Memorial Day is certainly a time to reflect on those who lost their lives in service to our country. We honor those who protected, served, and sacrificed.
But Memorial Day is also a long weekend for many of us, and some consider it the unofficial kickoff of summer. Because of this, lots of people across the country will observe the holiday with barbecues, large gatherings, and noisy events — all of which can spell danger for our cats.
Cats are part of the family, and we want to include them in our happy times. But we need to act as responsible pet parents. Here are a few safety tips for dog parents on Memorial Day weekend, thanks to some help from our pals at Best Friends Animal Society.
Keep The Alcohol Out Of Reach
With all the commotion, it can be easy to forget where you’ve set your beer or beverage during a party. Spills can also put booze within reach of someone who might get hurt by it — namely your cat.
Best Friends Animal Society says, “Keep alcoholic beverages out of sight and on high surfaces because alcohol — even in small amounts — can be poisonous to pets.”
Signs of alcohol poisoning in cats include wobbliness, vomiting, tremors, diarrhea, or worse. It can even lead to a coma or death. If you see these signs and believe your cat may have consumed alcohol, get to your emergency vet right away.
Don’t Leave Food Scraps Out
We humans might love the decadent, fatty, salty foods that we share at a weekend barbecue. Unfortunately, most of these are not safe for your cat.
Best Friends Animal Society advises that, “Some BBQ staples likes avocados, onions, and chicken bones are toxic to pets and can be choking hazards.”
Also, too much fatty food can lead to diarrhea and upset stomach in the short term and pancreatitis or obesity in the long term. Eating too much salt can lead to dehydration and even salt poisoning in high enough quantities, which can be fatal.
If you’d like to share some human food with your cat, you can try serving them very plain chicken or fish with all bones removed.
Practice Water Safety
Maybe you’re spending time near the pool this weekend, and if your cat manages to step outside, they could be in danger. Never leave pets unsupervised near water.
Even if your cat doesn’t go in the water, they may feel tempted to take a sip, and that’s a big no-no.
Best Friends Animal Society reminds us, “Don’t let your pet drink pool water – if chemicals such as chlorine are ingested in large amounts it can cause irritation and vomiting.”
The weekend is bound to be an active one, and in warm weather, it’s easy to overheat and forget to drink water. Always make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water.
Cats are sometimes reluctant to drink enough water to stay hydrated. With everything going on, you may forget to check on them.
Signs of dehydration include panting, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine, and lethargy among many others. In severe cases, it can lead to shock and collapse, and even death. If you see these signs, get your cat some water ASAP and call your emergency vet.
Avoid The Memorial Day Noise
Memorial Day weekend is sure to see lots of parties with loud music, noisy guests, and maybe even fireworks. All of these are fun for us, but not so much for our cats.
Loud noises can cause anxiety in cats, which can lead to shaking, pacing, panting, vocalizing, potty accidents, and destructive behaviors. They can even cause your cat to bolt in fear and get lost.
Sometimes it’s best to just keep your cat in a nice, quiet, comfy room with some peaceful music to drown out the scary sounds. These events are more fun for humans, anyway, and your cat will be better off in safety.
Are you planning to spend time with your cat on Memorial Day weekend? Do you have any safety tips for other pet parents that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!