Keeping your cat safe during the festive season can be a big challenge. Decorations, ornaments and even food can all act as potential dangers for your cat.
These tips will help keep your cat safe at Christmas.
Christmas tree tips
For many cats and kittens, Christmas trees are an exciting new toy that requires investigation. You will need to make the tree as unattractive as possible to deter your cat from it! Wrapping aluminium foil around the base can act as a deterrent and citrus and menthol scents can also put cats off. Decorations that are not so shiny will also be less attractive.
Position the tree somewhere that your cat cannot easily try to climb it.
The pine needles of real Christmas trees can cause injury to your cat if stepped on or if ingested can damage your cat’s intestines. Your cat could also become ill by drinking the water that is used to keep real trees alive.
Tinsel is also very dangerous for your cat. It can cause intestinal damage if ingested which will require emergency surgery. Make sure tinsel and other tree decorations are placed high enough so that your cat cannot reach them. Tree lights should only be placed on the higher branches of the tree so that your cat cannot get tangled up in them or receive an electric shock.
Holly, Poinsettia and Mistletoe can be toxic to cats causing intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhoea if eaten. Lilies are far more dangerous and very toxic to cats even fatal.
Keep candles away from areas that your cat could access.
Christmas food tips
Don’t give your cat any left overs from the Christmas dinner. Cats have sensitive digestive systems which can’t cope with rich or fatty foods high in salt. These could cause gastrointestinal problems in your cat. Feeding your cat a few pieces of cooked meat such as turkey or chicken is fine but ensure that there are no bones present. These can splinter and also cause intestinal damage.
Avoid edible tree decorations. Many of these, in particular, chocolate can be very toxic for cats, especially the dark variety.
Lock away your medicines – paracetamol is highly toxic to cats.
The holiday season can be a very stressful time for your cat. Make sure that there is a quiet area for them to retreat to.