Most of us eagerly anticipate the holidays; the food, the guests, the tree, and decors. However, for cats, Christmas may present the risk of injury and maybe a time of stress. Cats are creatures of routine and are sensitive to changes in their environment, making the events and festivities challenging. Furthermore, the season exposes cats to harmful seasonal plants and access to foods that are left unattended.
Based on experts' opinions on the injuries and cat-related accidents around this time of the year, this article is written to help reduce the chance of mishaps and keep our felines (and owners) happy during the most wonderful time of every year!
Holiday plants and flowers can look good in your home, but they can also draw a curious cat. At the least, your cat may cause trouble by eating fallen leaves, overturning pots or flower holders, or even utilizing the dirt as a litterbox! Regrettably, nibbling plants and flowers can send your cat to animal emergency service.
Poinsettia is typically said to be a potentially dangerous plant, but this reputation is possibly unjust. In over half of cases where family pets ingested Poinsettia plants, the cat or dog show no indications of poisoning, and if they do, the symptoms are mild. Additionally, the symptoms soon resolve themselves with no particular treatment. Nevertheless, it is still best to keep the plant out of reach. Mistletoe, ivy, holly, amaryllis, and Christmas cherry can cause stomach trouble and should be far away from curious cats. It's best to keep dangerous plants and blossoms out of the home entirely. Pick safe festive plants or use silk flowers instead.
Fir trees are slightly poisonous and may trigger inflammation in a cat's mouth and stomach. Still, it's not likely that your kitty consumes massive amounts enough to hurt themselves. There's also a risk with dropped needles from Christmas trees because if they're swallowed, they can pierce your cat's insides. Cats might also mistakenly drink the Christmas tree water, which usually includes bleach. A fake tree may be safer, but if you have your heart set on purchasing an actual tree, a non-drop variety is much safer.
Artificial Tree Dangers
While plastic trees are a much safer alternative to an actual tree, tinsels and other foreign objects are the most considerable holiday risk to cats. Many cat owners have had their cats climbing the Christmas tree and it falling over. Typically, both are unhurt, but it deserves consideration to safeguard the tree to prevent accidents.
Injuries reported from Christmas trees result in broken ornaments, with glass ornaments particularly sharp when broken. Ingestion of fake snow and tree needles can cause indigestion, and other decorations can be consumed, causing a 'foreign body.' Chewing of lights and cords can also be an issue, especially for nosy kittens. It is also not uncommon for pet cats to pass pee in the tree or the tree skirt, possibly causing the problem if electrical plugs and cables are exposed. You can use cord protectors for this.
Ribbons and Tinsel
Many cats are incapable of resisting something shiny or sparkly, and cats go nuts for strings and bows. Your cat will naturally want to play with decorations and gift wrapping accessories like ribbons, bows, string, tinsel, paper, and so on. The threat is that string-like products can cause a harmful foreign body obstruction that can require surgical procedures.
Stay clear of using loose tinsel or other string-like products and go with safer items. You can use thicker cloth bows to decorate your tree as well as your home. The tinsel garland that does not contain long strings might be safer, but hang it out of reach to be safe.
Keeping Your Feline Away From The Christmas Tree
Keep your curious cat on the ground by setting up a barrier around the tree's base. Think about lattice fencing, a Christmas tree gate, and even furnishings. And just in case your cat's a jumper, display delicate vintage or glass accessories as well as toppers past the reach of your cat. Some safer areas to depict precious accessories could be the fireplace mantel, cabinet racks, or a closed cabinet with glass doors.
Place the tree far from tables or chairs that can provide your cat a place to jump from. See that your tree decorations and hooks are firmly hung high up on the branches when decorating your tree. If they should drop or break, your cat can either step on them and cut their paws or ingest the damaged items. Hanging them high also keeps the lure to play with them at bay. Some pet moms and dads even leave the tree's lower branches bare and start decorating at a high enough point to make their cats lose interest.
Christmas Food Dangers
In a busy environment such as parties, food may be left unattended. Table scraps are also a problem to cats. Chocolate is also poisonous to cats, although the quantity a cat needs to consume to make them ill is more significant than dogs. Indications of chocolate poisoning include:
- Being sick and passing diarrhea.
