Style | Style Style en-us Fri, 19 Sep 2014 07:00:00 -0700 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 07:00:00 -0700 Orion <![CDATA[Win a Stunning Cat Pendant or Cameo Earrings From Lisa Galibardy]]> Singers from the U.K. and U.S. alike love Lisa Galibardy's jewelry. Rita Ora, Kelly Rowland, and Jessie J. have all been spotted wearing her statement pieces. Now, you have the chance to join their stylish ranks with this week's Friday Freebie, as the London jewelry designer has generously offered to give away a Black Cat pendant and a pair of Cat Cameo earrings!

Her Black Cat pendant comes in solid brass with an ultra-glossy black-enamel finish, and it hangs from a 15.5-inch gold-tone loop chain.

The gothic-style Cat Cameo earrings are resin with a black cat on an orange background or cream cat on a black background.

We'll pick two winners, one for each item. If you don't win, Galibardy still wants you to wear her jewelry, and she'll give our readers a 20 percent discount when they enter CATSTER20 during checkout. There are other cat-centric pieces, but you can't go wrong with anything from the Galibardy online boutique, which features alternative accessories at insanely affordable prices considering who her customers include.

How to Enter

  1. Create a Disqus account, if you haven't already, and include a valid email. It takes just a minute and allows you to better participate in Catster's community of people who are passionate about cats. If you already have a Disqus account, check it to ensure the account includes a valid email.
  2. Comment below using your Disqus account, telling us about the vocal stylings of your cat. Bonus points for photos and following directions! You must tell us which prize you want, and in the case of the earrings, also tell us which background color. Our favorite comment wins. You must be a U.S. resident to score this prize.
  3. Check your email for a "You've Won!" message from us after noon PST on Thursday, Sept. 25. We'll give the winner two days to respond before moving on to our next favorite.

Good luck!

Learn more about your cat with Catster:

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 07:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/win-cat-pendant-cameo-earrings-jewelry-lisa-galibardy-freebies-giveaway
<![CDATA[Choupette Lagerfeld Launches a Line of Cat-Themed Makeup]]> Do you dream about dolling your cat up in makeup? No? How about bedazzling your own image with feline-themed beauty products? For the record, these are not passing thoughts that keep me awake at night -- but it seems that Karl Lagerfeld's cat Choupette is soon to become the face of a new line of makeup products aimed at filling this hitherto overlooked gap in the market.

Image via Instagram

Slated to hit retail stores this holiday season, the Shupette range is a collaboration between Lagerfeld and the Shu Uemua makeup brand. Early rumors suggest that the kitty-fabulous line will include furry false eyelashes, and all products will be packaged with bespoke quotes from the self-proclaimed "queen of cat naps."

Image via Instagram

If you're not up on the Choupette phenomenon, you can delve into her uber-catty social media ventures to gain a peek into the life of luxury she enjoys. (Her Twitter bio bills her as "a famous beauty who refuses to eat on the floor." "My maids pamper my every need," she writes. "I am Choupette Lagerfeld and I am a spoiled pussy.")

Image via Instagram

The Shupette range is touted as the very first collaboration between "a beauty name and a house pet." So I mentioned the news to my own cat, Mimosa. She seemed a little nonplussed -- although that may be because she was too busy dressing up in a pink tutu.

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About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world's foremost expert on rappers' cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it's not quite what you think it is.

Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:15:00 -0700 /lifestyle/karl-lagerfeld-choupette-cat-fashion-designer-shupette-makeup-line
<![CDATA[Crazy Cute Cat Clothes for the Dog Days of Summer]]> As renowned philosopher Regina Spektor once said, "Summer in the city means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage." But wearing less clothing doesn't have to mean being less stylish. Here are five ways to beat the heat and go a little cat crazy this summer.

1. A cat who's not afraid of the deep end

Okay, so it kind of looks like this cat is bursting Alien-style from this woman's stomach, but come on -- how else are you going to take a kitty to the pool without sustaining multiple puncture wounds? Get it here.

2. A cat who protects you from the sand instead of pooping in it

Grumpy Cat doesn't look happy about having her face on this adorable beach towel, but she'll totally help you out while you lie in the sun and work on your tan (while wearing SPF 110, of course). Get it here.

Bonus item no one can afford: This $100 towel features a cat sweating to the oldies, a workout routine you may or may not have tried in order to get ready for swimsuit season. (On a semi-related note, here's a helpful hint for getting a bikini body: Put a bikini on your body. You're already beautiful.) Get it here.

3. Nostalgia is better with kitties

This is the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death -- I know, I feel old, too. Pay tribute to Nirvana's troubled frontman by rocking this Nevermind-inspired tank. Get it here.

Meanwhile, the movie Jaws is almost 40, but sharks never stop being terrifying, so it's as fun to watch as ever. Let's imagine, for a moment, that giant aquatic cats filled the oceans instead of sharks. Scary stuff, right? Hence the shirt. Get it here.

4. A cat who won't scream when you step on his tail

The Holy Grail of cat flip flops is right here.

If flip flops aren't flashy enough for your taste, these glittery kitty sandals should do the trick. Get them here

Bonus item no one can afford: At $2,100, these one-of-a-kind heels are an excellent icebreaker. If you start saving now, maybe you can afford them by this time next summer. Get them here.

5. Feline fancy

You'll look as cute as you feel in this simple, affordable cat-print sundress from H&M. Get it here.

If I still worked at the corporate cube farm, I'd make this one my Monday dress. Just looking at it totally cheers me up, even on the worst day of the week. Get it here.

More by Angela Lutz:

Learn more about your cat with Catster:

About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she's an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/crazy-cute-cat-clothes-dress-t-shirt-shoes-dog-days-of-summer
<![CDATA[Are Any of These Luxury Cat Items Really Worth Your Buck?]]> Like most everyone, I think it'd be pretty cool if a sudden windfall were to land in my lap. An extra pile of cash is always welcome, and I can think of a zillion ways I could spend the newfound moola.

Depending on the number of dollars in my possession, I'd probably pay off some bills, take a vacation, buy a few new clothes, and definitely spoil my cats a little bit. Believe me, they're already pretty rotten, but there are some kitty-related products and projects I'd buy if my wallet were a little thicker. And then there are some I'd likely avoid.

Now there's a good use of my money.

For example, this Swarovski crystal-encrusted cat flap, which is no longer on the market (surprise) was once available for a cool £1,000 ($1,684). This is a fine example of something I would absolutely not purchase with my windfall money. If it were still available, that is ... which it's not. I just need a flap to "flap," not be red-carpet ready.

Moving on to what's actually available for purchase: Would you spend any of your new wad of cash on these? 

1. 10-foot fantasy tree

But it has a fairy door!

Depending on the type of covering and add-ons, this fancy giant will run you around $2,000. The tree includes four shelves and platforms, as well as a space at the bottom to curl up and sleep. First of all, I don't have the space in my house for a tree like this. It would wind up looking like the Griswolds' Christmas tree in Christmas Vacation. And would my cats really appreciate the two grand I'd shelled out for it? It is pretty cool, though.

And hey, you can add an "enchanted fairy door" for $35. I suppose if I had a giant house and a giant stack of Benjamins, I might consider the purchase.

2. Wedding bed

For after cat weddings.

First let me be clear that I fully support independent artists who are out there doing their own thing. Etsy is teeming with talent -- I've bought many handcrafted treasures through Etsy vendors. The question is, would I spend $2,300 for a pet's "wedding bed"? I certainly don't judge people for their purchases, but my short answer would probably be no.

I'm sure it takes a lot of time and an artistic eye to put together this piece of art, which is created with gold bridal silk and Swarovski crystals (again with the Swarovski), but I can't imagine I'd lay down that kind of cash when my kitties are quite happy with a simple bed ... or a shoebox. And I don't think they plan on getting married anytime soon.

3. "Catified" house

Lucky cats!

I'm sure many of you have read about this California home that received a $35,000 "catification" upgrade. I know that's a ton of money (for me, anyway); however, if I could swing it, I'd definitely give my home this kind of makeover. I mean, look at the cool shelves and walkways! Go, cat, go!

