Cats are very much creatures of routine, who tend to find change, upheaval and uncertainty rather distressing-this is often most apparent if you have ever had cause to move home with your cat in tow! However, even something as simple as replacing an old piece of furniture can throw your cat’s sense of normality out of kilter, and so it makes sense therefore that the annual upheaval that happens around Christmas and the New Year can be rather stressful for cats too!
If you live with a cat, whether you make a big effort at Christmas or try to keep things quiet, it is important to plan ahead and ensure that there is not too much upheaval and change within your cat’s environment in the run-up to the festive period and over Christmas and New Year itself. In this article, we will look at five important things that all cat owners should remember at Christmas, in order to make Christmas pleasant and enjoyable for your cat as well as yourself. Read on to learn more.
Many cats are very inquisitive, and will be interested to come and meet any visitors that you might have over to your home during the festive period. Even cats that are relatively shy will sometimes come in to take a look at the newcomers if they have been sitting and talking for a while-but not all cats will be pleased to have people that they don’t know in their homes!
Remember that if you have visitors over during the Christmas period, and particularly if you are having people over to stay, that you should try and keep things calm and consistent for your cat. Ensure that there is a room your cat can retreat to when they want to be on their own and not bothered by people, and don’t let other people’s children seek your cat out if they are trying to keep out of the way!
Many a Christmas decoration has reached an untimely demise due to the attentions of an enthralled cat over the years, and it is certainly fair to say that combining cats and decorations can make for an interesting mix!
First of all, it is important to pick your decorations carefully to ensure that they do not contain toxic paints or anything else dangerous, and pay special attention to things like tinsel and the string of baubles, as cats can often chew these loose and may ingest them.
Anything that sheds glitter or other particles should be avoided, and anything that your cat might be tempted to make a leap for (such as trailing ribbons) should be well out of reach.
The tree itself is often the focal point for cat-related attentions, so make sure that if you get a real tree, it is safe for your cat, and regardless of the material used, that the base of the tree is secure. Cats often try to climb Christmas trees, so bear this in mind from a safety point of view, and keep trailing decorations and lights out of the way!
Cats are often very keen to share the best of your Christmas food, particularly if you are cooking a turkey or something else that will be fragrant and delicious when roasted! While cats are not as apt to scavenge and beg as dogs are, it is still important to think about this-and to find out well ahead of time about some of the Christmas foods, plants and ingredients that can be toxic to cats, such as Poinsettia and Christmas lilies.
Giving a cat or a kitten as a present is a terrible idea for the cat, even if the person that you intend to gift it to knows that you are doing so and will be happy to receive it. There is too much upheaval and activity going on in the average home at Christmas time to make the environment conducive to helping a cat or a kitten to settle in, so don’t consider getting a new cat (or any other pet) during December.
Over the last ten years or so, fireworks have become a common occurrence around Christmas and the New Year, and fireworks going off suddenly or going off unexpectedly several nights in a row can really upset your cat.
Make sure that your cat is inside before it gets dark, and take the other usual precautions that you would take around bonfire night in order to help your cat to keep calm, feel safe, and to reduce the impact that fireworks can have on pets.