Your cats are your family and you want to make and share memories with them around the holidays. As the Holiday Season approaches, take a few minutes to check your home to make sure your cats are safe so your holiday festivities remain jolly.
The Christmas Tree
The tree poses an exciting adventure for your cat-take a few precautions to avoid harm to your cat.
A Christmas tree can look like Mt Everest to an adventurous kitty-Make sure your tree is well anchored so it doesn’t tip and hurt the intrepid climber. If you add chemicals to the water meant to keep your tree fresh, be sure to read the label to make sure it is safe for pets. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria-keep the water fresh and the container clean.
There is something about those shiny strands of tinsel which drives kitties wild. Although it’s cute to watch your cat pawing at the tree decorations, the ingestion of tinsel can be deadly. Not only can it cause severe nausea and vomiting, but it can lead to perforation of the intestines.
Keep wires, batteries, and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract
Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Poinsettias have received bad publicity in the past whereas, in fact, poinsettias are not very toxic to pets. They do contain a milky sap that can irritate the mouth but if signs develop they are usually mild. Mistletoe can be very toxic to animals and you should seek veterinary consultation immediately if your pet has potentially ingested any part of the plant. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.
Holiday Wine and Dine
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where your cat cannot get to them.
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. And chocolate has no place in your kitty’s diet. Cats can join the festivities in other fun ways that can avoid making you do an emergency run to the vet with a case of severe stomach upset or even worse-pancreatitis. You can check out the ASPCA’s website to get a full list of foods that are toxic to your kitty. Make sure to keep your cats away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
New Year’s Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.
Holidays can be very stressful for you, but it can also affect your cats. We know cats LOVE their routines, but the running around, changes in the home environment and strange faces can disrupt the structured lives that your cat thrives on. Be a little more attentive to how your cat is handling the hustle and bustle. Some pets may respond to all the hullabaloo with a change in behavior including hiding or showing aggression. Try to spend a little extra “quality time” with your cat to assure them they have not been forgotten. And give them “personal space” to escape to if they want to get away from the commotion.
Article published by Katie Tontala, CFMT