4. Alessi Tigrito cat bowl

OK, I know this isn't necessarily a "luxury" item, but it is close to $70 for a cat bowl -- which isn't even a fountain! I've spent that kind of cash on a fountain, but this is just a set of bowls with a cat-tail handle. To me, that seems a little on the pricey side. It is so cute, though, and I do believe I'd throw down some of my windfall to purchase three of them, one for each cat. And maybe one for me to fill with my own snacks.

5. Luxury catio

Yes, please.

I've always wanted a really spectacular catio for my kitties. You know, a space where we can enjoy the outdoors together. I love the Zen-vibe of this particular catio, and if I had a bunch of extra dough, I'd totally get my catio on.

I would be in this catio all day long.

6. Swarovski collar

For fancy cats.

Swarovski? You don't say. Yes, here's another Etsy artist creating crystal pet products. This one is a gorgeous breakaway cat collar encrusted in 100-percent Swarovski crystals. It's around $85, which is more than I'd personally spend on a cat collar. It is gorgeous, though. 

We could have made a drinking game out of this post. Every time you read the word "Swarovski," you have to take a drink. 


Would you purchase any of these cat products? Let us know in the comments!

Let Catster make you laugh:

Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food. 

Thu, 22 May 2014 03:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/luxury-cat-items
<![CDATA[6 Super-Stylish Cat Furniture Pieces I Saw at BlogPaws]]> Last weekend I was at the 2014 BlogPaws pet bloggers’ conference, held at a resort hotel in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada, a giant artificial oasis built in the middle of the desert. I didn’t have a chance to enjoy many of the amenities this beautiful hotel had to offer because I was busy working at the Cat Style Lounge.

This is just a small portion of the stuff on display in the 1,200-square-foot Cat Style Lounge.

The Cat Style Lounge is the brainchild of Kate Benjamin, the cat-style expert behind the amazing blog Hauspanther, occasional guest star on My Cat From Hell, and co-author of the book Catification, which will be available in October.

Because I arrived early to help set up the lounge and assemble cat furniture, I got to ooh and aah and drool over everything long before anyone else even saw it. Here are some of my favorites, listed in alphabetical order.

1. Cat’s Contour Ceramic Bed

If your cat loves sinks but you don’t love cat hair in your drain, this bowl-shaped lounge could be the next great thing for you and your furry friend. It’s heavy but beautiful and, naturally, easy to clean. Cost: $99.99 plus $35 shipping and handling.

2. Cattino

This beautiful cat-shaped scratcher and lounge is made of birch wood and has a replaceable corrugated scratch pad, as well as two kitty hammocks, which come in red, pink, orange or blue. If you can assemble a small piece of IKEA furniture, putting the Cattino together should be no problem. Cost: $129 plus $19 shipping.

3. Hepper Pod

The Hepper Pod is a huge hit at my house. Thomas and Bella take turns camping in it.

The outside of this UFO-shaped bed/cave is made of flexible molded foam, the inside is lined with a washable Sherpa fleece pad, and it’s supported by a steel frame with a powder-coated finish. The Hepper Pod comes in a variety of colors and is best for cats weighing up to about 14 pounds. It takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and all you need is an Allen wrench (included). Cost: $114.95, with free shipping for a limited time.

4. Katris

Two full-size Katris pieces and a miniature display model.

This multi-piece modular furniture is named after that Russian video game that so many of us wasted hours playing in the 1990s. There are five different shapes, which can be assembled in numerous ways to create and re-create a playground for your kitty. It's made of 100-percent recyclable materials, and SGS certified non-toxic glue was used on all assembling processes. Available soon at

5. Peach Industries Kitty Loungers

The kitty loungers come in two sizes, regular (25 x 21 x 12 inches) and mini (19.25 x 19.25 x 6.5 inches). The frames of both models are made with VOC-free, sustainably forested birch plywood, and the covers are made of machine-washable, U.S.-grown and woven cotton. I’d be amazed if it took more than two minutes to assemble either piece. The covers are available in a wide array of patterns or colors to suit any home. Cost: $59.99 (mini), $124.99 (regular). Extra covers are available for an additional cost. Shipping $5 within the continental U.S.

6. Yoga Cat Mat Cat Toy Gift Set

This combination lounge and scratcher really is made from yoga mat material, and the toys that come with it are made from recycled yoga mat scraps, recycled wine corks, twine, muslin, catnip and sisal rope. It comes in four colors: purple, olive green, red and slate blue. Cost: $29.99 for the mat and toy set, $24.99 for the mat alone, plus $8 shipping within the U.S. (this item can be shipped worldwide, but prices vary).

It was a tiring but very cool few days, and at the end of it all, I got to hug a bottle-baby kitten!

You may collapse in a pile of melty squee-tastic goodness now. I know I did the minute I saw this sweet little bottle baby kitten!

Is there a piece of cat furniture you lust after? What is it? Would you buy anything on this list? Have you already? What do your cats think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Learn more about your cat with Catster:

About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.

Thu, 15 May 2014 07:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/cat-furniture-bed-stylish-blogpaws-conference-lake-las-vegas
<![CDATA[Cat Lady Style: My Recent Haul of Cat Clothing and Accessories]]> A little while ago, while spending a relaxing afternoon shopping around the Internet (translation: avoiding work), I came across this dress and I started to drool:

Hooked on a Feline Dress, $89.99.

You may remember it from Stephanie Harwin's post about some "Completely Crazy Cat Dresses." 

A few weeks later I got a little surprise in the mail: the glorious dress! Sensing a lack of cat-themed dresses in my wardrobe, my husband, under the advisement of our cats, bought me a present. When you marry a cat lady, you best be sure she's appropriately dressed. 

And the goodies didn't end there. I suppose my reputation as a cat lady precedes me. Not only did I get a delightful piece of kitty-themed jewelry from my best friend in Los Angeles, I also received a much-belated holiday gift box of stylish cat accessories from my family in Maine. My cats have never thought I looked so good. 

But who would I be if I didn't share the goodness with you? So here are the contents of my cat style haul, as well as some finds I'm lusting after. Would your cats approve?

1. Cat Locket from Days Long Gone

My best friend sent this to me as a much-needed pick-me-up. "I took a chance on this one, I hope you like it," she told me when I excitedly called to thank her. 

Cat Locket, $34. Days Long Gone on

How could I not love it? Not only does it have a satisfying weight and vintage-like patina, but the generous-sized locket is perfect to keep pictures of -- who else? -- my cats in it! 

Every time I wear it, I not only get compliments, but I'm also reminded that I'm loved by family with both two legs and four. 

2. Cat Socks from Sock It To Me and Socksmith

I have a weakness for socks. I've long been of the mind that if you have some cool socks between your feet and your shoes, why not show them off? And these cat socks make me want to kick up my feet and take the kitties out for a walk!

Chat Noir, $12.

Black Cats, $11.

Kittenster, $7.50.

My sister-in-law gave me those last socks because she said, "The cats in glasses look like you." I've chosen to take that as a compliment. 

3. Mother-Daughter Angel Cat Necklace Set by Mark Poulin 

One of the sweetest gifts I was given. I got the smaller "daughter" Angel Cat charm, and my mother-in-law got the larger "mother" Angel Cat charm. 

Mother Daughter Angel Cat Necklace Set by Mark Poulin. marmar on

I thought it was a lovely gift for those who've loved and lost cats, and who now lovingly remember their feline family members who scratch around in that great cat box in the sky. 

The sterling silver charms both come with silver plated chains, 16-inch for the daughter and 18-inch for the mother.

4. ASPCA Authentic Cat Shoes and Backpack by Vans 

I want these shoes. 

Vans recently collaborated with the ASPCA to create these, as well as some dog print shoes. A portion of the purchase price goes to benefit the ASPCA. If I needed an excuse to buy these kicks (and I didn't), I have it now. 

And if you or someone you know is in school or going back to school, how better to fly your cat-freak flag than with this backpack? 

