The Ultimate Christmas Survival Guide for Cats

Christmas Survival Guide to Cats
Indy doing her best Santa impression

Trees in the home, an abundance of flashing lights and an influx of visitors through your door are Christmas traditions that we as humans love, but with so much ‘new’ stuff to contend with, it can be an all too tempting and confusing time for our cats. However, armed with a few easy-to-follow precautions, ensuring your festivities are safe for your feline makes for a very happy Christmas for all.

TINSEL, TREES AND TEMPTING TOYS

Through the eyes of a cat, the addition of a Christmas tree in the home offers an exciting chance for playtime. Twinkly fairy lights, strands of tinsel and dangling baubles are as mighty as catnip, not to mention the climbing potential a tree affords. Curious cats will make a beeline for your Christmas tree, and by climbing it or attacking decorations, it can easily topple over. As well as risking your tree falling over, breaking glass ornaments and ingesting tinsel can cause injury to your cat. The key is to keep your cat away from your tree, unless under your supervision.

CHOOSE FAKE OVER REAL

While we love the smell of a real tree in our home, these can be harmful to your cat’s health. The oils produced by real trees can be mildly toxic if consumed, leading to stomach and mouth irritation. Potted trees planted in fertiliser are also best avoided, while sharp pine needles can easily cause internal damage if swallowed.

AVOID POISONOUS PLANTS

While the opportunity to fill our home with Christmas-themed plants is tempting, choose carefully, as not all are safe for our four-legged companions. Poinsettia – a firm favourite at Christmas – can cause minor stomach irritation. However, the ones to really watch are holly and mistletoe, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling. Instead, choose cat-friendly options such as roses or cacti. 

WATCH OPEN FIRES AND FLAMES

When the weather outside is frightful, we love nothing more than taking solace indoors with our furry companions by our side. While the cooler temperature may have you longing to light a fire, curious cats are drawn to their flames, so ensure you use a study fireguard to keep them safe. Candles also have the same appeal so keep your eye on these at all times.

BEWARE OF FESTIVE TREATS

‘Tis the season to overindulge but don’t apply this principle to your cats. It’s best to adhere to their usual feeding regime, only presenting them with cat-friendly treats on occasion. While you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen, be wary of quick cats, who will seize any chance to get a little extra food. Foods typically associated with Christmas such as onions and garlic, whether cooked or raw are toxic. Christmas cakes and puddings which are full of raisins should be avoided, while grapes, chocolate and alcohol are a also a no-no. Thankfully, there are a wealth of Christmas cat treats on the market so choosing something safe is easy.

NOISE AND ACTIVITY CAN FRIGHTEN CATS

With so many visitors, changes and new scents to contend with, Christmas can prove a stressful time of year for cats, especially those who are generally nervous anyway. The Christmas clean combined with rearranging furniture to make way for decorations can disrupt your cat’s scent markings around your home, which can be distressing, as can other animals visiting your home. Where possible, keep disruption to your cat’s routine to a minimum and make sure they have a safe and quiet area to retreat to. It’s also a good idea to purchase a spray or diffuser which releases comforting pheromones.

TAKE CARE WHEN WRAPPING

Shiny wrapping paper, ribbons aplenty and big bows are all too appealing for cats. Serving as a choking hazard, it’s best to keep Christmas presents stored away, rather than left under the tree, and remember to tidy up any trimmings when you’re finished.

FIREWORKS

While there’s the temptation to see the year out with a bang, fireworks are particularly distressing for cats. As you can’t control others letting them off, it’s best to keep your cat as calm as possible. Sit with them, have the TV or radio on and make sure they have plenty of food and water at hand.

Happy Catmas from the team at StyleTails! Does your cat love or loathe the Holidays? Tell us in the comments below. 

Aideen is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle writer, from Northern Ireland. She grew up with a sassy tabby cat, named Lucky, who proved unlucky by nature, creating mischief wherever her paws took her. She currently has a British Shorthair cat called Indy, who has a penchant for the finer things in life. She loves combining her passion for writing, fashion and cats, spending her days blogging with Indy by her side.

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