Ivan’s View

Safe for the Holidays

Dec 5, 2023 | Boise Cat Clinic News

The holidays are here and while they are suPURR fun, they do give us kitties a lot of opportunities to get into mischief! So, at the risk of sounding like The Grinch, I’m going to give you some information for keeping us furry ones safe while we all enjoy this festive time of year.

Christmas Trees

We felines get pretty excited when we see a tree in the house! It’s the best present ever! And when you put those cat toys on it – Me-Wow! However, Christmas trees, live or artificial, can be dangerous for us.

If you prefer a live tree, choose a fir or spruce rather than a pine tree. The oils from pine trees are highly toxic to cats and can lead to liver damage or liver failure. Be sure to keep the water covered (aluminum foil works well) so we can’t drink it. The water often contains pesticides and other chemicals that are not safe for kitties.

Ornaments and artificial tree parts can be nibbled, so keep a close eye on us and make sure we don’t ingest anything that can cause an obstruction in our GI tract. Use non-breakable ornaments and hang them higher on the tree so they are out of reach. As you know, we kitties love to bat things around and that can lead to several types of CATastrophes!

Knocking over the tree can cause damage to the tree and more importantly to us kitties. You may want to secure it for that reason.

 

Finally, if the tree is just too irresistible for your kitties, consider putting it in a room that can be easily closed off when you are unable to supervise them.

Ribbon, Tinsel and Snow

If it’s sparkly or shiny, we want to play with it. Unfortunately, string-like materials can cause a linear foreign body obstruction which can be very serious and require surgery. Instead of tinsel or string, use thicker cloth ribbons and paper bows to decorate trees and gifts.

Artificial snow may contain chemicals that can cause fatal liver damage and if ingested it can result in a blockage. I recommend that you avoid using it to decorate.

Plants and Flowers

Part of decorating your home at the holidays may include plants and flowers. They can also attract a curious kitty. At the very least, your cat may cause damage by chewing leaves, knocking over pots or vases, or even using the soil as a litter box!

Unfortunately, nibbling plants and flowers could send your cat to the emergency vet. Some of the most popular holiday plants are poisonous to cats. These include lilies, amaryllis, poinsettias, holly and mistletoe. The best way to keep your kitty safe is to avoid bringing these plants into your home. Choose non-toxic plants or use silk flowers instead. Another option is to use paper bouquets like these from https://www.freshcutpaper.com/

If you think your kitty has ingested any part of a poisonous plant, go to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital ASAP!

Food

While the holidays are often a time to splurge and forget about counting those pesky calories, rich and fatty foods are not good for your kitty’s health. The best guideline is to keep human food for humans. Chocolate, candy, and alcohol should never be given to cats, nor should bones which can splinter and cause choking. Unattended food may be irresistible to your kitty, so consider putting your cat in a safe room during parties and large dinners.

Activities

If your home is going to be more active than usual, make sure your kitty has a quiet and private room in case they feel overwhelmed or scared. While some kitties like to mix and mingle, some cats may feel insecure around new people and an increased noise level. Feliway spray and diffusers can also be used to help kitties manage change and stress. https://us.feliway.com/

Well, I guess that’s a “wrap” for 2023! The staff and I wish you and your kitties a safe and joyful holiday season and we look forward to seeing you in 2024!

Here’s looking at you, Kits!

Ivan