Christmas can be a fun time for both you and your cat, but as most of us know, it can also be a stressful time too. To ensure that you and your beloved pet have a safe and happy festive time, it is important to take some preventive measures.
Tinsel can cause serious injury if consumed and you must seek immediate veterinary care if your cat ingests any as it can be deadly. If swallowed it can cut internally or form intestinal blockage. Best to avoid decorating your home with this in the first place or at least keep it out of reach. The problem lies in the fact that bits of tinsel seem to find themselves dropping to the ground and you can be sure your cat will be attracted to it. Because of this I never have tinsel in the house any more.
Christmas ornaments, particularly those made out of glass like glass baubles, are a great danger to cats. Imagine a broken piece lodged in your cat’s throat. Can’t bear thinking about, does it? If you must use decorations make sure that they are secured to the tree properly so they cannot be dislodged and keep out of reach of your feline baby.
Gift Wrap Ribbon
Any ribbon is dangerous. Just don’t leave any lying around or let a cat play with it unsupervised and always discard ribbons and bows that came with holiday gifts. Ingested ribbon can cause choking and can also twist in the intestines, leading to emergency surgery and even death. Why would anyone want to put their cat through that?
Lights and Candles
Christmas tree lights and candles can prove hazardous too. If you want to use these then always do so while your cat is supervised and do not leave the room even for one second whilst a candle is burning. If you need the toilet – blow out the candles first before leaving the room! As for tree lights they can cause electric shock if curious kitty takes a bite.
Having a real Christmas tree can be fun but please note that they can be a danger for cats. The danger lies in the fact that if chewed the needles can cause gastrointestinal upset and can be fatal if intestines are punctured. Pine is also highly toxic to cats and can cause liver damage and death. Also toxic is the water that trees are placed into as it contains pine resin and other preservatives, as well as fire retardants.
If you must have a tree choose one with non-drop needles and make sure you vacuum around the tree. Also, if you water the tree regularly this will lessen the chances of it drying out and thus less fallen needles. Avoid leaving your cat unsupervised in the room where your tree is. Don’t use artificial snow as this is also toxic. An artificial tree can be safer, but again, if a cat ingests anything it can cause intestinal blockage.
To be on the safe side, if you have a tree (real or artificial) close the door so that your cat doesn’t have access to the tree in that room unless the cat is supervised.
Chocolate can be toxic and even fatal to cats (and dogs). Do not be tempted to give your pet any and also warn visitors not to do so either. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea in cats, as well as weakness, difficulty keeping balance, muscle spasms, seizures and coma.
Other foods to never give your cat are: nuts, turkey bones, onions, garlic, blue cheese. Again, if you are having guests over for Christmas please tell them not to give any of these to your cat.
Plants and flowers
Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, lilies are all toxic to cats and must be avoided. Never let a cat go anywhere these. These can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, and even death if ingested.
Here is a full list of toxic plants for cats http://www.icatcare.org:8080/advice/keeping-your-cat-safe/cats-and-poisonous-plants
I know that all this can be worrying for the cat parent/owner and I for one, who has never been crazy about Christmas anyway, would rather do without all the fuss and am simply happy to go without for the sake of my little fur baby. It’s better to be safe than sorry and my cat is indeed like my baby. I love her more than anything. Luckily, I don’t have any human children that will miss having the house fully decorated for Christmas.
For those of you that want to celebrate this time of the year with your human children and family, by following the above advice, I’m sure you will all have a safe and wonderful Christmas and Holiday season!