It’s that time of year again! Christmas trees and decorations, presents and bows and lots of yummy goodies to eat.
Although these are fun things for us to enjoy, we need to take some precautions to make sure our cats (and dogs) remain safe this holiday season.
Here are a few tips from Halo, Purely for Pets:
- Poisonous plants. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and lilies are a few plants that may cause vomiting and diarrhea or even organ failure and death. Keep holiday plants out of your cat’s reach or opt for imitation!
- Holiday tree hazard. Cats may jump on the tree or try to pull something off it (especially food decorations) so securely attach the tree to the wall so it will remain upright and not injure your cat if it falls. Place a barrier (like a child’s playpen) around the tree to prevent your cat from chewing on the needles or drinking the tree water, which often contains preservatives, flame retardants, fertilizers, or other chemicals. All cords should be covered to avoid electrical burns or even electrocution. Avoid using artificial snow sprays or scents on your tree as these products contain chemicals your cat could ingest.
- No tinsel or angel hair. These items are particularly attractive to cats and may lead to intestinal blockages if eaten.
- Decorate packages sparingly. Although ribbons and string make your holiday packages look festive, they pose significant intestinal dangers to cats if ingested. Do not place ribbons or decorations around your cat’s neck or on their collars as these are choking or strangling hazards.
- Burn hazards. Keep candles and potpourri pots up high and out of reach of your cat to avoid burns. Cats often seek the heat and light from candles even up high, so you might want to consider avoiding candles altogether or going flameless!
- Food hazards. All chocolate, alcohol, rich fatty foods, uncooked dough, fruits, nuts and other known toxins (onions, garlic, etc) should be kept out of your cat’s reach. Cats have an excellent sense of smell and will find wrappers or packages that contain traces of food. Feed your cat a high quality meal before any parties so they are less likely to beg or steal food from your guests. As a safeguard, inform all friends and family that your cat is not to be fed any of the holiday fare. You or your guests can also reward your cat with nutritious treats during a party to reinforce the message of “paws off” the holiday food.