We are happy cat people with five furry feline companions. While we consider our kitties safety throughout the year, we take extra precautions during the holiday season. New things enter our homes at Christmas and cats are curious by nature. That curiosity sometimes gets them into trouble. Here are some tips to help keep your cat safe during the holidays.
Opt for Artificial
Don’t panic. I’m not talking about your pantry. I’m talking plants. Confession? I prefer artificial plants year round anyway because they are easier to water! However, on a serious note, holly, lilies, and mistletoe can cause heart failure in pets. While poinsettias aren’t highly toxic, they can cause vomiting and loose bowels in cats. Fallen pine needles fascinate cats. Ingesting these little barbs can puncture intestines. Additionally, real trees need water and fertilizers. Water attracts cats, and tree fertilizers are not flavor shots for cat water.
In short, artificial plants are safer than many live plants. If you want live plants in your home, try growing catnip! It’s easy to raise and helps with hairball control.
Forego the Tinsel
Nothing tantalizes cats more than stringy things. Last month, my son’s emotional support cat, Dust, began acting lethargic and cranky. She wouldn’t eat and avoided the litter box. So, we took her to the vet. Xrays revealed gas backed up in her intestines and the vet suspected Dust swallowed a string. After an overnight hospital stay accompanied by an enema, Dust passed the string. She was luckier than many cats. Sometimes, the string becomes so entwined in the intestines making expensive surgery or euthanization the only options.
Tuck away dangling wires
Two of my cats eat wires. It’s just what they do. I wrap any exposed wire in a plastic casing made for the purpose. It’s difficult to do that with Christmas lights, though. Your best bet is to tuck dangling wires out of sight and supervise your cat around holiday decorations. Avoid putting lights on the lower limbs, as well. Securely fasten wires on wall-mounted decorations to the wall. Also, use something like Ssscat Spray to keep your cat away from the tree. If the device senses movement, it blasts a spritz of air at the cat. They don’t like the hissing sounds and avoid the location.
People food is not suitable for cats
Besides being loaded with calories your cat doesn’t need, some people food is harmful to pets. Notoriously dangerous chocolate, alcohol, and xylitol aren’t the only kitty cat dangers lurking in the kitchen. Cover trash cans and put away leftovers. Get your cats a special treat just for them. Opt for a flavor they do not usually get.
I know my cats love rabbit cat food and their favorite is Instinct by Nature. It’s made in America without grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives. Since it’s not a flavor they get often, it’s a real treat, and they don’t have to feel left out for the holiday feasting!
Supervise lit candles. A curious cat can burn himself or start a house fire.
Keep your cat safe around visitors
Our cats live indoors. We don’t allow them outdoors because we live in the woods with coyotes, owls, and other predators higher on the food chain. When we entertain more people, we allow our cats a room to themselves. While it keeps the cats from bolting for the open door (and knocking down frail and aging guests), it also prevents guests from feeding your cats people food. One of our cats has kidney disease and needs a special diet. Some guests ignore my most urgent pleadings not to feed our cats foods we do not give them. Also, our most timid kitties (Autumn and Mittens) prefer the quiet bedroom seclusion to a large crowd. After the crowd thins out and leftover food is put away, I bring the cats out to socialize and interact with the remaining guests.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.