Holiday Safety Tips For Your Cat

The holiday seasons means many significant changes in our regular routines, home decorations, and eating habits and this can be very upsetting and dangerous for our cats who rely on us to keep them safe. Cats are curious little critters and shiny decorations, food left on tables, candles, Christmas trees and other intriguing objects are going to pique our cats’ interest. If we aren’t careful many of our beloved holiday traditions can end in a trip to the animal emergency room, and nobody wants that.
 
Here are some tips to help your kitty to survive the holiday season and enjoy this wonderful and magical time of year.

1. Do Not Leave Candles Unattended

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)
 
Did you know that 1000 house fires are started by pets every year? Many people use candles to celebrate the holidays, but candles can be dangerous if left unattended. Be sure that your candles or menorah are either in a very safe place that your cat can’t get to, or be sure someone is keeping an eye on those candles when they are lit.

2. Fake Christmas Trees Are Better For Cats

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)
 
Most of our cats have full run of the house, which means they get into everything, and the Christmas tree can be full of potentially deadly dangers. A fake tree is better for cats, but if you are going to have a real tree, take extra precautions. Make sure it is well-watered so that the pine needles do not dry out and fall off. Also keep an eye on the water at the base of your live tree. It could contain fertilizers that seep out of the tree, and it can also go stagnant and become a breeding ground for bacteria that could make your kitty ill. And we all know how kitties love “found water”.
 
If your tree gets dry and the needles fall off, the sharp needles can puncture the internal organs of cats if they are ingested. They are also poisonous, and cats love to chew on them.
 
Make sure that your tree is firmly grounded so that it won’t topple over if your kitty decides to climb up the trunk and play with ornaments, which is almost sure to happen at some point during the holiday season.
 
Loose and detachable decorations are perhaps the biggest worry. Confetti, tinsel, ribbons, wraps, and other such decorations should be securely anchored to the Christmas tree, preferably up near the top.
 
Electric wiring is a hazard; keep lights on only when required. Apply a cat repellent to prevent your curious feline from getting too close to the lights.
 
Check decorative items for potential toxicity if ingested by your cat. For example, artificial snow is extremely toxic. Don’t use it.

3. Avoid Mistletoe and Holly

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)
 
Holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems.

Artificial versions of both of these plants are going to be a much safer option if you have cats.

4. Know What Foods Are Toxic To Cats

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)
 
Hopefully by now you are aware of the toxicity of chocolate and xylitol for all pets. Make sure to keep kitty away from food tables and unattended plates. Watch those cocktails, too. If your cat gets a hold of a cocktail, he or she could become weak, ill, and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure. Cocktails are no laughing matter when it comes to our kitties.
 

5. Lay The Ground Rules For Guests

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)

(Picture Credit: Shutterstock)
 
Make sure all guests know that you have a cat, and let them know what the rules are ahead of time to avoid problems later. It’s important that people know to keep doors and windows shut so your cat doesn’t escape, and that feeding kitty table scraps is against the rules. Be sure that children are supervised, and let them know if your cat likes attention or would prefer to be left alone. You may just want to designate a quiet room for your cat when having company to keep everyone safe, secure and happy.
 
What are some other helpful tips that help you get through the holidays with your cats? Let us know in the comments below!