Curiosity can have a notorious effect on cats, so the advent of tinsel, baubles and seasonal plants can turn a cosy Christmas home into a tempting playground of hazards for our furry friends.
To help keep kitty safe this Christmas and New Year, Cats Protection has shared 12 top tips for feline-friendly festivities to ensure the season can be enjoyed by all.
Watch Santa’s video guide on how to keep cats safe at Christmas: https://youtu.be/x6ZnKB5PNbE
- Christmas trees present a tempting challenge so avoid placing breakable ornaments within reach and discourage climbing. Real trees can seep toxic preservatives so the base should be a no-go area for puss.
- Glass baubles, tinsel and decorations with tiny parts can be dangerous to cats and should be avoided. If your tree is real, vacuum often as pine needles are a choking hazard and can hurt feet.
- Dressing up your cats will make them stressed. It can be tempting to involve your cat in festivities, but fancy dress can restrict movement, risk injury and prevent grooming or stretching.
- Toxic plants like holly, ivy, poinsettia, lilies and mistletoe are potentially dangerous to cats. A full list of harmful plants can be found on Cats Protection’s website here.
- Human food is not for cats and rich foods like chocolate can be toxic and should definitely be off the menu. Overfeeding can make a cat overweight and risk health problems such as diabetes.
- Christmas can be loud and cats may want a safe place to retreat to when things get noisy. Cats can be startled by bangs such as Christmas crackers, party poppers and general commotion.
- Tidy away presents and wrapping after opening gifts. Wrapping paper, elastic bands and ribbons can be a tempting hazard so keep your cat from nibbling at them.
- Cat-friendly toys can be a treat at Christmas but pick ones with embroidered features, not plastic or glass ones which can come off. If you buy cat edible gifts, go for special pet treats.
- Screen open fires and don’t hang decorations near them. Avoid danger by reducing temptation.
- If you’re going away consider a cat sitter over a cattery. Cats like a familiar environment so keeping your cat at home can ensure they feel less stressed. Most of all; make plans early.
- Prepare for fireworks especially at New Year, when the loud bangs and bright lights can cause anxiety, so keep your curtains closed and consider a calming pheromone plug-in diffuser.
- Do not give cats as presents. Cats are a commitment beyond Christmas and are not to be treated as novelty gifts. Cats Protection does not home cats during the holiday season.
Christmas advice can be found at: https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/cats-at-christmas
Cats Protection’s work has continued throughout the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to generous supporters who make it all possible. To donate and help more cats this Christmas, visit: www.cats.org.uk/christmas/donate