Safe Decorating For A Cat Happy Holiday

Holiday Decorating To Keep Your Cat Safe

Thanksgiving is behind us and many Pittsburghers have already retrieved the boxes full of holiday decorations, anxious to make the house festive and bright. Cats, too, are anxious to explore all the wonders of the holiday season as well.

Here are some tips to help decorate your cat-friendly home using common sense to minimize the cats’ exposure to dangers you might not expect. We love seeing your pets’ holiday pictures in the many holiday cards we receive, but don’t want to have to treat them for emergencies this family-busy time of the year!

Cats love to climb holiday trees so be sure to use a wide, stable base, or securely anchor your tree to the wall to prevent it from toppling over onto them. The light strings on the tree are just another linear chew toy to cats that can cause shocks, so keep the cords from hanging too low on the tree. Keep glass ornaments off the low branches, as cats love to bat them around and the glass shards can be dangerous.

Kitties love sparkly, light-catching tinsel and will roll in it, chew on it, and carry it in their mouths. A nibble can lead to swallowing it causing obstructed gastrointestinal tracts. The same is true for any ribbons or yarn on the trees or on gift packages. In pet households, clean up all wrapping materials immediately after presents are opened. Cats will often start at one end of a ribbon and swallow until it is completely ingested. It is the least intelligent thing cats do!

Avoid filling your cat’s home with poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, lillies, and forced spring flowers. Gastrointestinal and cardiac abnormalities are possible, and Lily ingestion can lead to kidney failure. Even dried and artificial flowers should be kept out of kitties’ reach, as we have had to remove parts of artificial flowers from kitties’ GI tracts.

Holiday foods can be off limits for cats. Grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and anything containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol can be poisonous to pets.

If you are having a house full of guests, I recommend setting the kitty up in a separate room with food, water, and litter. Keep that room door closed to prevent the cat from escaping out the wide open front door when large numbers of guests are arriving and departing.

This is supposed to be a cold winter, so generally it is safest to keep cats indoors when the temperature is under twenty degrees to prevent frost bite and hypothermia.

Keeping these tips in mind, have a fun, creative, and cat-safe holiday decorating party this year.

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