heal your raw palms and have your knuckles feeling soft and smooth in no time. Check them out below.

1. WOW ALOE VERA MOISTURIZING BODY LOTION; $12


BUYWOW/Amazon

With all-natural ingredients that work for every skin type, this aloe vera body lotion is particularly useful for putting some life back into your hands. This lotion is fast-absorbing, quickly creating a barrier between your skin and the outside elements. And since it's not greasy, you won’t have to wait for your hands to dry (or wash them all over again) before you can get your day started.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dr. PAWPAW MULTIPURPOSE BALM; $8-$20 (Sizes vary)

Dr. PawPaw hand cream.
Dr. PawPaw/Amazon

Your hands will feel like they’ve entered a tropical oasis after applying this soothing balm. Made from papaya (or pawpaw), a fruit that’s known for its natural healing properties, this balm also contains aloe vera and olive oil to give dry skin a natural glow. And it’s not just for helping your palms and knuckles—this balm can also be used on your lips, nails, and cuticles, and as a tool to tame flyaways or stray brows. It’s the multipurpose secret weapon that’s a must-have for any bathroom cabinet.

Buy it: Ulta, Amazon

3. DUKE CANNON BLOODY KNUCKLES HAND REPAIR BALM; $31 (Pack of 2)

Duke Cannon Bloody Knuckles balm.
Duke Cannon/Amazon

Even if you’re not throwing punches in the ring, you might feel like you’re in a boxing match with your raw and red hands. But Duke Cannon’s repair balm will reverse your skin damage and have you feeling like a champion once again. Best used for extensive chapping, this balm is unscented and completely free of fragrances, dyes, and other artificial ingredients.

Buy it: Amazon

4. 2-IN-1 BODY LOTION CANDLE; $29.00

Candle and skin lotion from UncommonGoods.
UncommonGoods

Not all lotions come in a tube. Try this amazing body lotion candle, which melts at a comfortable temperature so you can safely use the “wax” as a warm lotion on your skin. These 10-ounce candles are packed with coconut oil, botanical oils, and vitamins A, K, and E to instantly moisturize your hands. Scented with fresh figs, amber, and floral notes, this unique candle makes skincare feel like a spa experience.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

5. L’OCCITANE SHEA BUTTER HAND CREAM; $29

L’occitane hand cream.
L’occitane/Amazon

Applying this hand cream is like easing yourself into soft, cozy slippers after a long day. Made with 20-percent shea butter, honey, almond extracts, and coconut oil, it has a creamy feel that instantly protects and nourishes your skin as it repairs. It’s also rich in fatty acids, doing double duty to prevent wrinkles along with any cracking.

Buy it: Amazon

6. O’KEEFE’S WORKING HANDS; $8

O’Keefe's Working Hands on Amazon.
O’Keefe's/Amazon

With nearly 18,000 4.5-star reviews on Amazon, this concentrated hand cream is a true miracle that instantly repairs any cracks or dryness on your skin. And it also works to prevent future damage, creating a barrier that locks moisture in and keeps dryness out. Even if the most you’re doing with your hands involves a keyboard, O’Keefe’s will still work around the clock to keep them looking—and feeling—their best.

Buy it: Amazon

7. PALMER’S COCONUT OIL HAND CREAM; $3

Palmer's Cocoa Oil on Amazon.
Palmer's/Amazon

This affordable hand cream works for 24 hours, so it can go for as long as you do. Made from shea and cocoa butter, with a boost of hydrating vitamin E, Palmer’s uses natural, raw ingredients to create “glove-like” protection to keep your skin feeling soft all day long. And its coconut oil is fair-trade certified, so you can feel even better every time you use it.

Buy it: Amazon

8. J.R. WATKINS ALOE & GREEN TEA HAND CREAM; $8

J.R. Watkins hand lotion on Amazon.
J.R. Watkins/Amazon

Aloe isn’t just for sunburns; it’s great for use on cracked hands, too. That’s why this hand cream from J.R. Watkins, enhanced with the healing power of aloe and green tea, is your best friend when it comes to dry skin. J.R. Watkins uses plant-based ingredients from ethical sources, making it a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin. And its products are recyclable, allowing you to go green while restoring your skin at the same time.

Buy it: Amazon

9. BLISS LEMON & SAGE BODY BUTTER; $10

Bliss hand lotion on Amazon.
Bliss/Amazon

PETA-certified and free of harsh chemicals, Bliss uses a special combination of natural plant-based emollients, humectants, and extracts for hydration that lasts all day. And its bright lemon and sage scent will make you feel more energized and refreshed—the perfect stand-in for a dehydrating cup of coffee.

Buy it: Amazon

10. AQUAPHOR HEALING OINTMENT; $9

Aquaphor hand ointment.
Aquaphor/Amazon

Aquaphor is an oldie but a goodie. A drug store favorite, this multipurpose ointment works to shield skin from the elements to restore it to its natural condition, and it can be used on everything from your hands to your lips to your feet. It can even help heal burns. Preservative- and fragrance-free, it’s the powerful little tube that will never let you down.

Buy it: Amazon

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

These Scented Prank Candles Turn From Sweet Fruits to Sour Farts

The blissful peace of someone who has not yet sniffed a Prank Candles product.
The blissful peace of someone who has not yet sniffed a Prank Candles product.
RL Productions/iStock via Getty Images

When someone lights a scented candle—maybe before meditating, taking a bath, or enjoying a romantic dinner—the last thing they expect to smell is a fart. That's what makes this product from Prank Candles so brilliant. As the wax melts, the aroma transitions from sweet apple pie to noxious flatulence, fouling the smeller's mood and home air quality.

In terms of appearance, the gag gift resembles a normal candle in every way. The label calls to mind the warm scents of apple pie in autumn, and when the jar is first opened, it has the smell to match. But after about an hour or so—just as the victim has gotten used to the pleasant fragrance—it changes.

Apple pie fart-scented prank candle.
Turns out receiving this scented gift isn't so sweet.
Prank Candles

Prank Candles writes in the product description, "Often—our customers will report that their victims will initially thank them because it's 'the best candle they've ever burned.' Because of this, they're even less likely to blame the candle when they think, 'WTF is that smell?'"

In addition to the apple pie scent, the company sells nasty candles disguised as fresh roses, balsam and cedar, and vanilla. The apple pie and vanilla varieties are currently back-ordered, with shipping estimated for April 15. Whether you're already planning for April Fools' Day 2021 or the birthday of a frenemy, you can order yours today for $23.

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