Cat Holiday Safety: Avoiding an Emergency

All of us at Animal Emergency Ottawa know that holiday safety for your pet is important!

For Cat Holiday Safety: Watch Out For These Hazards:

• Some holiday plants are toxic to cats including amaryllis, Christmas rose, holly and mistletoe.  Poinsettias can be orally irritating, but are not considered dangerous.  If you’re ever in doubt, contact a veterinarian .

• Tinsel, foil, cellophane strands, string, ribbon and yarn can all be deadly to cats.  Once in their mouths, the backward-pointing barbs on the tongue make it difficult to expel these items.  If you see the end of a swallowed string, do not try to pull it out.  Pulling the string may cause the swallowed portion of the string to cut the cat’s internal organs.  Rush the cat immediately to the veterinarian.

• Cat toys containing glued-on decorations, bells, strings or eyes made from tacks (commonly found on the popular real-fur mice) should be stripped from these hazards before giving them to your cat.

• Dangling electrical cords can be an invitation to play—especially for a kitten.  Tape the cords to the wall from the socket to the tree or purchase cord covers from Radio Shack.  Unplug the lights when you plan to be away from home.

• Candle flames are fascinating to many cats.  While they are investigating the flame, they may be singeing their fur or knocking over the candle..  Put candles on unreachable shelves and just to be safe, anchor them well.

• Don’t give the left-over turkey carcass to your pets.  The meat is a nice treat but cooked bones are brittle and can cut your cat’s insides.  When you throw away the bones, take them directly outside and place them in a covered trash can.

The holidays can be fun for your cat but they can be stressful too.  Provide a quiet place for Kitty with all his necessities for times when the household is too hectic.  Plan to take a few minutes every so often to cuddle and stroke your cat.  You both will be happier and more relaxed this holiday season.