Holiday Haven

Keeping Your Cat Safe Is the Best Gift You Can Give Your Cat

We see an increased number of calls related to pet poisoning during the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, says Steven Hansen, DVM, director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). So whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, or just gather with friends during this festive time of year, heres one holiday list you can use to keep the furry members of your family happy and healthy this season.

Seasons eatings shouldnt include holiday greenery such as holly, mistletoe, lilies, and amaryllis. While commonly used to deck the halls, they can make your cat sick if ingested.

Look before you light. Lit candles produce fumes that can be harmful to birds if inhaled. And dont forget, your cats wagging tail can easily knock over a burning candle. Liquid potpourri is also dangerous to cats if they ingest it from decorative bowls and simmering pots.

Shy animals can get stressed with the hustle and bustle of holiday guests, so make sure theres a quiet room to which your cats can retreat.

Keep batteries – loose and in packages – away from cats. They contain corrosives that can cause ulceration in your animal companions mouth, tongue, and gastrointestinal tract if bitten, chewed, or swallowed.

Oh, Christmas tree! Their branches definitely delight cats (and dogs, too) – both have been known to chew on them – and whatever decorations may be hanging from them. Place small, breakable ornaments high up, and keep tinsel and garland out of your cats reach, as these can get caught in his throat. And make sure that pine needles, which can be toxic, dont get eaten.

Dont allow your cat access to holiday spreads. Al-coholic beverages, chocolate, coffee, onions, fatty foods, yeast dough and macadamia nuts can all cause problems. If you suspect your cat has eaten a potentially poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the APCCs emergency hotline – 1-888-4-ANI-HELP – for 24-hour assistance.