Ely & District Cats Protection Branch - Christmas and Cats
24 November 2018
Christmas and Cats
Now that Bonfire Night is behind us, our thoughts turn to Christmas.
Everyone wants to have a fun and safe time over the Christmas period, but have you looked at this time from your cat’s point of view?
We have compiled some tips and advice to make sure your cat is safe over Christmas.
Christmas Trees and Decorations
Some cats think Christmas trees are an indoor jungle to be explored. Is your cat a nimble careful moggy who climbs with confidence?
- Choose somewhere that you can secure the tree to the wall or ceiling. You can use clear fishing line to secure the tree – almost invisible and strong.
- Make sure the tree base is sturdy and stable. If your tree is real, do not use any chemicals in the water – cats WILL drink out of it, and tree preservatives are toxic. Alternatively, cover the top of the pot securely so the cat cannot get to the water.
- If you cannot secure your tree, think about putting a play pen round it, so if it falls - it falls safely.
- Pine needles are not toxic, and most cats would not try to eat them, but if you suspect your cat might - vacuum them up as soon as you see them. If a needle is swallowed, it can lodge in the cat’s intestines and cause irritation or even a blockage.
- Use ribbon or twine rather than hooks to put your decorations on the tree. Hooks can snag on an ear or tail, or get swallowed.
- Older baubles are made of glass and if broken will cut paws and noses. Do not use edible ornaments (Chocolate) can be toxic for cats, your cat may leap up a tree to get at the attractive smell.
- Tinsel is dangerous. Many cats cannot resist the shiny stuff, and if they chew it, it can easily form a blockage in the intestines.
Avoid giving extra non-cat treats - too many tasty treats can quickly lead to upset stomachs.
If you tie up your turkey with string, carefully put it straight into your (cat-proof) dustbin. If a cat starts to swallow something, it cannot stop because of the structure of its throat and tongue, so if your pet starts sucking the tasty turkey-soaked string, the whole lot will go down his gullet – never try to pull it out but rush him to the vet as soon as possible.
Gifts, Wrapping and Ribbons
Watch out for him eating pieces of ribbon and sticky tape. Gifts left under the tree will be investigated by your cat, and can be very attractive.
Keep them out of cat-range and never leave them alight when you are not in the room.
There are a few traditional Christmas gift plants that are dangerous for cats. If you are given one of these, either keep them in a cat-proof room.
Amaryllis, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Iris, Mistletoe and ALL LILIES are very poisonous to cats.
Poinsettias are less dangerous but some cats are sensitive to them and can have upset stomachs and vomit if they eat them.
If you think your cat has chewed on any of these, take him to the vet IMMEDIATELY.
Thinking of taking your cat away for Christmas? Don’t - there are very few cats that enjoy this. Your cat will be much happier in his own home with a friendly face coming a couple of times a day to feed and check up on him. Boarding in a cattery is better than stressing your cat out travelling and then meeting lots of new humans and their pets too.
If you have visitors coming for Christmas, keep your cat’s routine as normal as possible. Make sure he has a quiet place to retreat to at all times with his bed, blanket, toys, and water and food bowls.
Train your visitors in cat etiquette - “Don’t chase the cat – let the cat come to you”. Most dogs enjoy meeting new people – most cats hate it.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all your cats.