Vans X ASPCA Realm Cats Backpack, $35. Available at

5. "Feline Finds" Benefiting the ASPCA, from the Fresh Step Feline Arts Council

Visit the Feline Arts Council for more details.

Fresh Step's Feline Arts Council has has assembled some adorable accessories made by various artists to not only show your love of cats but also offer your support to the ASPCA. 

I especially love this acrylic Meow Cuff by Jennifer Moore. I'm not that into big, chunky bracelets, but ever since I saw this one I can't get it out of my head. I imagine myself, brightly cuffed arm in the air dancing, rocking out to a band in a dark bar. Maybe this cuff will get me out of the house one night?

And this Cute Cat iPhone 4/4s case by Adrienne Lee. 

Cute Cat Phone Case, $25. By Adrienne Lee,

All right, I don't have an iPhone, but when I finally break down and get one (and I fear that fate is on the horizon), this just might be the case that helps me to embrace my technologically upgraded life. 

Happy shopping! And to encourage you in your retail exploits, I leave you with some style "inspiration."

I think they work together -- don't you?

I dare you to do better. 

Get more cool cat clothing and accessories:

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Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:00:00 -0700 /cat-chic/cat-lady-style-clothing-accessories-wish-list
<![CDATA[Win a Set of Catty Stacks Designer Cat Climbers]]> Cats love cardboard boxes. We prefer to unpack their contents, then toss the unsightly boxes into the nearest recycling bin. If only there were a solution that pleased both kitties and their human roommates.

Well, there is: Catty Stacks Designer Cat Climbers.

Made from what the company calls Corrugated Ultraboard, these beautifully colored boxes connect to form strong, stable structures that your cat can play and sleep on and in, thanks to top, bottom, and side holes. They also can be easily rearranged if your kitty gets bored with a particular setup.

Catty Stacks use recycled and recyclable materials and vegetable-based ink, all safe stuff for your animals. They come in chocolate brown, pistachio green, sky blue, snow white, and tickled pink. Each one measures 16 inches wide by 16 inches deep by 15 inches high, and is suitable for multiple cats up to 20-pounds each.

Would you like the chance to win a set of at least three Catty Stacks for your home? If so, follow the instructions below.

How to Enter

  1. Create a Disqus account, if you haven't already, and include a valid email. It takes just a minute and allows you to better participate in Catster's community of people who are passionate about cats. If you already have a Disqus account, check it to ensure the account includes a valid email.
  2. Comment below using your Disqus account, telling us about your cats and their love of cardboard boxes. Bonus points for photos! Our favorite photos/comments win. You must be a U.S. resident to win.
  3. Check your email for a “You've Won!” message from us after noon PST on Thursday, April 17. We'll give each winner two days to respond before moving on to our next favorite.

Good luck!

Learn more about your cat with Catster:

Fri, 11 Apr 2014 05:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/win-catty-stacks-designer-cat-climbers-furniture-freebies-giveaways
<![CDATA[7 Weirdly Wonderful Cat-Themed Finds on Etsy]]> It's been a year since April Winchell closed down her famous blog, Regretsy. For those of you unfamiliar with Regretsy (or living under a rock), the site was a treasure trove of unique and utterly bizarre handcrafts found on Etsy.

Whether you loved or hated the site, Regretsy demonstrated that one person’s idea of "not in my living room" was often the cat’s meow for someone else. The closing of Regretsy left a void of curious curation, especially of the feline kind, but not anymore. Here are seven weirdly wonderful cat-themed finds from Etsy.

1. Cat Vomit Artist

If you've got a cat, you've surely seen her barfing up a hairball at some point in her life. For this hand-painted watercolor, cat vomit was the inspiration for its creation. The artist, cappysue, was inspired by a comment made by a friend when her cat threw up in her shoe.

Cappysue transformed the traumatic event into a magical tongue-in-cheek watercolor of a pink cat with a French beret literally vomiting rainbows onto a canvas. There's only one available, so if you want it, you better pounce on it fast.

2. Mohawk Cat Hat

While we’re on the topic of rainbows, why not dress your cat up as one? This rainbow-colored mohawk cat hat is a real head-turner. The hat is hand-knitted from acrylic blend yarns and fits the average-sized adult cat head.

If your cat has a melon the size of well, er, a melon, you can request a custom-sized hat by measuring the distance between your cat’s ears on the top of her head and the width of the base of her ears. It’s also a good test to see if your cat will wear the hat. If she sits still while you measure her ears, then she may just let you fit this hat over her head.

3. Grumpy Cat and Little Mermaid Phone Case

What do you get when you combine something cute with something else that’s also cute? Normally, you’d expect something even cuter. We’ll let you be the judge on this creation, a phone case that’s a mashup of Grumpy Cat and the Little Mermaid.

If you’ve ever wondered what a cat would look like as a mermaid, now you’ve got the answer. Something about the flowing mane of red hair juxtaposed with Grumpy Cat’s derisive frown makes this phone case work.

4. Psycho Cat

We told you about Fortune Cat. Now, let us introduce you to Psycho Cat. While the traditional Maneki Neko is a lucky charm believed to attract abundance, we're not quite sure what Psycho Cat will attract -- maybe attention?

Its raised paw clutches a bloody knife and the battery-operated arm also swings back and forth. If that’s a little too graphic for you, there’s also a non-bloody knife version. Psycho Cat is intended to be a gag gift -- as in a joke, not gagging someone.

5. Sexy Cat Wine Stopper

Romance and wine often go hand in hand, or in this case, paw in paw. If you're looking for an unusual housewarming gift for a cat lover who also loves a good Bordeaux, then this intricately carved wooden wine stopper might be the perfect gift. 

The sexy cat engraving is inspired by Indian art and is perched atop a Portuguese cork stopper. After a glass or two of wine, your host will be tempted to cork the bottle when she spots the detail and workmanship of this engraving.

6. Black Cat Panties

Speaking of sexy, here’s some cat-inspired lingerie. These black knickers feature a giant kitty face on the back, complete with little kitty ears, too. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “Hello, Kitty!”

Created by knickerrocker on Etsy, the underwear is made to order and a matching cropped top is also available. For the curious cats out there, you might also want to check out knickerrocker’s fox face undies. They give special meaning to the phrase, “foxy lady.”

7. Cat Leg X-Ray Candleholder

Unfortunately, this one's no longer available, but we're including it just because, well, we had to. Have you ever felt that a cat’s piercing stare could penetrate right to your soul? If so, you might want to get your paws on this candleholder to hold your own pseudo-seance. Light the candle and peer into a cat’s soul, or at the very least, look inside a cat via an X-ray of her leg.

Made from a real X-ray, this candleholder is the ultimate in up-cycling and will surely create the perfect ambiance in any room.

Laugh with us:

About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert, lifelong environmentalist and the creator of Green Little Cat, a blog on eco-friendly living for cats and cat lovers. Practicing Taoist and Dragon Spirit Guide who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will. Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles' heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles.

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 05:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/etsy-cat-theme-finds-cats-weird-wonderful
<![CDATA[So We Had a Drink Contest at Work, and Invented a Lil Bub Cocktail]]> Alcohol is a funny thing, especially in the hands of employers. Every company I’ve worked for has used alcohol as some kind of incentive, usually either to pre-emptively placate the personnel who have to stay late to finish a project (“We’ll order pizza -- and beer!”) or to pad attendance at some after-hours thing most people probably would have skipped (“Open bar -- free drinks!”).

Yet Say Media, Catster’s parent company, recently got creative with alcohol. Which is to say, the company organized what it called a cocktail challenge. Employee groups were invited to engage their mixology skills and invent their own libations. Points were awarded not only for the taste of the cocktail but also for creativity and use of a chosen theme in overall presentation. What was the prize? Well, I’m not sure there was one. But no matter. Cat Dandy loves a challenge that mixes style, creativity, liquor, and the chance to dress up special and use cool glassware. Social Media Manager Liz Acosta and I met that challenge.

