Christmas Gone To The Cats

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Annie brought 5 year old little Benjamin to the mall to have his photo taken with Santa Claus. It was his first time. She gently placed little Benny on Santa's lap then whipped out a comb to tidy his hair. With a final encouraging pat on his head, and a smile for Santa, she stepped back to let the camera-guy take the photo.

Proud momma? Well, a proud momma-of-sorts . . . because Benjamin is not her son. Benjamin is her five year old brown and white tabby cat!

Silly? Not really. For many people, cats are members of the family, ranking just slightly below their actual children. So it is not surprising that, just like kids, cats are having their picture taken with Santa each year.

Going Mainstream

Typically, pet photos with Santa would happen at a pet store or a veterinary clinic . . . but Santa pet photography is increasingly going mainstream — at the mall.

Pet owners typically pay between $20 to $50 for a photo of their cat or dog with Santa. Pets will usually have a special day when Santa and the photographer shoot animals exclusively.

Santa doesn't welcome pets who are "naughty". They gotta be "nice" . . . All pets are welcome as long as they are easy to handle.

Photo by Jess Isaiah Levin , Classical Photography

Charitable Donations

If your friends think your are "crazy" for having your cat's photo taken with Santa, you can respond with heart-warming logic — because often a portion of income from "Pet with Santa photos" is donated to local animal rescue organizations. You are just giving back!

Of course, you are also reaping a passel of smiles and a few giggles sharing your cat with Santa photo with family and friends.

More than a few loved ones of cat owners will find a framed photo of Santa and Fluffy under the Christmas tree.

Pet Purchasing Power

Kitty will not be forgotten at gift-giving time. About 40 percent of cats will find a little something special under the tree on Christmas day, according to survey by the American Pets Products Association.

This holiday, US pet owners will spend up to $5 billion, which represents about 10 percent of what people spend on their pets each year.

Pet lovers not only buy gifts for their own pets at Christmas, but friends' pets as well. Many cat lovers also make a point of donating to pet causes during the season.

Final Thoughts

People are as passionate about their pets as parents are with their kids. Photos with Santa are probably more fun for the owners than the pets. For many it remains a Christmas tradition.


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