VCA Animal Hospitals

Holiday safety tips for cat owners

Published: Dec 06, 2012

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The holidays are just around the corner, which means people are busy wrapping gifts, decorating their houses and organizing parties. Cat owners must be particularly careful this time of year to make sure their feline companions have a safe and healthy holiday. Here are some tips on how to ensure this season goes smoothly for both you and your cat companion.

Holiday decorations
Setting up holiday decor is a time-honored tradition for those who celebrate Christmas, but it's not without its dangers for felines. To a cat, Christmas lights might look like a fun toy, since felines often enjoy dangling strings. But if your cat chews on string lights, he runs the risk of receiving an electric shock, something that can cause serious pain in cats.

The Christmas tree presents its own risks, according to PetEducation.com. Cats are naturally curious, and bringing a tree into the home is likely to get your feline's attention. Therefore, it's best to secure your tree in a stable stand and tie it off to a wall or window to prevent it from falling. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure he doesn't munch on any pine needles, as these can be dangerous to his pet health. Plants like poinsettias and mistletoe can also be dangerous for cats, so put these out of reach. When hanging ornaments, make sure that they are high up on the tree so your feline companion doesn't knock them down - broken glass presents a hazard for both pets and humans alike.

Presents may also pique cats' interest, according to PetPlace.com. Try to avoid using too much ribbon or string. These adornments can be swallowed by cats, which can lead to intestinal issues.

The holiday party
If you're planning on having friends and family over to celebrate the holidays this year, you'll also need to take measures to protect your cat's safety. While you may be well aware that human food is not only dangerous for your pet's health but can also lead to obesity in cats, your guests may not know this. Be sure to remind your loved ones to make sure the cat doesn't eat any food that could cause him harm. If at any point you see your cat vomiting, take him to the vet for immediate attention.

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