With Christmas less than two weeks away, you will already be munching mince pies and busy transforming your home into a winter wonderland. This is a really enjoyable time of the year but it can be potentially hazardous for our feline friends! With glass decorations; toxic festive plants and decorative foliage; candles and of course the lure of the Christmas tree (come climbing frame)… keeping your inquisitive cat safe from potential toxins and out of mischief is a top priority.
Here are our top-tips on how to have a feline-friendly festive time:
Toxic Christmas plants
Do you have a cat or kitten that enjoys nibbling on foliage? If so, think carefully before using any festive plants and berries to decorate your home this year. Christmas classics such as poinsettia, holly, ivy and mistletoe are all toxic to cats, causing diarrhoea, vomiting and mouth irritation if eaten. Watch out for Lilies and amaryllis plants, as all parts of these are highly toxic to cats (even the bulbs and pollen) – so keep them out of your homes at all times!
Remember…dried foliage is toxic too and kittens, due to their small size and their curious nature, are especially vulnerable to even a small amount of toxin. So, if in doubt, use a fake alternative this Christmas – there are plenty to choose from and you don’t have to get wet and cold foraging for them!
We love Christmas trees but the biggest fan of all…. will be your cat! The pretty lights, sparkly tinsel and tantalising baubles are all captivating for our feline friends. The temptation to use it as a climbing frame will be overwhelming, with many cats determined to reach the top. Sadly, this can be hazardous with hot lights, delicate glass baubles and metres of tinsel, your cat could end up in a tangle or even worse injured or cut by smashed decorations or a fall. So, make sure you supervise your Christmas tree this year and avoid leaving it unattended if your cat is in the room!
Don’t forget, Christmas tree needles are also toxic to cats and if eaten they can cause serious damage to their digestive system, due to their sharp ends. Vacuuming under the tree daily will help to avoid any feline temptation.
There is nothing more festive than the gentle glow of candles at Christmas. However, they can also be a potential hazard for our inquisitive feline friends who can easily knock them over and burn themselves! Unlike dogs, placing them up high will not be enough for our clever climbing cat friends. Why not use fake candles and tea lights instead – this is much safer and there are lots of very convincing options to choose from. If you do opt for the real thing, never leave a cat and a candle unattended!
We have all heard the Christmas cracker joke “What do you get if you eat a Christmas decoration? Tinselitis”. Cats’ adore playing with tinsel and it’s not uncommon for them to try to eat it! Sadly, this will cause much more than just a fictional ailment and can cause a life-threatening blockage to their digestive tract! So stay clear of sparkly stuff this year or if you do use it, pick a cat free room and vacuum up any stray strands.
Above all, enjoy Christmas with your feline friend and let’s hope Santa-Paws will bring them something extra special this year!