At this wonderful time of year everyone is cooking, cleaning, decorating and hosting holiday parties. Although festive and fun, celebrations and cats do not always mix well. Here is my annual list of safeguards to make sure your cats enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.
Holiday Season Safeguards for Your Cat
1. If you have a live Christmas tree, securely cover the water bowl at the base with a tree skirt. You don’t want thirsty cats drinking from it. Keep ornaments off low-lying branches and, please, no tinsel. Cats swallow tinsel easily and it is bad for their digestion. Sweep pine needles off the floor daily.
2. Please cut the handles off shopping bags if they are within reach of curious kitties. I have seen some scary choking incidents with cats getting tangled in handles. (Fortunately, they were OK because someone was home and heard their cries, but you don’t want to take any chances.)
3. Check the ASPCA list of poisonous plants and if you have any, including poinsettias, please keep them out of reach of your cats.
4. Please encourage your guests not to get your cats to interact unless the cats want to. I have seen stressed cats lash out in confusion and we do not want that. Also, do not let guests give your cats any “people food,” and try to keep small children away from your cats.
5. For parties, secure a separate room for your cats with all the essentials — food, water, cat litter, toys — until the last guest goes home. Make sure all is clear before they can come out and this includes checking the floors and surfaces for dropped food, ribbon, toothpicks and other potential trouble. Please securely tie all garbage bags and either take it outside or put it out of reach.
As always I welcome your comments and stories. Wishing you, and your wonderful cats a happy and safe holiday season and a very Happy New Year.