11 Brilliant Gifts for the Cat in Your Life

iStock
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

11 Masks That Will Keep You Safe and Stylish

Design Safe/Designer Face Covers/Its All Goods
Design Safe/Designer Face Covers/Its All Goods

Face masks are going to be the norm for the foreseeable future, and with that in mind, designers and manufacturers have answered the call by providing options that are tailored for different lifestyles and fashion tastes. Almost every mask below is on sale, so you can find one that fits your needs without overspending.

1. Multicolor 5-pack of Polyester Face Masks; $22 (56 percent off)

Home Essentials

This set of five polyester masks offers the protection you need in a range of colors, so you can coordinate with whatever outfit you're wearing.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. 3D Comfort Masks 5-Pack; $20 (25 percent off)

Brio

The breathable, stretchy fabric in these 3D masks makes them a comfortable option for daily use.

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3. Reusable Face Masks 2-pack; $15 (50 percent off)

Triple Grade

This cotton mask pack is washable and comfortable. Use the two as a matching set with your best friend or significant other, or keep the spare for laundry day.

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4. Active Masks 3-pack; $23 (14 percent off)

RipleyRader

Don’t let masks get in the way of staying active. These double-layer cotton masks are breathable but still protect against those airborne particles.

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5. Washable Protective Cotton Face Masks 2-pack; $13 (35 percent off)

Its All Good

Avoid the accidental nose-out look with this cotton mask that stays snug to your face.

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6. Washable 3D Masks 12-pack; $24 (44 percent off)

Elicto

With this 12-pack of protective masks, you can keep a few back-ups in your car and hand the rest out to friends and family who need them.

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7. Reusable Dust-Proof Mask with 5 Filters; $22 (45 percent off)

Triple Grade

This dust-proof mask can filter out 95 percent of germs and other particles, making it a great option for anyone working around smoke and debris all day, or even if you're just outside mowing the lawn.

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8. Reusable Fun Face Cover / Neck Gaiter (Flamingo); $20

Designer Face Covers

Channel some tropical energy with this flamingo fabric neck gaiter. The style of this covering resembles a bandana, which could save your ears and head from soreness from elastic loops. Other designs include a Bauhaus-inspired mask and this retro look.

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9. Seamless Bandana Mask; $8 (52 percent off)

Eargasm Earplugs

This seamless gaiter-style mask can be worn properly for protection and fashioned up into a headband once you're in the car or a safe space. Plus, having your hair out of your face will help you avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth before washing your hands.

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10. Two-Ply "Love" Face Masks 2-Pack; $18 (40 percent off)

Design Safe

These statement masks allow you to have a voice, even if your mouth is covered.

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11. Neoprene/Fleece Neck and Face Mask (Purple); $10 (66 percent off)

Its All Good

This mask will definitely come in handy once winter rolls around. It features a fleece neck, face, and ear covering to keep your mask secure and your face warm.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

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New Book From TASCHEN Presents a Visual History of Tarot Cards

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Like many pieces of occult iconography, the origins of Tarot cards are murky. Legends tell of the cards' origins stretching back to the ancient Egyptians, but in reality, they began in 15th-century Italy. It would take another few centuries for Tarot to evolve from a playing card deck to its more familiar form as a fortune-telling device accompanied by elaborate, and sometimes macabre, artwork.

That's a bit of the history you can expect to find in Tarot, a new book from TASCHEN coming out on August 29. Written by author Jessica Hundley, with additional writing by Johannes Fiebig and Marcella Kroll, Tarot tells the story of the mystical cards through historical tidbits and stunning imagery. The 520-page book features more than 500 pictures showing the 78 classic Tarot cards in their various iterations throughout the years. Symbols and deeper meanings are explored for each, along with a look at how different cultures around the globe have interpreted the cards.

Even skeptics can appreciate the artistry that's gone into these artifacts. The cards have been used as a canvas by Medieval artists as well as contemporary painters like Salvador Dalí and Niki de Saint Phalle. You can see a few examples of the cards highlighted in the book below.

Tarot is the inaugural volume in "Library of Esoterica," a new series from TASCHEN exploring "the creative ways we strive to connect to the divine." You can preorder it now from Amazon or the TASCHEN store for $40.

The Wheel of Fortune by artist Cathy McClelland, 2017© Cathy McClelland/TASCHEN

Strength by Michael Eaton & A. A. Khan, 2015© A. A. Khan & Michael Eaton

The Sun by artists Pamela Colman Smith & A. E. Waite, 1910TASCHEN

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