The name of the event was the Out of This World Cocktail Challenge, and the drinks were to have some association with outer space. The poster made for the event was taken from the old TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Oh, Gil Gerard, I don't remember you being THAT handsome!

Catster chose (who else) Lil Bub.

I mean, DUH. She comes from outer space!

Liz (who has a photography business and shot most of the photos for this post) was the first to make this connection, so we got to work. We aimed to create something either pink or purple, something that (with proper accessories) we could give a lush, slightly off-balance “past vision of the future” vibe, a Barbarella-like aesthetic. And of course we’d add a cat theme.

The result? Lil Bub’s Lil Glub (as in, “glub, glub, glub,” the sound of drinking). It’s basically a tuned-up version of what’s sometimes called a French martini. It includes vodka, framboise liqueur (framboise, pronounced fwahm-BWAHH, is French for raspberry), and pineapple juice.

Along with the above ingredients, Liz also got a canister of electric-blue, raspberry-flavored rim sugar and a jar of maraschino cherries.

I was in charge of glassware and accoutrements. I chose a pretty simple martini glass as the foundation. Very basic. To accommodate three maraschino cherries, I brought a variety of chrome olive picks that look rather Space Age. The start of the cat theme came in the form of tiny little plastic black cats whose long question-mark tails let them hang on the sides of glasses. Three such felines would intersperse the chrome skewers and cherries. To mix, I brought a chrome shaker as well as a shot glass containing the face of a black cat.

I was happy to bring things from the Cat Dandy bar at home.

I can't remember where I got these little black cats, but I knew I'd have a use for them.

Liz did her share of accessorizing, too, including these napkins.

Every team was allowed to make one "display" version of its cocktail to help the judges gauge creativity and theme -- essentially what the drink would look like if we'd served it at home or in a bar. Judges and coworkers would drink from plastic vessels. Below are two shots of our "showroom model."

We all wore cat-ears for the occasion. Not having a space suit, I chose the closest thing I have to outer space -- a subtle, dark, Art Deco psychic Rod Serling look consisting of a black three-button suit, a mid-century modern black-and-gray tie, and silver and black accessories.

"There's a signpost up ahead. Your next stop? The Cat Dandy Twilight Zone."

With the display model of Lil Bub's Lil Glug made, it was time to mix up some for "civilians" while we waited for the judges to make their way around the floor.

Liz got these cool plastic martini glasses.

A "civilian" model.

Managing Editor Vicky Walker was the first to sample.

As the five judges approached, I prepared a set of samples in small cups.

The judges seemed pretty impressed with our whole setup. Everyone who tried the cocktail remarked on how the combination of the sweet rim sugar played off the tart framboise, tangy pineapple, and strong vodka. Considering that the drink looked so colorful, many were surprised that it had such a provocatively pleasant bite.

Three of five judges contemplate the scorecards while sampling Lil Bub's Lil Glub.

Once the judges were done, other Say Media coworkers made the rounds to taste what people had done. Creative designer Matthew Castaños was one such visitor to Catster's room.

Matthew's stylish pose complements Lil Bub's Lil Glub.

Next up was a dog, namely Ramona, owned by ReadWrite Editor-in-Chief Owen Thomas.

"Sorry, Ramona. We have some treats, but no cocktails for you."

Owen himself was next (he's the one on the right in the photo below), along with Say Media CEO Matt Sanchez.

I though for sure we'd win, but we didn't. (Maybe seeing a real creature from outer space in Lil BUB was too much for the judges. Maybe they were already loopy by the time they reached us. Who knows?) Regardless, the exercise let us show some of our personal style and collaboration skills, and also to make a really cool cocktail named for a space cat.

What's your barware situation? Do you have any cat-themed cocktail equipment? Can your cat eat or drink from a martini glass? Have you named a cocktail after a cat? Do you wear cat ears when you drink? Are cats really a short-cut to the Twilight Zone? Tell me in the comments!

Cat Dandy makes a mean martini:

Learn more about your cat with Catster:

About Keith Bowers: This broad-shouldered, bald-headed, leather-clad motorcyclist also has passions for sharp clothing, silver accessories, great writing, the arts, and cats. This career journalist loves painting, sculpting, photographing, and getting on stage. He once was called "a high-powered mutant," which also describes his cat, Thomas. He is senior editor at Catster and Dogster.

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 03:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/lil-bub-catster-cat-cocktail-challenge-glub-pictures-photos
<![CDATA[Top-Secret Tips to Get Your Cats to Pose for Your Camera]]> I have been photographing Sparkle and my other two non-blogging cats, Binga and Boodie, for 11 years now. If you think it has gotten easier over time, you would be dead wrong! Sparkle especially has gotten camera-jaded, and when she hears the whirr of the lens as I turn on my point-and-shoot, I can almost see her rolling her eyes.

Sparkle is beautiful, but she is a modeling diva

Since I update Sparkle's blog every day, and most posts involve at least one photo of her or the other two cats, I have had to figure out how to urge them out of their grouchiness so I can get a decent enough photo to post. Some days, I do just let it go and pick it up again when the cats are feeling more agreeable, but if I waited on them all the time, I'd rarely get photos. So I have come up with some sure-fire ways to make them want to pose. All of them involve what marketing people refer to as the "ethical bribe."

Sadly, cash bribes will not get Binga to sit still for the camera

Cats are a lot like shoppers or prospective customers: they want to know, "What's in it for me?" They don't care about the angle of the light, time of day or your deadline. If they are not going to benefit from it, they are not going to play your game. If you want your cat to turn on the charm, figure out the things she likes best and have them ready before you even pick up the camera. And yes, I do mean things, as in multiple ideas and items. Some will work some days and then fall flat on others. You need to have backup.

Here are some examples of what have worked for my cats:

1. Treats

Binga got a little TOO excited about these treats

Treats are the logical go-to for most cats. With something edible, "What's in it for me?" is already obvious to them. I start off by letting Sparkle have one treat so she knows what she's getting. She's familiar with the routine by now, so she will sit still while I wave or rattle the bag by the camera lens, and look right at the camera (she's actually looking at the treats, but it's close enough).

My highly food-motivated tortie, Binga, is more difficult because she goes crazy if she thinks she's getting something to eat. But repeatedly placing her on her spot will eventually get her to sit still enough for a couple of photos -- after which she gets her reward, of course.

A few treats got Binga to pose nicely with a copy of Angie Bailey's book whiskerslist

Binga is also a notorious photo bomber, so I use the treats in another way -- I toss one into the hallway or far across the room while surreptitiously handing another to Sparkle or Boodie to keep their attention on me. That temporarily gets Binga out of the shot.

When I'm using treats for a photo session, I always use their low-calorie favorites because I know they will be getting several over the course of the 5 or 10 minutes I am photographing them. And I always end the session with a treat so they go off with a good feeling about the experience.

2. Catnip or Silver Vine

Sparkle only poses for the highest quality essential catnip oil spray

If I want the cats to show interest in something, I will rub a little catnip or silver vine on it. The secret here is to place the nip on the part of the item that will have them facing the light. The biggest problem, especially if you don't have Photoshop and are not proficient in a free photo editor like Gimp is to also make sure the nip isn't visible to the camera lens. I do have Photoshop, so I edit out the flakes, but it is easier to use silver vine powder because you can rub it in so it can't be seen and it will still have a powerful effect on the cats.

Catnip spray also works, but it needs to be made from the real essential oil and not cheap artificial ingredients. Cats can tell the difference.

I think I overdid the catnip for this photo session!

The biggest problem with using nip or silver vine? You have to make sure you don't overdo it and send your cat into a stupor.

3. Brushing

Sparkle actually prefers brushing over treats

Sparkle loves to be brushed. If she sees me waving the slicker brush she comes running. She usually gets brushed before a photo session anyway, and the promise of more brushing will usually inspire her to sit still while I get my clicks in.

If your cat happens to hate getting brushed (some do), then don't brush her right before a photo shoot or it will leave her with a negative impression about modeling. If your cat has long hair or needs to be brushed to be presentable, do it an hour before the photo shoot, if possible, so she does not connect the two.

