The holidays can be a fun, joyful time (or at least, they are supposed to be!). But they can also be a treacherous time for cats. Many dangers have been covered extensively. I’m sure you all know better than to decorate with tinsel or angel hair, to watch your cords and lights, and take care where you hang your glass ornaments. But there are some unexpected and surprising holiday items that are dangerous to your cat. Things you may not have thought about. So I will mention a few of them here.
- The most toxic holiday plants.
One plant that people don’t realize is dangerous is mistletoe, and the stores sell it in droves during this season. Holly too, especially the berries. If your cat ingested enough of these, it could kill them. So please, only decorate with fake versions of these plants.
Other toxic plants include Amaryllis and Paperwhites, and of course, Lilies should never, ever come near your cat. Although Poinsettias are frequently mentioned as toxic, they aren’t as harmful as the above plants. Still, they shouldn’t share your home with your cat.
- Christmas tree dangers.
Cut Christmas trees can pose several dangers. They might be treated with preservatives or fire retardants that could poison your cat. The water you use to keep your tree fresh is another danger, and full of potential toxins if your cat laps at it. Make sure to cover up the water source so your cat can’t get it. The sharp needles, too, can harm your cat’s digestive system if ingested. Artificial trees are generally much safer, but it’s best to monitor your cat around them if they are something new to them.
- Homemade dough ornaments.
If you have kids (or were one once), you probably know all about making fun ornaments with flour, salt and water. It was one of my human’s favorite holiday crafts as a child. But they could also cause sodium poisoning if your cat happens to eat any part of them. Enjoy them, but make sure to keep them away from your cat.
- Snow globes.
Those enchanting globes with the delightful winter scenes and snow floating through a thick liquid? They can kill your cat. That liquid is ethylene glycol, which is antifreeze, and if the globe breaks and your cat licks or steps in the liquid — or even gets it on their fur — it’s an emergency. Antifreeze kills cats every year. Don’t bring it in your house in the form of snow globes. My human owns a few and is getting rid of all of them.
- Liquid and dry potpourri, and essential oils.
So many potpourri ingredients and essential oils are harmful to cats that it almost goes without saying, you should skip these altogether.
- Cooking twine.
If you are roasting a turkey or some fancy cut of meat this holiday season, make sure you immediately dispose of the twine you used on it as soon as you’re done cooking. There is nothing tastier to a cat than these meat-flavored strings, and like tinsel, they could cause potentially fatal intestinal damage if swallowed.
And of course you know to keep cooked bones away from your cat already, right? Along with popular ingredients like onions and garlic. There are so many hot dishes and toxic-to-cats foods in the kitchen during the holidays, it’s best to keep your cat closed up in another part of the house when the kitchen is its busiest.
And you do know never to keep lighted candles around your cat, I’m sure. My human has pretty candles with fake flames that she and her boyfriend frequently enjoy.
There are a lot more items that are dangerous to cats during the holidays. But the ones above you may not have considered — or, as with candles, may not have thought of a solution. I hope this list helps, and that you and your kitties stay safe through the holidays.
If you can think of any other unusual items that could pose a seasonal danger to cats, do mention them in the comments.
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