Keeping Your Cats Safe
Your cat can get into so much trouble this time of year it can be overwhelming. I know you want to enjoy the Christmas season, so here are some tips on keeping away from the veterinarian.
Holiday plants. Many plants are toxic to cats, and most holiday favorites are on this list. Holly, lilies, poinsettia, and mistletoe are the major culprits. Keeping things up high doesn’t really work for cats since they like to jump everywhere you don’t want them to go.
Shooting your cat with water usually works, but you can’t be there all the time, plus there are a few cats that actually enjoy being shot. Placing a zapmat around the plant may help. Unfortunately, keeping these plants out of the house completely, or inside a glass, cabinet seems to be the only way to keep kitty healthy.
The tree can be a danger to you and your cat. Cats like to climb trees. Christmas trees are no exception. Even when covered in decorations and lights they are a temptation. You don’t want to go without a tree, and you don’t want to lock your cat out of the room, so what to do? Tie the tree to the wall, preferably 2 walls in a corner. It doesn’t have to be obvious, just make it secure.
Lights are beautiful but tempting. Cats love to chew, and a light cord is exactly what they like. Long and skinny, sometimes moving around, just like a snake. They revert to hunter mode when they see cords. They will stalk them, pounce, then chew. Then get electrocuted. Make sure to keep cords covered, if they can’t see them, they won’t try to play with them.
Tinsel sets off the tree to perfection. Cats love to eat tinsel. Unfortunately, tinsel doesn’t agree with them. It doesn’t just go in and then out, it stays. It wraps around your cat’s organs and will need to be removed surgically. If you see some hanging out of their mouth, gently tug. If it doesn’t come out easily, DON’T YANK, go immediately to your veterinarian. Yanking can cause permanent damage. To avoid this, put tinsel only on the top of the tree, or don’t use any at all.
Ornaments are fun to bat. They swing around, making tempting targets, and easily get knocked off the tree and broken. Use twist-ties to attach your ornaments, or only use non-breakable ornaments on the bottom branches. Put your precious and most delicate ornaments higher on the tree.
We love to wrap gifts. Ok, we love to look at wrapped gifts, sometimes the wrapping part is a little too much for us. Cats love to look at the gifts, too, but their focus is on the ribbons. Ribbons are tons of fun to play with. It bounces around, flies through the air when batted and is just a whole day of playing by itself. Fun to eat, too, but just like tinsel, very dangerous.
Eating ribbon can get your cat’s organs tied in knots, literally. If you see the ribbon in your cat’s mouth, gently tug, if it doesn’t come out, call your veterinarian immediately. DO NOT YANK the ribbon, you can cause serious harm.
As long as we pay attention, and look at the holiday from a cat’s perspective, we can make it a happy and safe holiday for all of us.