4. Cat Toys

Binga pulls out the cute card for catnip toys

If your cat has favorite toys, it is always a good idea to integrate them into your photo session. The key is to remember that he will always look in the direction of the toy, so position it where you want the cat to look. Sparkle and Binga both love pipe cleaners and I save them for special occasions, so when I pull one out for a photo shoot, it makes them happy.

Anything crinkly or noisy is a great attention getter. Most cats love crinkly balls, so I often have a few on hand (or in hand) to get them to look in my direction. But don't just wave the toy by the camera lens, shoot away and then dump the toy as soon as you got what you wanted. That is cheating. You have to actually integrate a play session into your photo session. In fact, if you can make the photography part seem like an aside to playtime, the cats may barely notice the camera.

There are feathers on the other end of this toy, but Sparkle preferred the stick

If you have enough light so that you can use a quick shutter speed (your camera phone speed will automatically adjust to the amount of light), you can also get some good action shots during a play session. The light and camera speed are important because if they aren't there, you'll just get a bunch of blurry photos. You can use flash, of course, but the results won't look as nice and if the cat looks at the camera when the flash goes off, you will get the dreaded "laser eyes" effect.

5. Bags and Boxes

Boxes really are cat magnets - Boodie is waiting her turn

These kitty magnets will make many photo sessions go smoothly. The majority of cats love playing in bags, and will sit in a box long enough for you to snap some nice shots. If you don't want the box in the shot, you can still shoot some nice close up shots so you don't see it. If I want to shoot a close up of one of my cats, I put a box in an area with the type of lighting I want, put the cat in the box (sometimes they will jump in on their own) and snap a few photos.

Place box (or cardboard toy), insert cat, take photo

If you can figure out how to keep your cat entertained for just 10 minutes, you'll get some great photos. And if you find that sweet spot -- that thing that they especially enjoy -- they may actually cooperate on a regular basis!

Find out how Catster can teach you more about your cat:

About the author: How does someone go from a respected rock journalist to a blogging cat's underling? Don't ask Janiss Garza -- she's been there and done that and is as confused as you. All she knows is that one day she was helping Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead pen his autobiography and the next she was assisting her feisty Somali feline, Sparkle the Designer Cat, on her books and her blog at -- and without any credit! Fortunately she still sometimes manages to write under her own byline. She also has her own indie publishing company, FitCat, in which she nurtures other writers' talent.

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 03:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/cat-tips-pose-for-camera
<![CDATA[I Bought My Cat the World's Best Cat Bowl for Christmas]]> This Christmas, my cat, Mimosa, awoke to a something of a surprise -- her bottom-of-the-line Petco food and water bowl had been replaced by what I like to think is quite obviously the best cat bowl in the world. Just look at it!

It's made by Alessi and is called the Tigrito cat bowl. It comes in three other colors, but I thought the turquoise was a good match for Mims's personality. It's quite a fantastic thing -- and here are five reasons it just might be the best cat bowl in the world.

1. It looks awesome

With its sleek and slick lines allied to a toy-art facade, the Tigrito cat bowl is an eye-candy pleasing addition to any modern apartment.

2. The box has lots of play potential

When you open the packaging, you are met with an adorable cat's face peeking out at you! Once the box itself becomes a temporary plaything for Mimosa, I feel those holes in the cardboard are gonna be perfect for tempting her with toys.

3. It's an energy saver

The illustrated instructions to the cat bowl show that quite clearly this particular bowl will stop you expending valuable time and energy bending down to place the cat's food on the floor. Picking the bowl up by the tail really works. Revolutionary. And not at all reminiscent of a toilet brush.

4. It's functional

Beyond the cat bowl's looks, I was pleased to find out that it's actually really functional. The two bowls either side of the toy kitty are designed to be wide and shallow rather than deep and narrow, thereby avoiding any traumatic whiskers-touching-the-side-of-the-bowl issues.

The graceful slant of the bowl also makes it easier for Mims to take out every single piece of dry food on its own and bat it around the apartment for 10 minutes before eating it. This is a very important consideration.

5. It's not that expensive ... really

Mims is pulling a bit of a weird face here, but she loves her sleek new trough!

The Tigrito bowl retails for $65. Okay, that might sound like way too much to spend on a bowl that a cat eats out of, but if you add up all the wasted money spent on cat toys that are shunned and food brands that do not satisfy your kitty's palette, it's not actually that over-the-top. Plus it makes me smile every time I walk past it.

Let Catster make you laugh:

About Phillip MlynarThe self-appointed world's foremost expert on rappers' cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it's not quite what you think it is.

Thu, 26 Dec 2013 09:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/worlds-best-cat-bowl
<![CDATA[8 Ugly Cat Sweaters for the Holidays]]> The ugly sweater party is a time-honored holiday tradition, but these Christmas cat sweaters are so stunning that you'll want to wear them without an occasion.

Do we get the feeling that someone had a little too much eggnog before stitching these fuzzy kitties onto this sweater? Get it here.

Like the star that guided the three wise men, this sweater lights up like a beacon of hope. Get it here.

To describe this sweater we can only use the German phrase "verruckt Weihnachten katze erbrochenes," which pretty much means "insane Christmas cat vomit." Get it here.

This one is almost certainly hand-wash or dry-clean only. Get it here.

Lacking the holiday cheer? This sweater is like a one-two punch of Christmas magic straight to your amygdala. Get it here.

This may look like your standard-issue cat sweater, BUT. Oh, the glorious but: This cat sings Christmas carols while looking around the room at your awestruck friends and family. Yes, really. Get it here.

Instead of taking presents you don't like back to the store, BURN THEM WITH YOUR LASER EYES. It will communicate your message quickly and effectively and prompt your mom to try harder next year. Get this sweater here.

This vintage cat cardigan is ugly for a good cause: Like all of the ugly cat sweaters available at the Sweater Store, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the SPCA.

Fri, 20 Dec 2013 13:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/ugly-cat-sweaters-christmas
<![CDATA[5 Bold Gifts for the Hardcore Cat Ladies in the House]]> If you love cats and you're not afraid to show it, these gifts might be the perfect way to treat yourself -- or any other colorful cat fancier on your list.

1. Neon sweatshirts

This sweatshirt featuring a cat riding a unicorn will make you at least 35 percent more awesome. Available here.

This cat is wearing Steve Urkel glasses. Needless to say, this sweatshirt is not for the faint of heart. Available here.

2. Rings

A hungry kitty perched atop your knuckles beside a dish of peanut-shaped kibble is a surefire way to make a statement without even trying, even if that statement is "Please ask me about my lint roller." Available here.

This cute ring glamorizes the fact that our cats would shred our faces if the mood struck them. Available here.

3. Necklaces

It is totally appropriate to use onomatopoeia and the phrase "that just happened" when showing this bacon-and-eggs Nyan Cat necklace to friends and family. Available here.

A bit more understated than Nyan Cat pooping bacon, but still a standout piece. Available here.

4. Cat ear hats

Part Where the Wild Things Are and part grandma's craft project, this hat lets everyone know that once a day, you scoop poop out of a box of sand in your home -- and you wouldn't have it any other way. Available here.

5. Leggings

These leggings are called "Cats in Space." I actually own them and they are fantastic. Get your own here.

Also, since we're talking about gifts that will make a statement, I would be remiss to leave these out now that I know they exist. Available here.

About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she's an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

More by Angela Lutz:

Thu, 19 Dec 2013 03:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/cat-lady-holiday-gifts
<![CDATA[5 Subtle Gifts for the Cat Lady in Training]]> The thing about crazy cat ladies: Like karate or wizardry, there are levels. Maybe you're willing to go to work with fur-covered pants if it means five extra minutes of pre-commute snuggles with your calico girl, but you're not necessarily ready to adorn yourself in leopard print from head to toe or rock neon cat leggings. You have conversations with your cats and can discuss their antics for hours, but you aren't sure how you feel about those litter box earrings you saw your great aunt wearing.

