Holiday Hazards for Cats

It’s that time of year again! There might not be quite as much hustle and bustle this year as usual, but many of us are still enjoying putting up some decorations and spending some quality time with our loved ones. Just keep your furry friend in mind as you prepare your home for the year’s festivities. This can be a dangerous time of year for pets! A Tampa, FL vet lists some holiday hazards for pets in this article. 


Your tree may be the centerpiece of your decor, but it really isn’t safe for your pet. If you get a real tree, cover the water bowl. Holiday trees are often coated in things like pesticides and fire retardant, which can leach into the water. Many ornaments are also quite fragile, and can shatter into sharp shards that can cause serious injuries. Ornament hooks, popcorn strings, tinsel, and even string lights are also potential dangers to playful pets. With cats, there’s also the chance that Fluffy could try to climb the tree. Your furball could end up seriously hurt, or could even start a fire! Secure the treetop to the ceiling with fishing line. You can also make it less tempting by hanging just a few nonbreakable ornaments on the lower branches. Another option is to use a baby gate to block off the tree. (We know, this won’t look as good, but it’s better than having to rush your pet to the clinic!)


Candles or fireplaces are a staple for many holiday setups. However, flames and pets are definitely not a safe combination. Use thick candleholders–or better yet, wall sconces–to keep candles out of paw’s reach.


Many popular holiday plants, such as holly, ivy, mistletoe, yew, and poinsettias are toxic to our four-legged friends. If you get real plants, keep them away from Fido and Fluffy!


Anything with dangling threads or ribbons is a concern. Cats, in particular, love to bat at ribbons and cords. Keep these, and bits of tinsel, out of pets’ reach.


Food is also a big concern. Some dangerous foods include garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; chocolate; alcohol; avocado; any fruits with pips or seeds; meat on the bone; and dairy products. Ask your vet for more information. 

Happy Holidays from Baycrest Animal Clinic, your Tampa, FL veterinary hospital. Please contact us anytime! 

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