Although holidays often buzz with fun and commotion, they can be scary, or even downright dangerous, for cats. However, a host can make a Thanksgiving Day celebration safe for cats relatively easily with a few simple precautions. Here are a few tips for having a safe Thanksgiving with your cat!
Give Your Cat A Safe Haven
While some cats are fairly social and get along well with guests, many others are not that comfortable and will be anxious and edgy, perhaps springing out the door if the opportunity arises. In deciding whether to let kitty participate in the Thanksgiving festivities, consider the following (in addition to the cat’s temperament):
- How many guests are coming?
- Will the doors frequently be opened and closed?
- Will children be running in and out?
- How do the guests respond to cats?
In many cases, you will find it simpler, and more calming for your cat, to put them in a bedroom or den and keep the door shut for the duration of the action. The garage and outdoors are not acceptable options for safety reasons. It may be helpful to feed your cat first to prevent whining. Give the cat access to a litter box, water, a couple of toys, and a place to snuggle, and they will be fine.
Putting a “Thank You for Not Entering—Cat’s Room” type of note on the door can help prevent unwanted visitors who may inadvertently let the cat out. You might check on kitty a few times during the event to make sure they are okay and to give some TLC, especially if it becomes a long day or night.
Rumor has it that, in some households, the cat may take the liberty of walking across the kitchen counters or dining room table. Although the host may not even notice such activity anymore, it is really not a good practice for health reasons–those same little feet spend time in the litter box–and your guests may be grossed out. Thus, counter-walking cats should be kept out of the kitchen during preparation and during dinner when the extra food is just sitting there calling, “Fluffy, come have a snack!”
If you cannot keep kitty off the dining table, you may need to wait to set the table until you move the cat to the day’s safe haven. And definitely do not light candles while the cat has access to the table. Many a kitty whisker has been singed, or worse, by cats investigating candle flames too closely.
Save The Leftovers For Yourself
While it may be tempting to cut up some turkey leftovers for the cat, the safest and most predictable course is to skip it and stick with the cat’s regular diet. Unless your cat is accustomed to a diet of table scraps, feeding them Thanksgiving leftovers may very well upset their stomach. Even worse, onions and other common ingredients can be toxic to cats, so any dish that contains onions is strictly off-limits. If you do opt to give your cat some turkey, remember not to feed them any bones.
Finally, don’t forget to take a moment give thanks for your cat. Where would you be without the friendship, love, and laughs?