Here are five gift ideas for the crazy cat lady in training that will let you express your feline affinity with subtlety, grace -- and awesomeness, of course.

1. Rings

These adorable cat-ear rings keep it simple. They're available here -- and they're on sale for the holidays!

This fun ring is available here. It has mad personality, so give it a name and a voice, and use that voice to address your boss during the staff meeting. So much for subtlety, I guess.

2. Coffee mugs

Grab the morning by the tail with this functional and adorable coffee mug, which is available here.

Sip the sweet nectar of life from this mug, available here, while showing your Grumpy Cat love. The best part: If you're having a bad day, Grumpy can glare at your coworkers for you.

3. Journal

Nothing says "serious artsy-fartsy writer person" quite like carrying around a Moleskine notebook and a pen while acting like a pensive space cadet. Now you can do it with cats! Get one here.

4. Necklaces

These tiny pendants go with anything. They're feminine and delicate, which is the opposite of Bubba Lee Kinsey, my antisocial brute of a cat, and Phoenix, my needy and expressive calico girl. Available here.

Get your stretch on with this cat necklace, available here. Bonus: You can get it online, meaning you won't have to be jealous that your cats are at home striking this pose in front of the heater while you're out fighting the crowds.

5. Socks

This is me modeling some rad cat socks, which were a gift from my awesome editor at Catster. Note Bubba Lee Kinsey looking lovely in the background.

The best part about cat socks: They can be as crazy as you want 'em to be, and no one has to know. Get the clever cat socks I'm modeling above here.

These knee-high socks featuring Henri, Le Chat Noir, available here, are also insanely fabulous.

About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she's an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

More by Angela Lutz:

Wed, 18 Dec 2013 03:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/subtle-cat-gifts
<![CDATA[5 Gifts Featuring Your Favorite Celebrity Cats]]> The good thing about cat people: We're easy to shop for. We're always down to don a crazy pair of cat leggings, and we love anything that looks cool and entertains the fur-beasts -- bonus if it's eco-friendly. We're beyond jazzed if we can simultaneously express our love for fashion and felines, and if we can make daily tasks like sharpening pencils, brushing our teeth, and taking shots of whiskey a bit more cat-centric, that's fab, too.

Here are a few more gift ideas from some of 2013's biggest internet celebri-kitties -- because no cat lady (or cat guy) truly has everything.

1. YES! Lil Bub tank tops

Like Bub herself, these tank tops are almost unbearably cute. They were designed by friends of Bub's dude, Mike Bridavsky, and a portion of all proceeds go to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, the Monroe County Humane Association, and Pets Alive Indiana, as well as to Bub’s rainy day medical fund.

The classic Bub tees are also neat; my friend Taylor and I are so cool that we bought them before they were cool.

That bit of hipster affectation up there was just a way to segue into the next gift idea ...

2. Greeting cards from Hamilton the Hipster Cat

Wish your friends and family a perfect holiday by sharing Hamilton's stunning 'stache. If they don't get it, they're just not cool enough. A portion of all proceeds goes to animal shelters across the country.

3. Grumpy Cat's Odor Eliminator

The unfortunate truth about living with cats: Sometimes they barf on the furniture, poop outside the box, or pee behind the television, and these bodily functions stink, literally and figuratively. But Grumpy Cat brings glad tidings: She hates odors as much as she hates you.

Grumpy's all-natural Odor Eliminator is made from sustainably farmed yucca schidigera plants, which have been used as cleaning agents for centuries and get rid of litter box stink by reducing ammonia levels.

4. Pudge phone cases

With a mustache rivaling Hamilton's, Pudge is often mistaken for a boy. But she'd like to remind you that despite the 'stache and the name, she's actually a petite little lady -- and her face looks adorable on an iPhone case.

5. Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper

My cat Bubba Lee Kinsey headbutts my copy of Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper.

The new novel by the best-selling author of Homer's Odyssey is told from the point of view of a curious cat named Prudence. It explores the mother-daughter bond and reveals how our relationships with our pets can strengthen our relationships with people, making it a great read to steel yourself for tense holiday gatherings with the family.

In fact, you might as well pick up Homer's Odyssey while you're at it. Sadly, Homer, the blind "wonder cat" who taught Cooper how to live fearlessly, passed away this year at the age of 16, but his tale of triumph will give you the extra motivation you need to kickstart those New Year's resolutions.

About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she's an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

More by Angela Lutz:

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide-internet-celebrity-cats-lil-but-hipster-grumpy-cat-pudge
<![CDATA[Gift Guide: 10 Cat-Themed Stocking Stuffers for the Family]]> Who doesn't love waking up to see a gathering of gifts under the tree on Christmas morning? I know I do. I feel like a kid all over again. I have to admit, though, even more that pretty presents, I love a nice fat Christmas stocking! I adore the mystery of trying to guess all the goodies stuffed in the festive sock. I even wrap each stuffer so the stocking experience is prolonged.

In addition to the fun of opening the tiny gifts, I get giddy choosing what I'll pack into my family members' stockings. This is where you really get to be creative. The contents have to be on the small size, yet they should pack a punch that evokes surprise, a smile and sometimes a laugh. 

Here are 10 ideas for stocking stuffers for cat lovers of most any age.

1. Gama-Go Kitty Keys

Cats hold the key to our hearts, so why shouldn't they hold the key to our houses and cars? These adorable multi-color caps slide over the top of most keys. I'm one of those people who has a collection of keys on my ring, some of which are mystery keys. Honestly, I have no idea what they open, but I'm afraid to throw them away. I placed a big purple cat head on my house key so I could find it right away and not get it mixed up with one of the useless keys to which I've become strangely attached. Fun and useful!

2. Paw Print Sticky Notes

Who doesn't like a nice sticky note? I go through these like crazy and would love to have some cute paw print-shaped ones. They're great for students or the person who needs constant reminders to remove the clothes from the washer so they don't sit overnight. Not that I've ever done that sort of thing ...

3. Cat with Glasses Shot Glass

Any cocktail tastes better when liquor is measured from a shot glass bearing the image of a bespectacled tabby. Make mine a double!

4. Pusheen the Cat Earrings

Who doesn't love the delightful whimsy of Pusheen the cat? These chubby kitty earbobs would look absolutely adorable dangling from the lobes of the young or the young at heart.

5. Cat Pencil Sharpener

Life is never dull with a cat-butt pencil sharpener! Who wouldn't love finding this pencil buddy at the bottom of their stocking? Get the lead out already and order these for all the sharp people on your list! (Sorry.) 

6. Cat Claw Bottle Opener

How cute are these? And practical, too! These stocky little bottle openers are the perfect addition to any bar or utensil drawer. Maybe Santa Claws will drop one into your stocking.

7. Purr Lip Gloss

Pucker up! This fun little tube of lip gloss comes in three colors and is the ideal stuffer for your loved one who loves cats and moist lips. 

8. Mimi Pochi Cat Coin Purse

You won't mind feeding those parking meters if you have to pull change out of this sweet little kitty cat change purse. It's a swell giftie for any age and comes in a variety of colors.

9. Pizza Cat Keychain

Pizza Cat! Yes! Gemma Correll designed this silly keychain that's nothing short of a slice of pure heaven. Plus, wouldn't cat head-capped keys look delightful dangling from this ring? 

10. Toothpaste Oscar

This Toothpaste Oscar cap sends me into giggle fits. Anyone with an oddball sense of humor would love to find this guy lodged in her stocking. It looks like he's vomiting minty toothpaste. Heh, heh. #Beavis #Butthead

Do you have ideas for fun cat-themed stocking stuffers? Tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

Read More by Angie Bailey:

Thu, 05 Dec 2013 07:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide-cat-themed-stocking-stuffers-family-cats-and-kids
<![CDATA[Our Holiday Gift Guide for the Eco-Friendly Cat Lover]]> If you're looking for the perfect gift for the cats and cat lovers in your life, why not consider an eco-friendly present? Green gift options have come a long way over the past few years. They’re cute, delightful, and priced about the same as less eco-friendly options. So why not choose a gift this holiday season that your cats are sure to love and that’s also loving to Mother Earth?

