Keeping your cat safe over the festive period



Christmas is upon us once again and while we eat, drink and be merry it is important to remember that, if we aren't careful, the festive period can be potentially hazardous to our feline family members. Avoid a costly trip to the vets with our top tips for keeping your beloved moggie safe this Christmas.

Food

While many of us are guilty of overindulging at Christmas time, there's no real need for our cats to eat anything other than their standard diet over Christmas. Sudden changes in diet, particularly a sudden intake of rich foods, can cause upset stomachs in cats, which won't be fun for anyone over the Christmas period.

While a slither of cooked turkey meat off the bone will no doubt be wolfed down by your grateful companion, it is important to remember that cooked turkey bones can splinter and should therefore never be given to pets.

Many human foods can be toxic to cats, including chocolate, nuts, onions, garlic, raisins and alcohol. So no matter how much Mr Whiskers begs, these things must not be given to your cat. If you do want to indulge your kitty this Christmas, it may be best just to add a packet of cat treats to the shopping list.

Plants

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a tree and I love how confused the cats get when we bring the outside indoors. That being said, great care should be taken to supervise cats when they are around the Christmas tree. Pine can be toxic to cats, and pine needles can cause all sorts of serious problems if ingested, including bowel perforation. Cat owners may wish to consider an artificial tree, but cats should never be left alone unsupervised with any Christmas tree as they are easily toppled if climbed which may result in injury.

Hanging decorations can be all too tempting to cats and great care should be taken that they do not swallow any part (this applies to tinsel too). Lights on the tree really are the icing on the cake but take care to supervise your moggie as some cats can't resist chewing on the wires which could result in a nasty electric shock.

Take care bringing other Christmas related plants into the house. Holly berries, lilies, mistletoe and poinsettias are all toxic to cats so it is important to ensure they are kept well out of reach of your curious cat.

Clothing

You would never dress your kitty up in a silly outfit for Christmas would you...?

No, I wouldn't either (ahem!), but if you do decide to give your furry pal a festive makeover, use only outfits designed for cats and supervise them at all times.



If your cat is sporting a jazzy bow tie (delightfully modelled by the dashing chap above) supervise at all times and ensure that it has a quick breakaway section in case it snags. Never tie ribbons, tinsel or anything else around the cat's neck.

Candles

As always, you should never leave your cat unattended with a candle. Indeed, never leave a candle unattended.

Party time

While some cats love the attention that a party brings, others can be nervous having strange people and noises in their home. Give nervous cats a safe place to hide away from the chaos, and ensure that even the most outgoing cat in your life has a quiet place to go if it all gets a bit much. Allow access to water and a litter tray.

If New Year's Eve fireworks are likely to disturb your pet, close the curtains and play some calming music. A Feliway diffusor may help to prevent your cat getting scared.

So that's everything you need to know about keeping your cat safe over the festive period. Ely Cats Protection wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Peek-a-boo cat By Matthew Paul Argall (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.