- Drinking a lot of water.
- Appearing drunk.
- Shivering or having a fit.
With luck, a cat's lower interest in sweet treats means this risk is negligible.
Likewise, grapes and raisins, known for causing kidney damage in canines, may affect cats; however, poisoning is a lot less common. When it comes to food, it may be alluring to treat your feline this Christmas, possibly extra feline treats or some scraps from the Christmas supper. While most cats will enjoy a bit of left-over turkey without harm, too much human food might make a feline sick, so try to stick with their typical feeding routine this time of year; they will not know they are missing out!
Your feline can develop vomiting or diarrhea after eating fatty foods. High sodium foods can create health problems too, and milk items might cause diarrhea (veterinarians estimate that fifty percent of felines are lactose intolerant). Another danger can be cooked poultry bones--they are challenging for cats to absorb and can get embedded in stick in the system, so make sure your cats can not raid the bin after the Christmas lunch.
If you believe your feline friend has consumed dangerous food, contact your veterinarian or an animal toxin facility.
Candles and Fireplaces
The heat of candlelight or fireplace is a dream come true for many cats. Nonetheless, some felines (especially kittens) might get too close. Your cat may singe their whiskers if they wander very closely. Your cat can accidentally knock over a candle and trigger a fire.
Always keep candles out of reach of your cat. Never leave candles or fireplaces unsupervised. Use a fireplace shield/guard to avoid your cat from getting too close to the fires or metal parts of the fireplace that can burn their tender paws.
One of our veterinarians reported seeing a feline with a singed tail from Hannukkah candlelight. Exposed candles can also threaten cats, who often tend to leap onto windowsills and mantelpieces where candles are placed. As high places are generally accessible to most cats, candles should be kept where you can watch on them or crossed off the Christmas list.
To your cat, an extension cord could look like just another string to play with. String lights are more appealing since they are sparkly decorations. If your cat attempts to play with or chew on electrical cords, it might end up getting electrocuted. Hang Christmas lights out of reach of your cat and secure loose cables, so they do not hang.
There's no denying that cats look cute when they are dressed up in cute little attire. Santa hats, elf outfits, coats, and weaved caps all look irresistibly charming on felines. Regrettably, your cat might not see things similarly. Many kitties abhor putting on garments or devices, especially on their heads.
Before you start dressing up your feline this holiday, make sure you are not creating unneeded anxiety. The holiday season can be busy enough for your cat, and why make matters worse by tormenting them with those reindeer horns?
Other Pointers To make Christmas Less Stressful for Your Furry Friend
This time of year means a lot of changes to the home. For cats that thrive in predictability, routine, and the perceived safety of their spaces, this can be stressful. Furniture is usually moved to accommodate extra guests; the tree is brought in, lights and decors are put up, and songs are played, making their home look, smell, and sound different. On top of that, unfamiliar people (and pets) may go to your house or perhaps stay for numerous days, interrupting the typical routine. To reduce distress throughout this period, consider the following:
- Ensure that your cat has many safe and comfortable locations to hide and avoid the noise. A cardboard box or igloo bed under the bed can provide security. If new beds are added to the house, acquaint your cat by including bedding already used by them.
- Encourage visitors not to come close to the cat if it stays in its bed, but stroke the cat if it initiates contact. Visiting children might be keen to see and cuddle the cat, but you must insist that the cat initiate interaction first.
- Visitors can be given cat treats or toys to help acquaint the cat with new people in the house.
- Ensure that there is always an open door to permit the cat to go into a quieter part of the house to avoid loud parties or dinners.
- Suppose site visitors are sleeping over on the areas. In that case, the cat generally uses. Be sure to supply the called for resources (beds, food, litter tray or litter box) in other quieter parts of the house and preferably before the visitors stay over to ensure that changes happen slowly. The cat fits is familiar with the new site.
- If another pet is visiting, it may be helpful to restrict its access to your cat's pull-away areas.
This holiday season is a time for holiday celebrations, but don't forget your cat this year. As a pet parent, doing these easy changes can keep them safe as well as make them feel extra secure throughout the festive period.