Here are 10 fabulous green gift suggestions to simplify your holiday shopping -- including a last-minute gift idea, too.

1. Chewy the Hemp Rope

If your cats love to celebrate the holidays, here's a way for them to tie one on without getting too loopy. Chewy the Hemp rope is a double-knotted rope toy that’s strong and durable. It’s also marinated in potent all-natural catnip to guarantee your cats will certainly be feeling festive with this toy.

2. Kitty Clean Doormat

This beautiful doormat is a wonderful way to be welcomed home each day, which makes it a great gift for the cat lovers in your life and maybe yourself, too. The Kitty Clean doormat is hand-braided from natural coir fibers. Coir is made from the outer husks of coconuts. It's sturdy, long lasting and water resistant. And, not only is the kitty mat eco-friendly, it also supports fair trade for women artisans in Bangladesh.

3. New Age Pet Litter Loo

Here's a stylish and eco-friendly way to conceal your cat's litter box. The New Age Pet Litter Loo also doubles as a modern-looking end table. Inside, there's plenty of room for your cat to do her business and the front door folds down for easy cleaning. Plus, there are two side vents to keep the air flowing inside. The Litter Loo is made from ecoFLEX, which is a completely biodegradable and compostable plastic. This end table is so attractive, you could even forgo the litter box and use it as a cozy cat condo. Throw a soft cushion inside and your cat’s got a new place to nap.

4. Harry Barker Rope Mouse Cat Toy

Cats can never have too many mouse toys. Here's a fun and cute critter that your cat will love to pounce on. The Harry Barker rope mouse cat toy is made from recycled cotton yarn that is colored with chemical-free dyes. This makes the rope safe for pets to chew on for hours. The mouse is also machine washable so you can toss it in the wash instead of the trash when it gets ratty looking.

5. Catit Design Home, Two-Story Hangout

Here's a great gift for the eco-Zen cat lover in your life. It's the Catit two-story hangout. This beautiful perch is made from banana leaf panels which are naturally shred resistant. And, when your kitty is finished with being in the nap zone, she can activate her play chakras by swatting the natural seagrass hanging toy. The hangout also comes in a three-story version too.

6. Tipsy Nip Play Pack

If your cat loves to wrestle, then she’ll love the Tipsy Nip Play Pack. This combo includes a jar of Tipsy Nip high potency organic catnip and a 6-inch Tickle Pickle. The pickle is a soft pickle-shaped cat toy that’s filled with 100-percent organic catnip. There are no added fillers or polyester stuffing in this pickle. It’s just pure organic catnip.

7. Imperial Cat Large Tiger Scratcher

Here's an eco-friendly scratching post that's ideal for homes with multiple cats or for one extra-spoiled cat. The giant Tiger Scratch ‘N Shape has plenty of room for scratching, lounging and napping. The scratcher is made in the USA from 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper. It's also fully recyclable and comes with a bag of organic catnip.

8. Natural Wand Toy in Christmas Colors

This natural wand toy from Mountain Cat Trees is made from a hardwood dowel and hemp twine, which is dyed with food-grade coloring. It’s available in a combination of Christmas colors just for the holiday season. When the tassels get worn out, you can easily replace them by simply unhooking the old attachment and adding a new one.

9. Crawly Critter

Made in the USA by West Paw Design, the Crawly Critter will worm its way into your cat’s heart by becoming one of her favorite toys. It’s filled with premium certified organic catnip. At 11-inches long, this eco-friendly toy is perfect for pouncing, attacking and wrestling.

10. Make Your Own Cat Toys Ebook

Here’s the ideal last-minute gift for cat lovers who want to reduce, reuse and recycle. Instead of buying something for the stocking, this ebook can be delivered digitally to any email inbox. The ebook features over 50 cat toys that can be made in minutes from recyclables or old stuff already around the home. A hard copy version is also available, but as a lifelong environmentalist and the author of Make Your Own Cat Toys, I’d recommend the digital option to reduce your holiday carbon footprint.

About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert and lifelong environmentalist. Practicing Taoist, Dragon Spirit Guide and Chinese Reflexologist who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will. Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles' heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles. Check her out at her Chinese reflexology website.

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 05:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/holiday-gift-guide-eco-friendly-cat-lover-owner-cats
<![CDATA[Catster Gift Guide: For the Fashion-Forward Cat Lady]]> In a year where cat fashion went mainstream, there's a whole galaxy of undiscovered feline inspired fashions to delight the cool cat ladies in your life. Skip the cheesy kitty collectibles in favor of adorable bags, cozy clothing, and gorgeous accessories that scream feline chic instead of crazy cat person. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

 1. Critter on the Dance Floor Bag

Be the #1 cat lady stunna with this black vegan faux-leather clutch with a detachable gold strap! This amazing structural bag would make a cherished gift to any cat lover, and is perfect for a night out on the town. You know what they say: A little black cat goes with every outfit.

 2. Purrfect Fair Isle Slipper Boots

You might not catch me wearing UGGS in public, but in the comfort of my own home, the cozier the booties, the better! These super deluxe slippers sport an aww-inducing Fair Isle feline print, proclaiming just how "purrfect" they really are. Little black cats give them life, with faux fur trim and poms poms to boot! 

3. Peter Pan Cats Collar

How do you instantly add a touch of feline flair to any outfit? A peter pan cat collar that can easily be layered over any top to complete the look! Etsy seller By Elhe. handprints her limited edition accessories in Germany, giving each piece unique character, and increasing the odds that you'll be giving a one-of-a-kind gift.

4. Galaxy Cat Sweatshirt

If your cat friend is the kawaii type, this oversized sweatshirt will be like catnip to her senses. Between the candy colors and precious kitten, there's no way not to fall under its spell. The dreamy, interplanetary top is a collaboration between designer Funky Catsterz and JapanLA, both of whom are experts in bringing the cute.

5. Lil Bub Spaceship Socks

The internet's favorite feline, Lil Bub, is a movie star, talk show host, and author, but now you can add sock designer to the list. Bub recently announced the sale of some ridiculously amazing socks featuring her taking flight in a hot pink space pod! The socks were designed by Lil B's friend Jen Miller, and the design is made with thread (not printed), so you can keep the Bub-tastic vibes going forever. As always, a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Bub's shop go to helping various animal welfare organizations, so it's a purchase you can feel good about on many levels.

6. Marc by Marc Jacobs iPhone Case

As a black cat lover and Marc Jacobs enthusiast, I freaked out (in a good way) about the designer's latest collection of kitty-inspired clothing and accessories featuring a mysterious black cat named Rue. Almost every item from the line is on my wish list, including this fluorescent iPhone case, along with jewelry, totes, shirts, and more. 

7. Quilted Cat Cross-Body Bag

I love me a cross-body bag so I can keep my hands free to do more important things (like retweet the latest Pusheen cartoon, for example), and this little kitty purse is to die for. The sleek black pouch pops with a plush quilted exterior, accented with a pair of unexpected cat ears.

8. Cat Bracelet

I received one of Salty Kisses Hawaii's beautifully handmade bracelets as a gift from Fancy Feast after attending their cat-inspired fashion show in September, and I love it so much that I've worn it nearly every day since! Although mine doesn't match this design, I'm already thinking about adding this delicate kitty to my jewelry collection. The 14k-gold-filled cat bracelet also comes in sterling silver, and is available in ring form, too.

9. Paul & Joe Kitten Eye & Cheek Color Set

It's always fun to give and get make-up as a gift, but who wouldn't want to receive a fancy set of feline-themed face paint? Paul & Joe, who revolutionized the fashion world with their cat-shaped lipsticks and kitty-embossed blushes, have put together a perfect collection, just in time for holiday gift giving. A cat-topped zip pouch comes stuffed with an eye color duo, cream blush, and lipstick that's almost too adorable to wear.

