The local Petco was as busy as any other store today filled with last minute shoppers buying for the furry members of their family. Amid the hustle and bustle cat owners were getting special treats, cozy cat beds, creative scratching pads, multi-level cat trees and a wide variety of cat toys.
Cat owners love their felines and want them to feel special and a part of the celebration of the holidays. And cats throughout San Diego will be purring hard tonight with visions of all of these wonderful presents in their heads.
This is all well and good, but what your cat really needs most from you during the holiday season is common sense to keep them safe and healthy.
Take care with seasonal plants and decorations
Plants like Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are poisonous to your cat. If you must use them for your décor, make sure they cannot be reached by an inquisitive cat.
The Christmas tree and its decorations have great attraction for many cats. Make sure the tree is safely anchored and cannot be knocked over by a tree-climbing cat. Avoid using tinsel and glittery ribbon – cats can and will chew on them. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to severe vomiting and dehydration and in extreme cases, an obstructed digestive tract possibly requiring surgery.
Fragile ornaments made of glass and aluminum can also be hazardous. Cats can bat at these causing them to break into pieces with sharp edges that may lacerate your cat’s mouth, throat and intestines in addition to creating a choking hazard.
Use electric candles or live candles in an enclosed candle holder. Fur can be easily ignited when brushed against an open flame. And a curious cat could knock a candle over creating a fire hazard and leaving a trail of hot wax that will easily burn the pads of their paws and more.
Plan a cat-safe holiday gathering
It is a festive and joyful time to share with family and friends and you may even have a cat that is social enough to want to greet your guests. However, it is up to use to use common sense to give your cat the safe place it needs to escape guest they do not want to interact with and to stay safely inside your home.
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shyer cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub. If you have a room where the cat can be isolated, make sure you put a sign on the door letting guests know that there is a cat inside and to keep the door shut.
Guests who are not used to living with indoor cats may accidently let a cat escape through a front or patio door. Don’t be shy about posting signs at doors to the outside letting your guests know to make sure they do not let the cat outside.
Being aware and making your guests aware and using common sense will go a long way in keeping your cat safe and healthy during the holidays.