Our cats are part of our family and we do our best to keep them safe. During the holidays, we need to take extra precautions to make sure we keep little paws and whiskers from getting into too much mischief that could cause them harm. The holiday season brings decorations, plants and usually a lot of rich food. Here are nine tips to keep your cat safe this holiday season.
Nine Tips To Keep Your Cat Safe This Holiday Season
1) Holiday Plants
The Poinsettia is often spoken of to be highly toxic but this flower is actually considered to have a lower toxicity for cats than many other more dangerous plants. The Amaryllis, Holly, Lily, Mistletoe and the Paperwhite Narcissus are common holiday plants that are toxic to cats. If you are uncertain about a plant and are concerned that your cat may have eaten something dangerous, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s animal poison control center at 888-426-4435.
The best way to keep your cat safe is to not bring any of these plants into your home. Remember, even if you think the plant is in a safe location, cats are clever and might find a way to get to the plant. Better safe and keep your home free from harmful plants.
2) The Christmas Tree
Real Christmas tress can pose a safety threat because pine needles can be dangerous if your cat eats them. Christmas tree water that keeps a cut tree fresh might also contain chemicals that can make your cat sick. Make certain your cat can’t get access to the water in the tree stand.
3) Hanging ornaments
The shiny, swinging movement alone makes ornaments irresistible to your cat. Place cat-friendly ornaments low on the tree to keep your cat safe in the likely event that she gets her paws on one of them. Make sure these lower hanging ornaments are not made of a material that your cat can chew or swallow. Be careful of low hanging glass ornaments too as they can shatter when they are batted off the tree causing injury to paws and feet and even worse if your cat were to ingest any of the pieces.
We have beautiful mercury glass ornaments that have remained in their boxes this Christmas. We will wait until Annie and Eddie are older before we attempt to have a Christmas tree again.
4) Tinsel and icicles
If you have a feline family member, just say no to the tinsel and silver glittery dangling icicles. Super shiny and easy to chew, tinsel is extremely dangerous for your cat. If your cat should eat tinsel, they will most likely require emergency surgery. As pretty as tinsel is, it is just not worth the risk.
5) Bright colored bows and ribbons
If eaten, the ribbon can cause your cats intestines to twist and without surgery, this can be fatal. I am not suggesting you don’t wrap your presents, but please place packages with ribbon and bows in a protected area and don’t leave your presents in an unsupervised area where your cat can get into trouble. Just takes those extra steps to keep your cat safe.
Cats like to jump, pounce and investigate new things in the home. Cats are smart but they could get burned or she might swing her tail and knock over a candle. The risk of your cat getting burned or causing a fire is enough reason to opt for battery operated candles. These safe candles can help create the holiday spirit and your cat won’t singe her whiskers or worse.
Potpourri is a popular way to keep the home smelling like the holidays, but your cat might be tempted to chew and eat the potpourri. Typically potpourri mixes contain essential oils that are toxic to your cat. It is best to keep containers of potpourri way out of your cat’s reach or better yet, just don’t bring it into your home.
8) Holiday Food:
Food glorious food! Is there any time of the year with more tempting food in the home for both humans and cats? Rich food is not good for cats and well, not so great for us either when we overdo it. If your cat is used to getting fed from your table, this might be the best time to break that habit. Never give a cat a bone. Never! It is really best to allow your cat to stick to her regular diet and indulge her with a few extra cat treats that you know are safe for her.
9) Electrical cords:
Electrical cords can become a temptation to a playful cat. Be careful not to leave cords dangling as these can be too hard for your cat to resist. Place electrical cords where your cat will not be tempted to play or chew. If you have a cat who likes to chew on cords, use bitter apple or citrus on the cords to discourage your cat.
Enjoy the Holidays
Guests can be a source of stress for you and your cat. Make sure your guests understand your rules for keeping your cat safe or better yet, place your cats out of harms way in a master bedroom or other closed room so that you can enjoy your guests without fearing for your feline family member’s safety.
At first this list might seem like we are trying to take the fun out of your holiday celebration, but the joy your cat brings into your life year round is well worth altering your holiday decorations to make sure every family member is safe and happy.
Wishing you a happy holiday season.