10. Cozy Kitty Hoodie

Ditch your lazy Sunday outfit in favor of some seriously fancy duds. This fantastically-plush oversized cat-eared hoodie makes for luxurious lounging attire, especially when paired with an equally catty pair of leggings. Get it for your bestie, or score a set for yourself to wear on Christmas morning.

Mon, 02 Dec 2013 11:00:00 -0800 /cat-chic/holiday-gift-guide-cat-lady
<![CDATA[Marc Jacobs Puts Rue the Black Cat on a Line of Clothing and Accessories]]> Marc Jacobs might be a dog guy -- his Bull Terrier, Neville, even has his own Instagram account --  but he still has a soft spot for cats and the ladies who love them.

As someone with a slight black cat obsession (if I lived in the world of Harry Potter, my Patronus would be a black kitty), I'm crazy in love with the new Marc by Marc Jacobs line of clothing and accessories, featuring Rue the cat. The artistic feline appears on shirts, electronics cases, and holographic jewelry that provide double the feline love. After all, a little black cat goes with everything, and these lucky felines prove they aren't just for Halloween anymore!

1. Rue Printed Tee

I'm always ready to rock a kitty tee, and cannot resist this artistic take on my favorite-colored cat! Of course, cats are beautiful all on their own, but I love the red cheeks, starry body, and trippy, dripping tail that make this cool Rue print unique.


The cotton shirt, which has a Marc by Marc Jacobs logo on the back, also reminds me of another fashionable black feline: Milu, who appeared on a shirt, tote, and scarf as part of designer Jason Wu's 2012 collection for Target.

2. Rue iPad Case

If you're going to cover your iPad, you might as well do it in style -- cat style, that is. Rue pops up again on this raised silicone case, this time against a hot pink background that really makes her pop!

If you don't have an iPad, the fluorescent feline design is available for other electronic accessories, too. Get your fix through a matching iPhone 5 case, neoprene laptop cover, and a iPhone "boost" case that includes a detachable battery sleeve capable of charging your phone for up to 24 hours.

3. Rue Art Cat Watch

Admittedly, I'm not much of a watch wearer (between my phone and laptop, I'm hardly ever at a loss for what time it is), but this gorgeous piece is making me change my mind about having time on my hands. 

The fashionable watch wears more like a piece of art, and the numbers have been replaced by the letters that make up Jacobs's name. When your kitties start meowing about being fed, just tell them they have to wait until half past M o'clock. 

4. Lenticular Rue Ring

What's better than one black kitty? How about two! At first I was torn between the Rue illustration and the black cat photo shown below, until I realized I could have the both of best worlds. You see, the collection includes some crazy cool holographic accessories like a button, bag charm, and this oversized statement ring, that switch back and forth between kitty pictures!

Move your hand one way to show the artsier side of Rue, while tilt it another to reveal a sleek black cat portrait. Better yet? The chunky resin ring is surrounded by tiny crystals, that add the perfect amount of bling.

5. Rue iPhone 5 Lenticular Case

Hold the case one way to reveal the artsier side of Rue.

I'm the proud owner of a cat-themed Marc by Marc Jacobs iPhone cover from a few seasons back, but as soon as I upgrade to a new phone, I can't wait to get my paws on this fresh new cover to match!

Just like the accessories mentioned above, this iPhone 5 case gives you two looks for the price of one, depending on how you look at it! Do you prefer the painting like rendition of Rue the cat (above), or the portrait of a black kitty, below? I don't think I could ever choose, but thanks to this lenticular design, I don't have to.

Tilt it another to reveal this sleek black cat portrait!

Looking for more cat style? Check these out: 

Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:00:00 -0700 /cat-chic/marc-jacobs-rue-black-cat-clothing-accessories
<![CDATA[Halloween Inspiration: Costume Ideas from My Sister's Cat]]> For the most part, I am so obsessed with my cat, Keith, that I rarely get jealous of the good looks, behavior, or attitude of other people's animals. This changes around Halloween, when the bizarre compulsion I share with many humans to dress up animals and babies is most active.  

You can see from the mad shade I am being thrown in the photo below just how uninterested Keith is in being dressed up:

My sister’s cat, Annabelle, on the other hand, is a pro at costumes. She has never minded getting dolled up for Halloween and other special occasions. Even though there is very little on the market for cats to wear at Halloween, repurposed baby, puppy, and stuffed animal clothes or DIY creations make Halloween a great opportunity to show off your precious pet.

Here she is as a baby graduating from Kitten College in a graduation teddy bear’s cap:

Her costumes have gotten better each year. Just in time for Halloween, here's a short retrospective of her best costumes to serve as inspiration for those of you whose cats are game for outfits. For those of us with pets who won't let us deck them out, it's a bittersweet look at what can never be.

1. Fishercat: A Great Sportsman and Environmentalist

If we used online videos as the measuring tool for what animal is the greatest enemy of the cat, dogs would be the assumed choice. But don’t trust the Internet; it will only let you down. The true enemies of cats are fish, which are surprisingly good fighters when they encounter cats.

In a fisherman’s costume, your cat can take out its natural aggression toward fish and be part of the food movements that ask us humans to consider where our food comes from. Taking your cat back to the source of their nourishment may awaken in them an appreciation for nature’s splendor and abundance. Plus, you get to have a cat in a fishing vest. So there’s that.

2. Elizabeth Taylor: The Laziest of Cat Halloween Costumes

This “costume” is something of a stretch, as it's really just a piece of costume jewelry that was sitting around and happened to look amazing on a cat, particularly one with such a disapproving face. It is best for photo ops rather than all-night cat partying, seeing as it is most comfortable when the cat sits still and looks glamorous. Also, it seems that it would be hard to keep on and walk at the same time.

This costume (and really all the others) can be worn at any time of year, depending on how strong the impulse is to play dress up with your pet pal.

3. Scarlett O’Hara: 100% Elegance, 100% Class 

In this homemade get-up inspired by Gone With the Wind, your cat will surely be the belle of the Halloween ball. Though the material here is a bit more shiny than the original velvet curtain fibers at Tara, it is important to shine on Halloween!

The little hat will stay on for approximately three photo opportunities and then fall off or be taken off by your cat, but it is well worth it for this trip down South and back in time with your feline friend.

4. ACATopholis: Prehistoric Style, Modern Attitude

In this homemade dinosaur costume, Annabelle channels her inner reptile and delivers a classic Halloween costume with an attitude that non-felines can only hope to replicate. The spikes on her back give this costume an edge, but her inquisitive little face reveals that she has retained her childlike wonder and charm. There are about 457 dinosaur/cat puns that I am tempted to use right now, but I will spare you.

5. Father Catmas: When Holidays Collide!

While it is generally unacceptable to wear a Halloween costume to a Christmas party, it is pretty a-okay to dress as a Christmas-themed character for Halloween. This Santa Claus outfit can be worn twice for good reasons. For the less compelling (but still completely understandable) desire to dress up your cat in adorable little Santa booties, use it as many times as you want. 

An alternative holiday get-up if your cat will not tolerate the booties (and many won’t) is the candy cane winter sweater. Though it is unconventional to dress your cat up as a Human Grandfather, there is no rule book when it comes to dressing up your cat in costumes; people already think you’re crazy, anyway.

6. Bumblebee Cat: Because What Is Cuter Than That?

I used to be under the impression that babies dressed as lobsters were the apex of cuteness and that nothing could possibly beat them. Then came the day when I saw Annabelle buzzing about in a bee costume in her backyard. How could I have been fooled for so long by babies dressed as lobsters?

This costume is easy to find around Halloween, as people are strangely okay with dressing up their dogs and babies and inanimate toys as some of society’s most-feared insects.  (What can I say? Bee fur is just so much cuter on a fur baby than a real bee.)

These are just one cat’s forays into the fun and glamorous world of finding and rocking Halloween costumes. What have you dressed your cat in that wasn’t meant for a cat?  What will your cat be for Halloween this year? How often do you dress your cat up in the off-season? We’re all friends here.

Read more by Alana Murray and about cats in clothes:

 Top photo: Cat in uniform by Shutterstock

Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/halloween-cat-pet-costumes-ideas-diy