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Surviving Christmas with Your Cat

Surviving Christmas with Your Cat

by Dr. Carla Case-... on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 8:36am

Submitted by Lisa Yackel, Hospital Administrator of Case Veterinary Hospital

 

I grew up in a household without a cat and I have been unable to have a cat in my adult life as well.  Both my father and my husband are allergic and my relationships with each of them won over my desire to have a kitty in the house.  My husband was a trooper and did go through allergy shots weekly for many years so that he could visit me at the hospital as well as give me a hug when I got home without making me change from scrubs.  That being said, thirty years of working in a veterinary hospital, hearing the stories, and seeing some outcomes of some of the antics cats can do, has given me some insight on the trouble your cat can get into at Christmas.  From what I can see, Christmas time means one thing to your cat … PLAYTIME!

They have a new scratching post - your Christmas tree, lots of colorful string to play with in the form of tinsel and ribbons, and new balls to bat around - tree decorations.   Even though this new playground seems great to your cat, it does come fraught with danger if you aren’t careful.  I know one more thing to worry about during such a busy time of year!

Many cats will try to climb the Christmas tree and can fall off the tree if it’s unstable or if they lose their footing. Make sure the tree is firmly secured and will not tip over. Put breakable decorations higher up in the tree and not in the bottom branches where they become new play things for kitty. Some cats also like to chew on electrical wires which can give them electrical shock, burns, and damage to their mouths.    Spray some Lemon juice around the base of the tree as most cats don’t like the smell.

Tinsel can be very dangerous for cats. They love to play with it but, if swallowed, it can cause an obstruction or even a perforation of the bowel which can be life threatening.

Plants like Poinsettias, Holly, Mistletoe and Lilies can cause big troubles if eaten by your pet. Put your on plants up on high shelves out of the kitty’s reach.  Better yet, you might consider fake plants inside if your cat has been known to be interested in the real ones.  I have found the new silk flowers are very realistic looking  and have the added benefit that I don’t have to water them during the holidays!

Chocolate can be toxic.  If you have visitors who don’t own a pet they might not think it’s bad to give some chocolates to your cat so be sure to remind them.

With all the noise and guests in your home, it can get a bit stressful for your cats. Give them their own special spot with a warm bed to sleep, a few of their favorite toys, a clean litter tray and some water where they can go to relax by themselves.  It might even be wise to board them or use a crate if it is difficult to control the environment.  No one likes to spend the holiday searching for a missing cat who escaped out the door that was left open!

 

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