Gingerbread houses. Turkey and ham. Glittery tree ornaments. These holiday delights can be irresistible to your cat, but they can also be dangerous.
Here are 4 quick tips to keep your kitty safe and healthy during the holidays.
1. Don’t feed your cat leftovers or table scraps.
Fat-laden holiday foods can contribute to inflammation of the pancreas, causing discomfort and digestive trouble.
2. Don’t give the cat a bone, especially a poultry bone!
Cats love to jump on tables and steal things the second your back is turned. Keep cooked turkey bones out of your cat’s reach. These sharp bones can splinter and get stuck in your cat’s throat or digestive tract or cut into intestinal tissues.
3. Don’t feed your cat raw turkey giblets, kidneys, liver, or necks.
Since we’re talking turkey, when you’re prepping your turkey, double-bag the “innards” that are included inside the raw turkey and dispose of them. Raw meats are often contaminated with bacteria that can cause diarrhea, cramps, and upset tummies… or worse.
4. Keep kitty away from the Christmas tree.
This is a tough challenge, because cats love to play with the shiny, dangling ornaments and tinsel. They also enjoy drinking the toxic water at the base of the tree, climbing the tree, knocking over the tree, sharpening their claws on the trunk… you name it!
Both artificial and live trees pose risks to your cat.
- If they eat the needles off a live tree, it can puncture their intestines. If they eat the needles off an artificial tree (which is usually sprayed with fire retardant), they can experience intestinal blockage or thyroid disease.
- If they swallow tinsel or ornaments, they can experience internal cuts and intestinal blockage.
- If they chew dangling tree lights or extension cords, they can penetrate the insulation around the cords and get a severe tongue burn or electric shock.
5 Tips for Cat-Proofing Your Tree
To deter your curious kitty from exploring or chewing on the tree, try spritzing a bitter apple spray, Citronella oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon or orange scent around the tree. Cats don’t like citrus scent, so you could also scatter orange peels under the tree.
To keep your cat from drinking chemically-treated tree water (which can be highly toxic), wrap aluminum foil over the base filled with water.
To stop kitty from chewing the bottom branches, spray the bottom limbs with tabasco sauce.
When hanging ornaments, tie them on with string or twine, rather than metal hooks (but be vigilant, as cats like to eat string, too!). Hang your most delicate decorations near the top of the tree.
Most importantly, keep your cat out of the room where the tree is located unless you are carefully supervising your cat!