Holiday Safety Tips – Part 1

Only two weeks left before it’s finally Christmas. But for many people who have cats (or other pets) the homes are their playground. And at this time of the year it’s a good idea to make it a safe Christmas for your cats as well. Don’t they love to climbing in the tree, watering it, eating decorations, and creating a mess? And you don’t want to end up at the vet because your cat ate some decorations. (When to go to the vet)

Here are a few safety tips for the Holidays.

Christmas Trees
Christmas trees are considered to be mildly toxic. The fir-tree oils can irritate to the mouth and stomach and cause excessive drooling or vomiting. The tree needles are also not easy to digest, and is most likely to cause Gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, gastrointestinal obstruction or puncture.

Not only real trees are dangerous, the fake ones can be pretty mean too. Artificial trees are dangerous when eaten. The toxin release from the artificial material and intestinal obstruction which are not digestible.
The amount of trouble depends on how much is consumed.

It’s recommended to put your cats away from the tree when you are not at home. This will allow you to keep a better eye out on the eating activity.

Another thing to think about is the tree water.Preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers and other stuff like aspirin are often used in the tree water to keep the tree fresh. You don’t want your cat drinking from that water, because it may have harmful or deadly consequences for your pets (and children). A covered tree water dish is the safest.

Smaller trees can be set on table tops, inside of baby play pens, or in a room protected by a baby gate.

Or you can make the area around the tree unattractive to keep paws at bay. Many cats dislike Aluminum foil,  Silver foil also offers a festive holiday look, so use this as a tree apron around the base. Or, invest in some clear plastic carpet protectors and place under the tree-nub side up. That makes walking around or under the tree uncomfortable.

Citrus spray, a sense many cats hate. So scatter orange or lemon peels (or potpourri) around the base of the tree. Vicks (menthol smell) also works as a good pet repellent.

You can place Christmas trees in a stable stand, and attach the tree securely to a window or wall with something like fish line.

Christmas Lights
They are everywhere, on the tree, not on the tree, and dangerous to curious pets. Chewing on cords and lights will cause electric shocks and burns in the mouth. Check cords regularly for signs of chewing and general wear and tear. If you notice any strange signs such as drooling, or showing signs of a painful mouth (for example; not wanting to play with regular toys) be sure to rule out electrical burns in addition to dental and other diseases.

You can run them through inexpensive foam pipe insulators that you can find at any home improvement or hardware store.

Swallowing parts of ornaments can cause gastrointestinal blockage or rupture. Depending on what materials were used to make the ornament, toxicity may result if eaten. And keep glass ornaments to a minimum and place them higher on the tree, with unbreakable ornaments lower down. If a pet eats all or part of a glass ornament, immediately feed cotton balls or bread soaked in milk or cream; the soft mushy texture will gather up all the sharp pieces and safely expel them.

Some cats just like to nibble on plants and are really curious. Many varieties-including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and the Casa Blanca-can cause kidney failure in cats. Holly and live mistletoe cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy if eaten and swallowed by your pet. Poinsettias are not deadly but can cause nausea and/or mild vomiting.
Poisonous plants.

Candles look lovely, especially during the Christmas times. But even outside Christmas you need to be careful with candles if you got cats around. Kittens are really curious, and candles are irresistible for those little kittens. They want to test out everything, sniff it, touch it and explore it. Singed paws and whiskers are painful to the cats, and you wouldn’t be too happy if your cat knocks over the candle.

Instead of real burning candles you can use electric candles. Really handy, and most of them look really neat. If you still want the real thing, make sure your cats are out of the way, and that the candles are out of paw-reach. And let’s not forget about the fireplace, make sure the screen is secured against curious cats.


17 Responses to “Holiday Safety Tips – Part 1”

  1. Mollie Morrissette

    Great post! Can I re-post it? I was going to write my own, but yours is great. Tips most sites don’t mention. Really good advice! I’ve never re-posted before and I wonder what is the official way besides just cutting and pasting. Thanks, Mollie

    • Dianda

      Sure! No problem!
      And if I’m right there is a button under the post, from wordpress, if you click it, you can share the post. :)

  2. lillythecat

    Thanks for all the tips! We found out Lilly had been chewing on our decorative fake grass so we had to move it out of her reach. Didn’t think cats would be attracted to artificial plants but they sure are!


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