As the holiday season rolls in, we want to celebrate the festivities with our loved ones, including our pets. However, many of the most popular holiday decorations and treats that we enjoy can pose dangerous risks to your cat. Take special care with the following holiday items to keep your family safe throughout the season:
- Holiday Lights: Strings of holiday lights are wonderfully sparkly and enticing, especially to cats. Cats see light strands as new toys and risk becoming entangled or electrocuted if they chew on the wires. Cord protectors may help prevent biting through the wires and are a wise investment if you have a cat (or dog) who likes to chew.
- Festive Plants: Colorful Poinsettias and Christmas Lilies are toxic to cats, even though they can bring lovely color into your home. Holly and
Mistletoe are also dangerous to your cat's health. Try replacing these decorations with silk or other artificial plants for the holiday look without the risk.
- Christmas Trees: Cats and Christmas trees can be great for laughs on social media but are potentially very unsafe. The water for a Christmas tree may contain toxins from chemicals or pesticides leached from the tree that can make your cat sick, while the ornaments may break or present choking hazards. How can you keep the tree and cat in the same household? Use an artificial tree or cover the water in the tree stand; try using safe ribbons or twine to hang unbreakable ornaments and keep ornaments higher up in the tree; and secure your tree to a wall or stable base. Deterrent sprays can also be used to keep cats away from the tree and other decorations.
- Candles: A lighted candle can also be perilous with pets, but especially for cats who like to knock things off tables and shelves. Never leave candles unattended or opt for some of the flameless candles that offer safety with the warm holiday glow.
- Family Gatherings: Welcoming guests into our homes for the season is one of the greatest joys of the holidays. Be sure to give your cat a safe, comfortable spot to stay when company comes to minimize the stress of visitors but also to ensure that they cannot get outside as doors open and close with guest arrivals and departures.
All of us at Longevity Veterinary Center wish you and your pets a joyful and safe holiday season!