From boarding to parties to travel, the holidays can be a source of anxiety for many cats. In addition, there are also several common dangers cat owners should be reminded of this holiday seasons.
Tinsel and Ribbon - Brightly colored bows and ribbons are a festive and enjoyable part of the holiday season, but remember that ribbon can be extremely dangerous for cats. 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.
Suggestion: Jut stick to the wrapping paper and tape if you find your kitties cannot resist the urge to open gifts early.
Ornaments - From a cat’s perspective, low-hanging ornaments on a tree are just begging to be swatted at and then played with on the floor. If there are any low-hanging ornaments on your client’s tree, be sure that they are made of materials that a cat can’t chew or otherwise destroy and ingest.
Suggestion: Hang ornaments that could double as cat toys from your lowest branches. We like to use cloth ornaments on the lowest level of our tree (ours are in the shape of cats).
Plants - While poinsettias have long been believed to be extremely dangerous for cats, the danger they pose when ingested by a cat (stomach upset) is not as bad as some other common holiday plants, such as mistletoe, pine tree needles, amaryllis lilies, red azaleas and paperwhites.
Suggestion: Closely monitor your cat. If you see your kitty showing interest in any of the above, more toxic, plants, give them to a friend without pets. We find fake mistletoe can be just as decorative as the real thing.
Candles - A slightly singed tail is one thing, but a wayward swishing tail can easily knock a candle over, causing a host of worse problems.
Suggestion: Use candles that are enclosed and cannot be easily knocked over. In addition, never leave a candle burning, unattended, in your home.
Stress - Cats like routine and predictability, so when their schedules or environments change, they can become upset. Parties and visiting family can certainly cause an unwanted change in your kitty’s routine.
Suggestion: Create a safe, quiet space away from the action where the cat can have some peace and quiet. Be sure to have food, water and a litter box available in this secluded area so your cat can be comfortable away from your gathering. You can also use some products that help reduce stress such as Feliway.
Travel – If you are planning on travelling during the holidays be sure your kitty is well cared for. Find a caretaker your kitty is comfortable with, or a facility that has a calming atmosphere (we recommend someplace without dogs and lots of unusual smells/noises).
Suggestion: We believe the best place for your cat to stay, when you are gone, is at home. It is often more expensive than boarding, but finding a pet sitter will often be the most comfortable option for your kitty.