The holiday season is upon us – and with it comes many hazards to the health and happiness of your pets. Save yourself some expensive vet bills, save your cat some pain and anguish, and save your family the heartache of seeing your kitty sick or dying. Here are some things to look out for:
Most cat owners learn early on that most plants are irresistible to cats. You may find it annoying to have kitty shred your plants as playthings, but did you know that many plants are poisonous to them? One plant to be especially careful about over the holiday season is the poinsettia. If you have a cat, don’t bring this plant into your house. Take it to the office, give it to a pet-less friend, or donate it to a seniors’ home.
Many holiday decorations are hazardous to your kitty. First off – accept the fact that kitty will be especially fascinated by the tree and will naturally assume ornaments have been hung for his or her entertainment. Consider everything on the tree from that perspective, and don’t put anything on the tree you don’t want to end up as a cat toy. Broken glass bulbs can cut or choke your cat and should never be used. Tinsel garlands are moderately dangerous, but difficult for the cat to get off the tree – use these only with great caution. Above all, avoid those long strands of tinsel – what we used to call icicles when I was young. Many a cat has found tinsel irresistible and many a cat has died from eating it. It gets strung through the intestines and cannot be passed. Allow no tinsel in your home. Other things to watch for include electrical cables – stringing them across the floor presents temptation to the playful cat. Wrapping on the gifts – especially with fine ribbons or metal decorations – can also be hazardous.
Though it’s tempting to let kitty share in the indulgences of the holiday season, be careful what you let people feed your cat. Chocolate is poisonous to cats, and turkey bones are brittle and splinter easily – they present a real choking hazard. Never give either to your pet.
If all of this sounds like a lot of work – remember it doesn’t have to be. Just a little foresight and planning will go a long way to ensuring kitty is happy and healthy over the holidays. The last place you want to spend your holidays is at the vet emergency clinic.