Cat safety can be a challenge during the holidays. We get busy and often don’t watch our cats as closely as we should. There are many items around that aren’t normally within cat’s reach, so of course these items grab the attention of curious and playful felines and can cause them harm.
To maintain cat safety, here some common holiday hazards to avoid:
- The Christmas Tree. Yes, there are those cats that like to climb the tree, and by doing so can bring the tree crashing down. If your cat is climbing the tree when it falls, he may suffer sprains or broken limbs. If you have a live tree, consider securing it to the wall or ceiling and don’t rely solely on the tree stand to keep it upright. Be aware of any chemicals that may be in the tree’s water. These chemicals could cause serious health problems, jeopardizing cat safety. Tinsel is also very dangerous to cats if ingested. It can cause intestinal blockage, so even though it makes a tree look very shiny and pretty, avoid tinsel if possible.
- Holiday Decorations. Don’t put breakable decorations on the tree that might shatter if the tree falls. Cats love to bat hanging objects, so don’t tease your cat by putting hanging decorations within his batting reach. If your cat loves ribbon (my cat Marty LOVES to eat it if he gets the chance!), don’t use it to decorate packages that may be under the tree.
- Snow Globes. I love snow globe decorations, but learned a few years ago of their danger to cats. It turns out snow globes contain anti-freeze to keep them from freezing during shipping. Antifreeze is extremely dangerous to cats if ingested. If your cat were to knock one over, spilling the contents then happen to ingest even the tiniest amount of the liquid, it could be fatal.
- Plants and Flowers. Mistletoe and holly are all around during the holidays, but both are toxic to cats. Poinsettias are also dangerous for cats, so keep all holiday greenery out of your cat’s reach.
- Guests Coming and Going. If you have visitors coming and going during the holidays, doors may stay open a little too long and your cat may run outside. Strangers in the house can also be stressful for cats, so consider setting up a quiet room in your house when the cats can stay during the hectic times. Keep the door closed and post a sign on the door advising visitors of the cat “quiet zone” and ask them not to open the door to that room.
This is a wonderful time of year, and taking a few extra steps to ensure your cat’s safety will help him enjoy the holidays too.