Want to know how to keep your cat safe this Christmas? The festive season is full of fun, but with it comes a few risks to your cat that you should be aware of. Check out our top 10 tips for keeping your cat safe at Christmas.
1. Christmas Trees
Are Christmas Trees Safe for Cats?
There are some Christmas Tree variants that are mildly toxic to cats. Fir trees for example produce oils that can irritate your cats mouth and stomach. It is unlikely that your cat will digest enough of this toxic oil to hurt themselves. There is also a risk of your cats consuming fallen needles, so if you do opt for a real tree this year, you can minimise the risk to your cat by:
- placing orange and lemon peel around the base of the tree as well as a tree skirt
- choose a non-drop variety to avoid your cat consuming needles
- place decorations to the top of the tree as to not tempt your cat to play with the tree
2. Candles, Fires and Open Flames
If you're anything like us, dotting candles throughout your home brings a special kind of Christmas feeling! But roasting chestnuts by an open fire isn't the safest for your cat. Keep their inquisitive personalities and swishy tails safe by using guards around any open flames, out of reach of your kitty.
3. Letting Your Cat Outside in Winter
Is it dangerous for cats to go outside when it's cold?
Although cats can withstand lower temperates, they can still get frostbite and hypothermia. Dr Chris Miller explains to The Washingtonian that a popular place for cats when it is cold is under cars to keep warm, as car engines can give off heat hours after they are turned off. Of course this however poses another danger for outside cats if the car is started.
Consider a ProtectaPet cat patio with a safe electric heat source so that your cat can enjoy being outside without any of the dangers.
4. Christmas Foods That Cats Cannot Eat
The kitchen is the centre of all the hustle and bustle on Christmas day and your cats may be intrigued to have a nosey. However, it may be safer for your cats to close the kitchen to avoid any accidents whilst cooking. Where this isn’t possible, be aware of some of these Christmas foods that are toxic to cats.
- Turkey bones
5. Having Visitors for Christmas
If you're having people over for Christmas dinner, the additional people, objects and noise can result in high anxiety and stress for your cat.
- Ask visitors to give your cats space and interact with them on the cat’s own terms.
- Create a breakout area for your cats to relax in, such as a quiet room in the house or your garden if there is fencing, an enclosure or catio.
- Fill the space with fresh water, food, cat litter tray, toys and blankets.
- Keep to your cats regular feeding and exercise times.
6. Christmas Gifts that are Dangerous to Cats
Although every gift is meant with the best intention, a swift regifting may be necessary for your cats welfare. Think twice before bringing these Christmas gifts or accessories back into the home:
- Poinsettias (mildly toxic if ingested)
- Himalayan Salt Lamps
- Dangerous cat toys (string, ribbon or yarn should be avoided)
- Chocolate decoration (tree decorations, coins)
- Cat dressing up outfits that don’t fit or have loose components
7. Leaving your Cats at Home on Christmas day
Can I leave My Cat Alone At Home For Christmas?
If you’re going somewhere else for Christmas day, be sure to not leave your cats alone for too long. Co-ordinating a trip back with a designated driver to feed your cats half way through your stay and give them a play will help stop them from being bored and therefore deter them from ruining any of your Christmas decorations for your return home! You can also ask a neighbour to pop in to feed and play with them.
Why not shop our enrichment products to keep your cat entertained while you are out of the home!
8. Clean up Antifreeze
The smell of antifreeze is very alluring to cats but extremely toxic. The metro reported that a small town once saw antifreeze kill at least 9 cats in the space of two weeks. Make guests aware to clean up the tiniest of spills of antifreeze when they are visiting you over the holidays.
9. Loud noises
Craking up the volume to listen to Mariah Carey, party poppers, fireworks, crackers, loud guests. There's lots of additional noises at Christmas that can be upsetting to cats and lead to spraying or scratching furniture.
Feliway plug ins can help keep your cat feel calmer during these situations.
10. Cat Proof Decorations
Consider using cat safe alternatives to tinsel and other sparkly decorations that are all too tempting for your cat. Tinsel can be very dangerous if your cat eats it! Another no no are snow globes, as these contain antifreeze! If you insist on displaying your magical scene then keep well out of the way of your cat's reach.
We wish you a happy and safe Christmas!