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Tips for Cat Owners to Survive the Holidays

December 7, 2017

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of the year. However, if you want to stay out of the vet's office, you need to develop a strategy so your decorations can co-exist with your cat. Without proper planning, you could be creating a winter wonderland of temptation. Of course, this doesn't matter if your cat is not attracted to shiny objects or a red laser-light beamed in zig zag pattern across the wall or floor. If not, you can rest assured your cat will likely try to climb, paw or bite anything that attracts them. So, think about cat proofing your home for the holidays based on how acrobatic your furry friend tends to be.

Defend Your Tree and Lights

Location, location, location... One of the first decisions is where to place your Christmas tree and other holiday garlands. So ask yourself: Where can I put the tree to keep my cat from climbing and toppling it? How can I position lights and other wiring to keep my cat from chewing on them? Weighting the base of your tree and/or tethering it to a wall may be doable. Using green cable ties or green ribbon to affix wiring closer to branches or garlands may make these hazards less accessible. Since cats have a sensitive nose, spraying less desirable scents like citrus oil can be a deterrent, as can tinfoil used as a tree skirt. Cats usually don't like to tread on things that make a noise when they step.

Day and Night Damage Control

It is prudent to check your decorations several times a day and turn off lights when you go to bed. Avoid using tinsel or angel hair. Relocate ornaments that seem to be overly popular. And, remember this is joyous time of year and there are plenty of ways to decorate without choking, poisoning or electrocuting your cat. Just in case, take time to write down phone numbers and driving instructions to your nearest 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic as a time saving precaution. Don't forget that cats love empty boxes or a strand of ribbon or even a Christmas cat toy. So, practice the "12 Days of Christmas" and loosely wrap a present (preferably with catnip) that they can open each evening right before you unplug the lights. Happy holidays to all our pet owners, and keep yourself and your pet safe.

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