We all love decorating our homes at Christmas, but if you are a cat owner, it’s important to take their needs into account when adorning your home with festive cheer.
While you might see your Christmas tree as a decorative item used to stash your presents underneath, your cat might see it as an exciting new playground! Consider only allowing your cat in a room with a Christmas tree when you are there to supervise.
If you are planning on giving your cat new toys for Christmas, try handing them out at the same time as putting up your tree to keep them preoccupied.
Real Christmas trees are mildly toxic to cats and if ingested, sharp needles can cause internal injuries. Fake plastic trees are less of a danger to cats although if they are chewed, they can still cause internal blockages.
Think carefully about where to position your Christmas tree. Ensure the base is sturdy so that the tree can’t be easily pulled over and keep it away from your cat’s favourite perch so he can’t leap onto its branches.
If you decide to get a real Christmas tree, keep it well watered so that it doesn’t drop its needles as often, and vacuum fallen needles up regularly. Ensure the tree stand has a concealed well so that your cat won’t be tempted to drink from it – the water could make your cat poorly.
Poinsettia, mistletoe and holly
It was once believed that poinsettias were extremely toxic to cats, but the truth is they are only mildly toxic, confirmed by the Pet Poison Helpline. Poinsettias are not lethal to cats, but ingestion can lead to drooling or vomiting. Only in extreme cases would poinsettia poisoning require medical treatment.
Mistletoe and holly however are much more toxic to cats, and with its spiny leaves, holly can cause internal injuries if eaten.
If in doubt, avoid displaying these plants in your home altogether. Plastic or fabric alternatives can often be passed off as the real thing, and they last much longer!
Keep the noise down
If your cat isn’t used to seeing lots of people, a big Christmas bash in your home is probably not a good idea. Crackers and party poppers can be very scary for your cat so only consider pulling them when your cat is out of the room, or even better, out of the house.
Party games can really put people into the festive spirit. Getting carried away can be part of the fun, but if your cat is in the room try to keep the noise levels down to avoid creating undue stress in your cat.
Other hints and tips to keep your cat safe at Christmas
If you own a cat and you have any other tips for keeping your cat safe this Christmas, why not share them with our readers by commenting on this blog post?
We hope you and your cats have a happy, safe Christmas!