Unfortunately, lots of pets end up at a vet’s office between Halloween and New Year’s Day with holiday-related injuries and illnesses, including a few caused by stress.
However, you can prevent most of these problems with some planning. Here are some tips to keep your cats safe this holiday season.
🌟Cut the Stress, Cut the Risk 🌟
Cats in particular are very susceptible to stress-related illnesses. Felines who are subjected to loud noises, new house guests, boarding, diet changes and travel develop serious urinary tract issues.
👉🏻 Take time before the holidays are in full swing to look at things through your cat’s eyes. He/she may be a highly social, but if it’s not, then make sure they have somewhere to go when they need to retreat from kids, guests, and festivities. Stick to their routine as much as possible, avoiding changes like a new cat litter or diet during this time. Your cats are already stressed out by new objects, holidays decor, Christmas trees, and weather change.
👉🏻 Make a safe room for your cat during holiday gatherings. Make sure your cat’s room is clutter-free and has your kitty’s litter box, water, food, calming music, toys, beds, and a few places for your cat to lounge. You can have this room set up ahead of time, so your cat is not stressed about being in a new space. This room may be your bedroom. 👉🏻 Do not let your guests feed your cats any human food, give them extra treats, or chase them around the house. 👉🏻 Guests arrival is a good time to secure your cat in his/her cat room with a small latch or lock to make sure no one opens the door. A latch five feet up from the ground will keep kids and guests from opening the door. Your cat can be stressed out by new people and bolt out of the house.
⛔️ Poinsettias are toxic to cats.
⛔️ Tree water can be toxic, if it has chemicals added to keep the tree fresh or stagnant.
⛔️ Danger can come from ingesting needles or tinsel, and even electrocution from chewing light cords. Consider allowing your cat access to the tree when you are supervising. A small fence around the tree may discourage snooping, and can be decorated with colorful lights and garland. 👉🏻 If you need to board your cat, have him/ her checked out by your veterinarian first and ask for advice about medications that can reduce anxiety and stress. Your veterinarian can also recommend a pet sitter rather than a boarding facility. Cats prefer their home turf and will be more relaxed if they are cared for in their own homes.
‼️The Ultimate in Holiday Planning‼️
Final holiday safety and stress-busting tip: Be prepared! Before you deck the halls of your home, set up the Christmas tree or start planning your New Year’s Eve bash, call your veterinarian’s office and ask for information about who will be handling emergencies during the holidays. Then stick that information on your refrigerator with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 888-426-4435. The service fee is $55.