Holiday Safety Tips for Cats

Holiday Safety Tips for Cats


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An article by Love Meow for the Pet 'Net Safety event:

Holidays are coming around the corner. Are you aware of the potential hazards that holidays can pose to your cats?

Holiday Foods

Cats are curious by nature. Having more food in the house will definitely pique their curiosity. Holidays are the time when we eat with our family and friends. It is also the time when your cats will try to snatch table scraps or food from the kitchen counter without you noticing. It is important for cat owners to realize that many holiday foods can be harmful to their cats if not supervised carefully.

Whether you have a whole roast turkey or ham on the table, it emits an irresistible aroma that your cats will not miss. Cats have an exceptional sense of smell which allows them to identify objects without relying on their vision. Cats are especially attracted to the smell of fatty and meaty foods such as grease and gravy. If ingested, they can develop an array of digestive tract problems ranging from upset stomachs to pancreatitis.  The common symptoms are usually vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and pain.

Drinks are not safe to cats either. Eggnog is extremely stimulating to cats' olfactory sense. They will likely go after it and taste it if it is left on the table unattended. Alcoholic drinks can easily intoxicate cats even with only a small sip.

Caffeinated drinks contain xanthenes which can damage cats’ nervous system and urinary system. It can stimulate the heart muscles and cause them to spasm. Though caffeine is more harmful in dogs than cats, cats can still show symptoms of diarrhea, seizure and so forth.

With the increased number of uncooked meat placed in the kitchen during the holiday, chances of cats getting contracted with bacteria such as E. coli are much higher. Keeping all the meat away from your cats can avoid such incidents.

Holiday dinners involve a lot of baking. Bakery cannot be done without dough. Cats do not know how to distinguish safe food from harmful food. By ingesting dough, it expands in the cats’ digestive system, possibly causing the intestines to rupture.

The rule of thumb is that since cats’ sense of smell triggers them to become especially curious during holidays, keeping food away from them and cat-proofing areas where food is stored will make the holiday a lot more care free.


Some cats tend to chew and ingest non-food items, including glue and tape that are toxic to your cats and should be put away after using. Glitters, ribbons, and strings can obstruct your cats’ digestive tract and in some cases require surgery to have the obstructions removed.

If you want to light candles, make sure your cats will not play with them. However, since cats have a habit of exploring new things, it is really difficult to prevent them from inspecting a lit candle unless it is cat-proofed somehow.


When holidays come, flowers are commonly used to spruce up the house. Mistletoe is used to decorate thresholds and to amp up the holiday spirit. However, it is poisonous to cats and can cause them to have upset stomachs or even heart failure. There are many holiday plants that are also toxic to cats such as hibiscus, poinsettias and so forth.

It is highly recommended to keep all the plants out and use plastic plants as replacement for flower decoration.

Christmas Tree

Believe it or not. Many things you can find from a Christmas tree in fact are toxic to cats:

  1. Tree needles
  2. Artificial snow, angel hair and flocking
  3. Tree preservatives (tastes like sugar which is attractive to pets)

If your cats like to chew on non-food items, having a lot of ornaments on the tree and electrical cords lying on the floor can entice your cats to chew and ingest them by accident. It can cause obstructions, laceration in the digestive tract or even electrocution if bit into the electrical wires.

The best way to ensure your cats’ safety is to cat-proof all the items you will use for the holidays and use things that would less likely to cause a problem. Spray areas such as the electrical cords with an aversion solution so that your cats will keep themselves away from hazardous places.


When it’s holiday, people often come visit. Some cats may behave abnormally due to increased stress caused by the unfamiliar scents from the visitors. Some cats may act aggressive or timid. You can provide a quiet room for them to stay in if having people around is an issue.

Holiday Treats for Your Cats

Finally, do not forget to reward your cats and spend some quality time with them during holidays. That will help them relax and enjoy the time of the year much more.

An article by Love Meow for the Pet 'Net Safety event:


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