There is no other time in the year when we make as many changes in our home as we do on Christmas. The new decorations and the new smells of the festive season are very tempting for our curious cats!
And although it may seem almost impossible to keep your cat (especially younger kittens) away from your Christmas decorations and above all the Christmas tree, you can reduce the problems from a kooky cat who likes to climb.
Are our cats safe?
Kittens and playful cats are more prone to accidents that can be caused by the materials of the decoration but also adult cats can be stressed by the changes in the house or by the people we can host during the holidays.
But what are the most common problems that can arise?
And how can we minimize the risks?
There is nothing more interesting for cats than Christmas decorations. Shiny balls, ribbons, hanging ornaments and even a whole tree in their living room!
The first thing you need to insure is the Christmas tree. Whether true or false, you need to make sure it does not fall easily if your cat climbs on it. Put it in a corner and ideally tie it somewhere and invest on high strength base. If you have fragile ornaments, then it is good to place them at the highest points of the tree. If the cat is very busy with the tree it might be a good idea not to allow it access when you are not at home. A good idea also is to empty the area of furniture because cats can easily climb on them and shoot straight at your tree.
You should also watch your cat to see if he tends to chew on ornaments or tree branches. Chewing and swallowing such objects is very dangerous.
Garlands and ribbons are something that cats go crazy for! Try to use garlands and ribbons made of fabric or paper, as foils garlands are dangerous for cats if swallowed and are unfortunately the most tempting for them.
Flowers and plants
Before we put flowers and plants in our house for Christmas, it is important to know that they can cause damage if our cats drop the vases or use them as a toilet. But the most important thing is to know which plants are safe in case the cat bites them or swallows them (check the list of ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s https://bit.ly/337EwbK to discover which houseplants are a potential hazard to your pet). Of course, fake plants are a safe solution.
Candles and Fireplace
The cats love the heat from the candles and the fireplace. Some cats and especially small kittens can get very close to the fire, usually burning their whiskers.
Always have candles out of the reach of cats, the protective screen in the fireplace and never leave your cat in areas with candles or a lit fireplace if you are not with her.
Kitchen and security
Preparing food for the festive table our kitchen is usually a mess. It would be best to remove the cat during preparation. The cat can cause damages, get injured or eat some food that is not good for its health.
Turkey, stuffing, pork and other temptations, have their place of honour during the holidays. The cat can certainly dismiss many treats that are not part of its daily diet. But you should avoid giving the cat any foods that will irritate it.
Cats usually avoid foods that are toxic to them, such as onions, avocados and chocolate. Cats can also experience diarrhoea and vomiting if they eat foods high in fat as well as dairy. Give your cat selected pieces of meat if you want to eat some of the food you have prepared, but do not let it eat leftovers from your table. If you think your cat has eaten something it should not, contact your veterinarian.
For your cat, an electrical cord is another string to play with. But they are dangerous because they can get entangled around the cat or get an electric shock if it bites them.
Hang the lights in places that they cannot reach and secure the cables as much as you can so that they do not hang or are on the ground.
Christmas clothes for cats
Many of us may find amusing photos of cats dressed in Christmas costumes. The expression of the absolute annoyance that has made us laugh and this proves that our cats do not like to dress them at all. If you really want to wear clothes to the cat then you must choose something that will not cause difficulty in the movement of the cat and will not bother her eyes and ears. Put the clothes on your cat, take some pictures and take them off!
Guests, noise and chaos
Christmas is a time when we have people at home, music and even fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Cats are very sensitive to sounds, and especially the cats that are shy with strangers can be very stressful. Create a safe space for your cat away from noise and chaos in one of the rooms of the house, put food, water and sand in it and inform your guests not to enter that room.
Cats as Christmas presents
Giving a cat as a gift to someone for Christmas may seem like a very nice move but it is usually a bad idea. Becoming a cat guardian is a serious matter and requires time and responsibility. So ask yourself: the person which accepts that gift is ready for it?
So, with a little care, your cats will spend happy holidays like you and most importantly… safely!