Cats are notorious for jumping on the holiday tree, batting ornaments around as if they were mice, and seeking out the warmth from candle light and burning potpourri. Although beautiful, the hazards of the holiday season are numerous. Following are a few tips on preventing holiday mishaps with your adventuresome feline.
- Poisonous plants. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and lilies to name a few. Some plants may cause vomiting and diarrhea, while others can cause organ failure and death. Keep holiday plants out of your cat’s reach or opt for imitation!
- Holiday tree hazard! Many a cat has been enticed by the glow from a holiday tree. Cats may jump on the tree or try to pull something off the tree (especially food decorations)—securely attach it to the wall so it will remain upright and not injure your cat if it falls. Place a barrier (like a child’s playpen) around the tree to prevent your cat from chewing on the needle or drinking the tree water (which often contains preservatives, flame retardants, fertilizers, or other chemicals). Avoid using glass ornaments or keep them, as well as the tree lights, up high on the tree to avoid injuries to paw pads and mouths. All cords should be covered to avoid electrical burns or even electrocution. Avoid using artificial snow sprays or scents on your tree as these products contain chemicals your cat could ingest.
- No tinsel or angel hair! These items are particularly attractive to cats any may lead to intestinal blockages if eaten.
- Decorate packages sparingly. Although ribbons and string make your holiday packages look festive, they pose significant intestinal dangers to cats if ingested. Do not place ribbons or decorations around your cat’s neck or on their collars as these are choking or strangling hazards.
- Burn hazards. Keep candles and potpourri pots up high and out of reach of your cat to avoid burns. Cats often seek the heat and light from candles even up high, so you might want to consider avoiding candles altogether or going flameless!
- Food hazards. All chocolate, alcohol, rich fatty foods, uncooked dough, fruits, nuts and other known toxins (onions, garlic, etc) should be kept out of your cat’s reach during the holiday season. Cats have an excellent sense of smell and will find wrappers or packages that contain traces of food. Keep your countertops clean and your trash securely locked to avoid their inquisitive searching. Feed your cat Halo’s high quality natural cat food before any parties so they are less likely to beg or steal food from your guests. As a safeguard, inform all friends and family that your cat is not to be fed any of the holiday fare. You or your guests can also reward your cat with Halo’s natural, low-calorie, nutritious treats during a party to reinforce the message of “paws off” the holiday food. Try the Liv-a-Littles protein treats for a snack your cat is sure to love!