As most of us are now well underway with the Christmas preparation, and have likely already begun decorating the home and attempting to keep the family cat away from all of the shiny, dangly baubles and other things that might spur them into attack mode, you may well have already checked out our ten tips on cat-proofing your Christmas tree.
But when it comes to the holiday season, there is a lot more to bear in mind than just the tree in terms of keeping your cat safe and happy with everything else that is going on, and so in this article, we will share a quick at-a-glance guide to ensuring that nothing you bring into your home will pose a hazard to your cat, and how to keep your cat happy and comfortable throughout the festivities. Read on to learn more.
As mentioned, it is well worth having a look at some of our tips and advice from last year on cat-proofing your tree (see link above) and your Christmas tree is apt to be the focal point of the holiday, not just for your family but for the pets as well!
Christmas trees can pose a hazard to cats in a lot of different ways, such as if they fall or tip over because your cat has tried to climb it, and also, as pine needles are both sharp and potentially, toxic to cats. Added to this, baubles, tinsel and of course, electric lights all come with the potential for cat-related problems, so be speculative about where your tree is located, how it is secured, and what is on it.
Tinsel itself tends to shed fibres, and can also have sharp edges much like cut paper. Baubles are apt to have small parts that can come off and be ingested, and in some cases, the paint and decoration used on baubles will be toxic as well.
If you have holly wreaths or other live plants in your home over Christmas, check whether or not they are cat-safe, and if not, keep them well out of your cat’s reach and ensure that they do not drop pollen or leaves where your cat will be either.
Also, glitter and Christmas often go hand in hand-avoid baubles and tinsel that has glitter on it that will shed everywhere and end up on your cat’s fur, and if you receive glittery Christmas cards, keep them well out of your cat’s way.
Giving your cat a little piece of the Christmas turkey or other cat-suitable foods on the day itself is fine, but before you scrape the remains of your dinner into their bowl, make sure that you consider every ingredient carefully to make sure that it is safe for cats. Onion, garlic, macadamia nuts and cooked bones are all things that tend to be on the table at Christmas, and are just a few of the potential toxins that can affect your cat.
If you wish to get your cat a present, this is sure to go down well, and you may even want to wrap it up to give your cat a surprise! If you do this, don’t use tape or string on the wrapping, just bundle it up and let your cat investigate. Be sure to remove all of the packaging afterwards!
Cats will also generally really enjoy being given empty boxes and rustling paper to play with once your own gifts have been unwrapped too!
When it comes to feeding your cat their usual meals, make sure that one member of the family is responsible for this, to ensure that your cat gets their meals at the time they expect to, and try to keep to your cat’s familiar routine. If you are planning to give your cat some turkey or other Christmas treats, adjust the amount of their normal food accordingly.
Don’t forget to ensure that your cat has clean, fresh water available at all times too!
Christmas is often a busy time with lots of comings and goings and new things being brought into the home, and as cats are creatures of habit that do not really enjoy change, try to minimise the effect that all of this has upon your cat.
Dedicate one room of the house to being a quiet room that is warm and calm, that your cat can retreat to when they have had enough, and where they will not be disturbed by visitors, noise and a lot of activity. If you haven’t seen your cat for a bit, go and check on them to make sure that they are ok, but otherwise, let them relax and stay out of the way if they want to.