The busy Christmas period is nearly upon us with festivities about to get underway, writes Peterborough Cats Protection spokeswoman Sheridan Gaunt.
We all want our homes to look and feel Christmassy, however if you’re a cat owner, it won’t be a surprise that there are lots of things about Christmas that cats love too!
From Christmas trees, decorations and plants, there are many risk factors to consider.
Let’s start with Christmas trees. Whatever type you opt for, when you are a cat owner, it means that things are about to get very interesting for you, particularly if you have a playful cat! Some cats are keen climbers, and a lit-up tree presents a challenge they won’t be able to resist.
If you’ve purchased a real Christmas tree and your cat tends to nibble or lick, you’ll need to be mindful of your cat ingesting any parts of it. Some oils produced by these trees can be toxic, making your cat very unwell. You’ll also need to make sure you pick up any fallen needles to save them injuring their delicate paws. Make sure your Christmas tree has a sturdy base, or secure it with weights to stop it from toppling over.
You might want to consider display any hanging decorations closer to the top of the tree, out of the way of mischievous paws! A sparkly decoration is a top favourite of our feline friends and glass baubles in particular can shatter easily. Tinsel can also cause serious illness if ingested due to the blockages they can cause. It some cases, this can even be fatal, so be mindful if your cat is wanting to play with it.
Christmas lights can also be dangerous to cats so cover any wires leading to the tree by using plastic or cardboard tubes, and also switch your Christmas lights off at the mains when you’re not home.
Festive plants and flowers are something we all enjoy having in the home.
Poinsettia and berries found in holly and mistletoe are poisonous to cats, so keep them out of reach. Poinsettia plants can cause stomach irritation and the berries from mistletoe and holly, can cause poisoning if ingested. Amaryllis plants are a popular gift for Christmas, but can be toxic to cats.
All lilies are poisonous, the smallest amount of pollen is very dangerous to cats – whether they are brushed against, licked or drink the water the flowers are kept in. You must contact your vet urgently if you know or suspect your cat has eaten any poisonous plants or ingested anything that could cause them harm.
Finally, whilst we are all enjoying our Christmas break, cats can feel stressed and anxious.
So, make sure you give them space, along with a safe place to hide and get away from all the hype and festivities.