23 Days ‘Til Christmas

Christmas is coming, are you ready?

Is your cat ready?

As we come into the holiday season there are lots of potential hazards for our feline friends. It’s important to stay alert to the hazards and do what you can to keep your kitties safe through the holidays.

If you’ve ever had to child-proof your house (and I haven’t) then cat-proofing is pretty similar. Child proofing involves getting at their level and being curious. Seeing what dangers you can expose yourself to on a crawl around the house. Basic cat proofing is very similar and is a good skill to have all year round. Cats are so curious and mischievous (I think they prefer “busy”) that any list of holiday hazards is going to miss something. Or maybe it will be geared toward the wrong holiday. Perhaps the biggest danger in your house is not the tree, but a menorah full of candles.

To cat proof a house I would recommend sitting on the floor in each room and imagining yourself as a cat. See what is on your level. See what you could reach with one of your super human leaps of five times your feline body length. What could you knock over? What could you chew on? How many of those items are safe? (Probably not many.) Are there party snacks on the counter that might smell nice to eat? Even a cat who has never tried this before might go for it in the middle of a busy party.

In addition to this basic walk-through (prowl-through?) of your house, keep in mind the following common holiday dangers:

This is not a positive. “Sparkly poopz” can be a life threatening issue!
Not a win-win. “Sparkly poopz” can be a life threatening issue!

1. Tinsel! I can’t say this enough. Cats love tinsel. Tinsel does not love them back. Sparkly, stringy objects are very exciting for a cat and are very frequently stimulus enough to take “PLAY!” to “EAT!” Tinsel is very dangerous on the inside (think plastic blades of tangly terror) and could very likely lead to an unpleasant visit to us or the emergency hospital. We love to see you and your cat. Just not for this.

2. Holiday food. Rich holiday food can range from toxic to just upset-tummy-causing for your cat. Probably not a big deal when you’re home by yourself, you know what is good for your cat and what isn’t and you know your cat’s sneaky tricks to get into your plate. Guests may not be cat people or may not know your cat well enough to take the appropriate precautions. It only takes a second of opportunity from a neglected plate on the coffee table to lead to some real problems for your cat.

3. Holiday party traffic.You do not want to be panic-looking for your cat in the wake of a holiday party. Keep your cat far away from the door as guests come and go. Better yet, create a retreat like the first checklist suggests. Create a safe, quiet space with all the necessities where you can enclose your cat during the festivities.

4. Non-tinsel decorations. Be careful with trees, anchor them. Tree ornaments should be safe and not something your cat might like to eat. No tinsel. No tinsel. Oh, this isn’t about tinsel. Candles should be kept out of places your cat might go, and cats should be separate from candles left alight when not directly in the room to supervise. No one wants a singed kitty, or worse, a house fire from an upended candle!

6. Cords. Those of us who forego candles for safety sometimes forget that the electrical lights to celebrate the season of lights can be hazardous as well. Make sure that cords are safely tucked away or otherwise protected so that inquiring feline minds don’t decide to try chewing them!

These are just a few common hazards. Remember when you do your cat-proofing prowl-through to have your naughty kitty eyes in full force so that you see all the tempting hazards that could be harmful to your cat.

If you have questions through the season and for sure if you happen to miss something that leads to an accident give us a call so we can help you out!

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