Christmas is a wonderful time for us humans – and pets should be a part of this too! But this means that we all need to look out for the potential dangers for our pets that come along with many of the joys and wonders of Christmas! Take a look through this list where we have detailed some of the things that you need to watch out for if you are a cat owner at this time of the year.
The Christmas Tree
There are some potential dangers connected with the Christmas tree if you have a cat. If it is a natural Christmas tree, then you should be aware that the oils that some trees produce can be harmful to your cat if they consume any needles. You should look out for irritations in the mouth and stomach problems, as these are the main symptoms.
Of course, the oils can work their way into your cat’s water bowl if it is placed nearby, so this is also something to avoid. At the very least you should be looking to buy a variety which does not drop needles, as the needles in rare cases can also simply hurt your cat if they do try to swallow them because of their sharpness. You should also consider the artificial tree as an option.
Other Christmas Decorations
Tinsel can also cause trouble should your cat swallow any, and in some cases this can be very serious indeed. Many decorations that you hang on the tree are made of glass, and so these can also cause problems if your cat plays with them or if they are to fall off the tree and smash.
Because of these reasons, it is advisable to hang decorations a few levels higher up on the tree than you would otherwise do, so that they are out of the reach of your cat. If you happen to know that your cat is a particularly inquisitive and adventurous character, then it might be best not to allow your cat in the Christmas tree room. Alternatively, at least set up a play area somewhere else at home away from the tree area so as to distract your cat from the Christmas tree.
Christmas lights mean electricity and wires, and this can be very dangerous if your cat has a habit of chewing on things. For this reason, it is vital that you have all wires covered up. One way to do this is by using cardboard – and this might be where all those delivery boxes come in handy!
Christmas time is also feast time of course. This may come with it’s potential dangers. There are a number of foods which you should make sure your cat does not have access to. Onions and garlic can cause sickness for example, and so this means gravy can be bad news too. Also, raisins, grapes and chocolate are very much on the naughty list.
When cooking meat, also ensure that you do not leave the meat string lying around or easily accessible. This will be very tempting for a cat to chew on, but if they try to consume it, the string will cause serious problems due to the blockages it might cause as it is ingested.
Alcohol can cause sickness in your cat if they end up slurping away on some which has perhaps spilled on the floor. You should therefore always be quick with your cloth at hand to wipe it up before your cat gets there!
There are some plants such as Poinsettia that is dangerous for your cat. But then it is also important to be aware that holly and mistletoe berries can in fact be even more dangerous. You should also know that amaryllis and lilies are a no-go for cats.
Beyond specific food items or decorations that might cause problems, you also need to think about the general atmosphere of the house. If during the Christmas period, as is the case for many people, you tend to have more guests than usual, then this could cause stress to your cat.
To ensure that you do not worry your cat with all the movement, noise and rearrangement of tables and chairs, you should set up a quiet, calm area with a litter tray and a ready supply of water which is away from the Christmas chaos!