Welcome back for the Kingsbrook Animal Hospital‘s holiday hazards: cats edition (last week we considered holiday hazards for dogs). There are cross-over hazards to beware of for both dogs and cats that were discussed last week, such as:
watching to make sure pets are not eating people foods that can make them sick, like raw bread dough, chocolate, xylitol, and alcohol
- being diligent about not giving in to overindulgence to prevent GI upset
- keeping festive plants in places pets do not have access to, or considering fake plants, as many holiday plants are toxic
- keeping medications out of reach
- monitoring your pet’s access to the Christmas tree or if unable to do that or placing ornaments higher on the tree so they are not at a good “batting or chewing” height
- and unplugging your electrical cords when pets are not being supervised.
Here are some other holiday hazards that are more cat specific:
Tinsel, ribbon, and strings– Few cats are able to pass by this stuff without stopping to bat, chew or ingest it! In fact, strings are one of the top foreign bodies seen in cats year-round.
Liquid potpourri or candles– These candles and warmers can help our homes smell wonderful during the holiday season and throughout the year, but do pose a burn risk for cats. If you have a counter-surfing cat then please unplug or blow out while the cat is not under your direct supervision.
Finally, some cats find it thrilling to attempt to climb the Christmas tree. Create an unpleasant barrier (tin foil, double-sided sticky tape) around the base of the tree to help deter them from climbing. It is always a good idea to securely anchor your tree as well- just to be safe.
Allowing a “safe zone” for your feline friend to retreat to as needed where it is quieter and away from the festivities can provide them with a much appreciated break.
While you cannot always prevent emergencies from happening, we hope this list helps keep your pets safe and happy during the holidays. It can be very helpful to have your veterinarian’s phone number, as well as a local emergency hospital’s number, pre-programmed into your phone to be prepared in case of emergency. The veterinarians and veterinary staff here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD wish you and your fur babies a happy holiday season!