The festive season brings us cold weather, the hope for a white Christmas and much merriment. Yet as the festivities get under way we must remember our furry friends. Our cats deserve, as much as we do, a jovial and harm-free few days.
By now we have probably all seen Mog’s Christmas Calamity advert. And surely we all have our own stories of cat disasters over the holidays. You may think your cat is not as disaster-prone as Mog but to be on the safe side it is best to Mog-proof your home. So here are some simple ways to keep your cat purr-fectly safe this Christmas.
With all the revelry it is easy to forget dangers around Christmas time. You may either want to give your cat a treat of festive food or accidentally leave food around the house that’s harmful to your pet.
If you do want to give your cat some goodies then try cat treats rather than human food. Make sure that foods such as mince pies, stuffing, chocolate, ice cream, mulled wine or any alcoholic drinks are kept well away from inquisitive kitty eyes. All of these festive treats contain foods that are toxic to cats.
If you’re keen for a white Christmas artificial snow is a no-no because it is toxic to cats. When it comes to tinsel and ribbons best to put them out of paws reach because if ingested they can cause blockages and a trip to the vet would be likely.
Fairy lights connected to the mains are hazardous for two reasons; firstly if a mains wire is chewed through, your cat will have a nasty shock and secondly if dangling lights are played with and brought down, your cat could become entangled in the wires which could be dangerous if caught around the airways.
To avoid any nasty shocks, hang your lights high up enough for paws not to play with. Mains wires can be sprayed with cat repellent to help keep furry friends away. Ensure they are unplugged when you’re not home.
You could also use battery lights instead because they don’t cause electric shocks but bear in mind that they have their own dangers. If punctured and eaten a battery is poisonous so keep the battery compartments high up and securely shut.
Real or fake?
Real trees are beautiful but more dangerous as they contain low levels of toxicity and if eaten the pines can be sharp enough to pierce organs. If your cat’s a climber keep low tables and sofas away from the tree, so he o she doesn’t see it as a new climbing post.
If Christmas is not the same with a fake tree then water the real tree regularly so it’s less likely to lose needles but do not let the cat near this water. Baubles should be placed securely at the top of the tree so they are not knocked off and smashed. Serious damage can be caused if your cat eats a piece of shattered bauble.
As much as you may want to hang mistletoe over every door this plant as well as holly, poinsettia and ivy is toxic to cats. It is not worth the risk of even hanging these securely or out of the way in your home so perhaps consider fake holly or mistletoe.
The danger of an open flame is clear but with all the festivities a candle can be forgotten and it’s twinkle in a dark room can be very attractive to your cat. So before going to bed or out to carols, check your home for any still-lit candles.
Around the home
When it’s cold outside (although it has been particularly balmy in Brighton this winter) and your car is iced over many of us reach for the anti-freeze. This product is lethal, even in small quantities, so keep the bottle out of the way of your cat with the lid firmly screwed on.
Time to chill out
It can be a busy, social time over the holidays and some cats may find the influx of visitors stressful so in order to keep your cat happy make sure they have some where quiet to escape to. An empty room containing their basket, toys and food is the best way to ensure your cat does not feel overwhelmed.
It takes some planning and a little thought to keep your cat safe over Christmas but it’s worth the time as a sick or injured cat will certainly dampen the festive cheer. Everybody and every pet should have a happy holiday.
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Or if you want any more information on Christmas safety tips for cats then click here.