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Make Sure it's a Chaos-free Christmas for your Cat

16 December 2014

UK - As creatures of habit, Christmas can be a stressful time for cats. Blue Cross has put together some guidance for potential dangers your cat should avoid.

Plants - While lilies and yew are popular Christmas plants, they are also very poisonous to cats and can be fatal.

Festive plants such as poinsettias and holly can give your cat stomach problems, too. If your cat has eaten any part of these plants, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Tinsel - Curious cats love to play with tinsel but it can get stuck in their gut if they eat it. The string on the tinsel can even act like a cheese wire and cut into the bowel.

This is dangerous and requires surgery to fix.

Cold - Cats are inquisitive creatures and love to explore outside, but most pet cats aren’t used to extreme cold and can develop hypothermia and frostbite.

It is better to keep them indoors if it’s really cold, even if they get grumpy, to keep them safe. Make sure your cat is microchipped so if they do wander off in search of a warm place they can be traced back to you.

Roads and pavements - Salt from the road and anti-freeze used to defrost cars can both be dangerous to cats if licked. Now the nights are longer it’s a good idea to keep your cat inside at night to prevent road accidents.

Human food - While you may be tempted to feed your cat some leftover food, be careful especially with food that contains garlic, onions, raisins and grapes as these are potentially poisonous to your cat. If you think your cat might have eaten some and is showing symptoms such as restlessness and vomiting, take them to the vet.

Christmas trees - Cats are inquisitive creatures and will likely want to investigate a tree suddenly appearing in the living room. Consider getting a plastic one, as fir tree needles can spike your pet’s paws.

If you do have a real tree, make sure the tree is well hydrated so the needles don’t fall off. Cat-proof your Christmas tree by making sure the base is secure so it can’t fall down if your cat climbs it.

Toys - If you’re getting your cat a toy this Christmas, think about it in the same way you would if you were buying one for a child. The toy should be made from a non-toxic substance and large enough that the cat can’t swallow it.

Visitors - Your cat may welcome visitors with a friendly miaow or they may be shy and not want to say hello at all. Regardless of your cat’s feelings towards strangers, it is important they have somewhere to go where they can escape the noise and young children who may think your cat is a toy.

Fairy lights - Your cat can have a shock if they chew through the wires. Make sure all cables are out of sight and your cat is unable to chew through them.

Candles - These can be harmful to your cat for obvious reasons and you should never leave a cat alone with a candle. They may also be attracted to the smell your candle gives off, if it fragranced so it is a good idea to put fragranced candles into a room your cat does not go into.

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