Think Safety First! when dealing with these seven holiday hazards:
Tantalizing tinsel: It’s true that shiny tinsel is really appealing — and dangerous — to cats. Help your veterinarian take Christmas day off by avoiding tinsel as well as ribbon. Swallowing tinsel or ribbon can cause a life-threatening obstruction.
Tempting tree: From your cat’s perspective, Christmas trees may be the best gift ever. Unless your cat is elderly or obese, daring your kitty not to scamper up the tree is not a realistic expectation. Don’t risk hanging antique family heirloom or glass ornaments on the tree. Display these somewhere else. A small latticework fence around the base of the tree will prevent most cats from being able to climb it, or if you’re one of those lenient pet parents and allow your cat to climb, anchor that tree. If the tree topples over, it will cause a mess and could even land on your cat.
Dangerous tree needles: When choosing a fresh Christmas tree, consider one with pet-friendly pliable needles — such as a Douglas fir or white pine. They won’t stick in your pet’s paws. (They’re also easier to vacuum up.) Some cats, especially kittens, like to munch on errant Christmas tree needles. Cats can choke on them, or they can cause a serious upset tummy.
Toxic tree water: Homemade family recipes or those suggested on the internet include bizarre additives to add to the base of the tree to presumably lengthen Christmas tree life, include chicken soup, Vitamin C, dog urine (yuck!), bleach or even birth control pills. Whether these actually work (fresh water is probably your best bet), they make the water your tree sits in dangerous for a pet to drink. A tree skirt prevents your cat from drinking weirdly tainted water.
Deadly lilies: Keep lilies away from cats; they’re toxic.
Unhealthy people food: In truth, just a tidbit of turkey or ham isn’t going to hurt most cats. However, it’s
the skin and fat that can be detrimental, and how much they’re eating. It’s one thing for one guest to offer — but sometimes several people at the dining room table express their cat love. And before you know it, the cat has eaten enough to sicken even a Great Dane. Feline tummies just aren’t that big, and your cats may not be accustomed to table food.
Not-so-tasty treats: The good news is that most cats appear uninterested in chocolate, but some do eat it — and it’s toxic, particularly the dark chocolate. Onion dip is also dangerous.
Read Next: Why Do Cats Go Crazy for Holiday Décor?