It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again already. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and before you defrost the turkey and welcome your guests, here are some tips all cat lovers and owners should keep in mind this holiday season.
1. Save Human Foods For The Humans
Everyone knows there’s nothing quite as delicious as Thanksgiving food and those intoxicating smells and tastes are sure to have your kitty begging for a taste of the turkey or fat and trimmings. But ignore those pleading eyes no matter what, because ingesting the rich meats, vegetables, and desserts of the holiday season can cause some serious health problems for your kitty.
The fat content in Thanksgiving meats and sides are sometimes difficult for a human to digest, but can prove dangerous for your cat. Eating too much fatty Thanksgiving food, especially things like turkey skin and gravy, can not only cause severe stomach upset, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting, it can also put your dog at risk for pancreatitis.
Poultry bones, both raw and cooked, have been known to cause series health issues in pets. When ingested, bone fragments and splinters can break off and get caught in the pet’s mouth or esophagus, causing the pet to choke. Bone shards can also cause serious punctures in the digestive tract that can lead to a bacterial infection called peritonitis, a condition that can prove fatal.
Many commonly used ingredients in Thanksgiving food can be toxic to your pet. Dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, mushrooms, onions, alcohol, and even some herbs and spices can pose a danger when eaten. Sage, an herb frequently found in Thanksgiving stuffings and dressings, can even cause damage to a cat’s central nervous system if ingested in large quantities.
2. Maintain Your Cats Regular Schedule
With loud parties, new people, hectic schedules, and emotions running high, it’s easy to forget your four-legged family members might be just as stressed out as you this Thanksgiving. The holidays can be a time of anxiety for you — and your pet — so try to stick to their normal schedule as best as you can. If your cat is used to spending a hour outside in the back yard with you in the mornings, don’t skip it just because it’s Thanksgiving. If your cat is used to eating at the same time every day, make sure to keep that same feeding schedule on Turkey Day too. Sticking to your cat’s daily routine can provide a sense of normalcy and help to alleviate at least some of your kitties holiday stress.
3. Lay The Ground Rules For Kids And Other Guests
Thanksgiving typically means welcoming a bunch of people into your home, and sometimes, these people are completely new to your pet. If your dog is not used to meeting new people or behaving calmly around large groups, you might want to put her in a back bedroom when the guests arrive.
Make sure your guests know that you have a cat, ask them not to give the cat any scraps or treats, or to make sure bedroom doors stay shut. If there are children, be sure they are made aware of your cat and how to greet your cat and be respectful to your kitty or let them know to leave the cat alone. Whatever works for you and your kitty.
4. Provide A Quiet Place For Kitty To Relax
Holiday gatherings can sometimes prove overwhelming for more skittish cats, so be sure to provide a safe sanctuary away from the party for your cat if necessary. The spot should be quiet, calm, and set back from the flow of party traffic. Provide some favorite toys for comfort, and make sure to place your cat’s food and water dishes where they can be easily accessed. Take time away from your guests to check on your kitty throughout the day and evening as well and give her some love.
5. Keep Collars On And Make Sure Microchip Info Is Up-To-Date
As guests arrive, step outside, and leave for the evening after your Thanksgiving feast, your cat might take the opportunity to make a break for it and run out of the front door or escape through the back gate. The holiday season can put even the pets least likely to run away on edge, and it is possible that your cat could get loose.
Before your guests arrive, make sure that your cat’s collar is on, fastened, and secure. Check all identification tags on the collar for your current contact information. And finally, if your cat doesn’t have one already, a microchip is a great way to make sure that your cat can be identified, even if his or her collar has been removed. Contact your veterinarian about having a microchip implanted before the holiday season is in full swing. If your pet is already microchipped, it is a good idea to double-check that the information connected to the chip is updated. It’s better to be safe than sorry this holiday season.
Do you have any other holiday safety tips for cats to share with other cat lovers?