The holiday season is upon us!
Though this time of year can be fun and festive (and stressful!), there are also many hidden dangers for our feline friends.
Keeping an eye on these items will ensure a trip to the emergency vet is not on your holiday list:
Ribbon can be extremely dangerous for your cat. If ingested, it can cause a cat’s intestines to bunch and get twisted, and in many cases this will need to be remedied with surgery. If left untreated, this can be fatal.
From your cat’s perspective, low-hanging ornaments on a tree are just begging to be swatted at and then played with on the floor. If you have any low-hanging ornaments on your tree, be sure that they are made of materials that your cat can’t chew or otherwise destroy and ingest.
While poinsettias have long been believed to be extremely dangerous for cats, the danger they pose when ingested by a cat is not as bad as some other common holiday plants, such as mistletoe, pine tree needles, amaryllis lilies, red azaleas and paperwhites. If you have festive plants, make sure they are somewhere your cat won’t be tempted to chew on them. If you are unsure if a plant is poisonous, or are concerned that your cat may have eaten something dangerous, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s animal poison control center (888-426-4435) for more information.
Your cat probably isn’t going to be too intrigued by the candle itself, but a wayward swishing tail can easily knock a candle over, causing a host of problems. Keep candles out of reach, and make sure you stay vigilant around lit candles.
While it may be tempting to give your cat just a nibble of turkey or other holiday food, resist the urge. Rich foods can upset a cat’s digestive system, which could produce unpleasant effects. Also, cats should never be given any type of bone, as they can cause internal injuries to your cat.
Cats like routine and predictability, so when their schedules or environments change, they can become upset. If you are planning on having holiday guests and your cat isn’t used to entertaining, create a safe, quiet space away from the action where your cat can have some peace and quiet.
Christmas tree water
The water that keeps your tree fresh is frequently treated with chemicals that can make your cat sick. Be sure that your cat can’t access the tree water.
If you are traveling with your cat during the holidays, be sure that your cat is properly secured in a carrier and that they have adequate identification, including a microchip. Also, prior to leaving home, find contact information for a veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian in the area you’re visiting, so that, if your cat gets injured or becomes ill, you know where to go to get your cat the care and attention it requires.
Enjoy the holiday season with your cat and, as always, if you have questions or concerns, contact your veterinarian. They are your best resource for information about your feline friend.
Cover Image by Rosana Prada