If you’ve already decked the halls with boughs of holly, you may want to take them down.
During the holiday season, half of the excitement is adorning the inside and outside of the house with colorful, festive decorations: tinsel is generously swathed around mantels, delicate ceramic figurines grace coffee tables, fragile glass ornaments hang precariously from the tree—the end result is a beautiful, cozy home…and a veritable wonderland for your cat. One of the defining characteristics of a cat is her curious, playful nature. Anyone who has observed their feline companion knows how irresistibly tempting a piece of string or even a dot of light can be! Imagine the overwhelming intrigue of an indoor tree laden with ornaments and tiny flashing bulbs. To keep your furry friend safe for the season, we’ve compiled some common holiday household items to think twice about having within kitty’s reach.
Candies and Cookies Galore
‘Tis the season for cooking, baking, and candy-making. A plate of cookies or a bowl full of festively colored candies on the countertop might be tempting for you—consider how alluring it is to your cat! Equipped with a highly attuned sense of smell, the sweetly enticing aroma of chocolate and other sugary treats is nearly impossible for her to resist. Chocolate is toxic for both dogs and cats, so take extra care to keep it inaccessible to your pets.
Thinking of spiking the eggnog? Make sure you keep an eye on where you set down your cup! Alcohol is another substance that can sicken animals. It’s especially dangerous when mixed into sweet, aromatic beverages that appeal to your cat’s sensitive nose.
All Decked Out
Making garlands and hanging shimmering strands of tinsel may make the rooms of your home look lovely, but it’s asking for trouble when you have a little hunter or huntress stalking the premises. To your cat, there’s not much of a difference between a carefully strung garland and that piece of yarn you dangle in front of his eyes during playtime. Popcorn garlands are particularly at risk of getting snagged by reaching paws (An edible toy? Even better!). And of course, let’s not forget Christmas tree ornaments! Sparkling, glittery objects hanging like ripe fruit from the tips of the branches are bound to be targeted by your feline friend.
Besides the obvious outcome—your decorations get pulled down and ruined—some items pose a choking hazard or could cut your pet’s paws with broken and jagged shards. Candles can be dangerous, as well; avoid letting them burn unattended, lest they are knocked over and cause a fire.
The Gift of a Safe, Healthy Cat!
Cat owners may need to be more cautious with their seasonal decorations, but they don’t have to entirely quench their holiday spirit! Use common sense with ornament and food placement, and your home can still look bright, beautiful, and festive. Feel free to contact the cat veterinarians at our clinic if you have further questions or concerns, and we hope you all have a wonderful holiday!