The holidays are an exciting time of year. As you put up your tree and make your holiday plans, take time to check in with your cat. You’ll want to monitor her behavior more closely to ensure she is not getting into any dangerous situations with new decorations. To you, decorations may be a holiday tradition. To your cat, they can look like new cat toys.
Safety Tips for the Holidays
These Christmas decorations are the most frequent cause of injury in cats, so it helps to pay special attention to these before the season begins:
- Christmas Trees - Some cats will scale a Christmas tree, potentially knocking it over. You should also cover your tree water with aluminum foil or plastic wrap so your cat cannot drink it as it might have fertilizers that can be unsafe for him. Hang any ornaments that are fragile or could be ingested on high branches so your cat can’t get at them. If you’re having a hard time keeping your cat away from the tree, you might need to arrange to keep her out of the room during the holidays, especially when you are not home. Placing your tree in a room with a door can help.
- Tinsel and Ribbons - Holiday tinsel and ribbons on presents are like string toys for cats, but the long strings they are made from can cause a dangerous blockage in their digestive system if ingested. Use wide cloth ribbons, beads, and garlands without strings in decor and gift wrapping.
- Plants - Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, lilies, and amaryllis are toxic for cats. Keep these plants out of your home, or ensure that they are out of reach of your cat.
- Essential Oils - Many wintery essential oils like peppermint, pine, and clove are toxic for cats, so avoid using them in a diffuser.
- Candles - Lit candles should be kept away from your cat who might accidentally knock it over with his tail.
- Electrical Cords - Another string-like item that a cat may want to play with, electrical cords can be a burn or electrocution risk if your cat tries to bite them. Make sure the loose ends of cords are secured and not dangling.
Stress is another important danger to keep in mind during the holidays. Especially if people are visiting, you’re traveling, or there is other commotion in your home, make sure your cat has a quiet and safe place to hide to provide some stability throughout the season. And don’t forget in the excitement to take a few minutes everyday to give your cat some attention.