Q: Any tips for making sure my cats have a safe Thanksgiving holiday with a house full of guests?
A: Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday but I know from experience it is also an opportunity for cats to get into mischief, so we need to be prepared. I remember one Thanksgiving it was my turn to cook dinner and I had a 15-pound turkey in the sink, all ready to be dressed and put into the oven. I left the kitchen for just a minute to check on something in another room, but when I returned, there was my cat Farfel with his back legs perched on the counter and front legs in the sink! Worse, his teeth were sunk into my bird, and even though it weighed more than he did, he was trying to drag it out of the sink. When I yelled at him to stop, he looked up at me as if to say, “I saw it first!” Anyway, off he went without too much damage to the turkey (and I carefully cut off the small piece with his tiny tooth marks).
Anytime you have a lot of activity in the kitchen, with many dishes to serve and a house full of people to entertain, I suggest you be aware of where your cats are. After Farfel, I learned it is best to keep them clear of the kitchen area and not just because they might make off with the turkey. Cats like to jump up on stoves and even with the flame or gas off, recently used burners can burn their pads. Also, food in hot dishes waiting to be brought to the table could accidentally be tipped over by your cat, possibly burning them.
Thanksgiving is a festive time, but once the meal is over, turkey bones are a potential hazard for cats. Please do not leave bones and leftovers unattended where your kitty could ingest them. To be absolutely sure, I put bones and refuse in garbage bags and take them outside. Also, it is also best to ask small children not to feed your cats “people” food. Have a box of kitty treats ready instead – both your kitties and the kids will enjoy it much more. Wishing you, and your kitties, a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!