You love Christmas and the beautiful sparkly decorations and the Christmas tree. Cats do too! Some cats are fond of climbing stuff. How would they resist a sweet lit-up tree? Other cats are just being curious. Curiosity kills the cat. They get attracted by the sparkly Christmas decorations, and that Curiosity proverb can become a self-fulfilling prophecy! How can you keep your feline safe during Christmas?
If you are considering Christmas decorations, think about your cat. This article will discuss how you can help your cat survive several poisonous ordeals that Christmas decorations and the festive spirit might pose to the innocent feline.
What Dangers Can Cats Face During Christmas?
If, for instance, you have a real Christmas tree (fake trees are a bore), and you have a cat that nibbles on things or lick, you must be cautious. Your cat might end up swallowing parts of the tree. Some oils from these trees can be toxic to cats. Let’s talk about some of the dangers you must look out for during Christmas to keep your cat safe.
Dangerous Christmas plants
Many of the popular plants can actually pose a danger to cats. Here are some of the festive plants that can be toxic to our feline friends.
This plant is poisonous to both cats and dogs. It also has sharp pointy leaves that can injure cats and dogs with pokes and scrapes. The Holly plant’s red berries and green leaves are dangerous to pets.
Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plants, and they are poisonous to cats. The milk-white sap of the poinsettia plant can cause your cat to drool, vomit, or experience diarrhea.
Even though this plant is not toxic, the sweet Christmas Cactus is harmful if your cat likes to nimble. Christmas Cactus has fibrous material that can cause digestion issues if your pet swallows it.
The mistletoe is common in folklore and poetry. Even in music, lovers want to do it under the mistletoe. But you should be mindful that your cat doesn’t eat any of the mistletoe berries. The berries contain toxic chemicals that can cause gastrointestinal issues for cats and dogs alike.
This is the most toxic of the plants on your Christmas decorations list. Jerusalem Cherry bears poisonous fruit that can kill your cat.
How to keep cats off plants
As you have seen what plants are toxic to your cat, you should try to keep them away from poisonous plants. Many caring cat owners hang their planters attached to the ceiling, far from cats’ curious paws.
You can also use deterrent sprays on the plants if they are on the floor. The smell of citrus and acid can make your cat avoid the plant totally.
The Danger in Christmas trees
Many cats have died or sustained injuries trying to climb a Christmas tree and falling over. They might even destroy the tree.
Aside from falling, many cats are injured by the smashed baubles, and the glass ones are sharp when broken. Cats can swallow Christmas tree needles, and the fake snow applied to them can upset their stomach.
Your cat can chew the lights and wires around the Christmas tree. They can even urinate on the tree directly on the cables!
You may have so many left-overs left within reach, and your cats will be nosing around. You must not forget that chocolate may make your cat sick. If your cat looks ill and vomits while passing diarrhea, drinking a lot, acting as though drunk, and trembling, or even having a fit, it might be experiencing chocolate poisoning.
The same can be said of grapes and raisins. These Christmas treats are known to cause kidney problems in dogs. They may affect cats too, but much less commonly.
You may have so much to eat that you want to treat your cat to extra scraps from the Christmas dinner. While most cats will enjoy a little left-over turkey without harm, excessive treats and human food could make a cat sick. Try to stick to their feeding routine this time of year.
Many households have candles lit for the Hannukkah menorah. These candles can singe your cat’s tail. You might try to keep your candles at visible locations where you can see your cats too.
Decorations may also present danger to cats at Christmas. For instance, cats may take hanging baubles for fun toys. And glass baubles can shatter easily. Tinsel, too, can cause serious illness if your cat swallows it. It can block their digestive tract, and this can even be fatal.
Christmas lights should be used safely with cats around. You should cover any wires around the tree with plastic or cardboard tubes. When no one is home, never keep your Christmas lights on.
So how can you keep your cat safe during Christmas?
How To Keep Cats Safe During Christmas
For you, Christmas is a time to unwind and enjoy the happiness of holidays, but for cats, it may be a time of stress and risk of injury. Cats enjoy routine, and they are sensitive to any changes in their environment.
Many families may ignore their cats or become overstimulated by the festivities. In either case, cats can become restless and anxious. Here is what you can do to keep your cat safe during Christmas.
Prepare a Safe Space
Cats love privacy. Your kitty should have somewhere they can chill out when the hubbub becomes too much. You should provide them with personal space. Cats get anxious and curious with any slight change in their environment.
So, if you are throwing a Christmas party or hosting guests that your cats are not familiar with overnight, they may get fidgety. It is too much to the cat for you to suddenly bring in a tree from nowhere into the living room. What’s more? You rearrange the furniture to accommodate the tree! Your cat might become stressed by such a huge change.
You should designate a room or a quiet part of the house where your cat can stay during the festivities. That space should be close to their litter box, comfortable and inviting. You can decorate it with their bed and favorite toys. Try to move their food plate and water bowl there and keep the cat away from the litter box.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests that it is excellent to normalize things for the cat by sticking to its normal eating and exercise routines as much as possible during the transition.
Establish House Rules
You should let your guests understand and respect your cat’s privacy. They should never intrude on his safe space. While you should allow your guests to interact with your cat, you should never force your cat to leave their retreat.
If there are children your cat is unfamiliar with among your guests, lay some ground rules for how they should treat your cat. If your cat gets anxious around other people, take them to their safe place.
Some cats may like it around other unfamiliar people. They may go around the guests. You should ensure that your guests do not feed the cat any human food or leave their plates open. Otherwise, your cat will help itself to a plate of chocolate cakes, and you will have a problem later.
Never Neglect Your Kitty
Here are a few ideas that your favorite feline friend may love but has no way of telling you while you enjoy your Christmas traditions:
Get your cat a new toy. Cats love toys. A Christmas themed cat toy laced with catnip is a great way to keep your kitty distracted and out of trouble as you trim the tree or wrap gifts. You will also enjoy watching the cat have fun batting it around.
Take your cat shopping. It will be too busy outside. Why not shop online? Oh, you shop online? That’s the spirit! Get your hot coffee and invite your cat to keep your lap warm while you do your shopping online.
Take your cat to see Santa. There are many pet stores and rescue shelters that offer to take pictures with your pets and Santa. If your cat is social and enjoys meeting new people, this can be a sweet memory.
Get a cat sitter. If you’re going away on holiday or visiting relatives and friends during Christmas, you should not leave your cat alone at home by themselves. You can book your cat into a cattery or have a cat-sitter look after them.
No matter what you do this Christmas with your cat, you must ensure that they don’t feel neglected or ignored. Remember to give them a personal safe space to retreat when the environment gets too crazy. If you follow this guide, your cat will love Christmas and love you more. Do you have any more tips your cat loves? Share with us in the comments.