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The Top Festive Hazards for Cats

Blog Home Dec 20, 2021

Christmas is a time for letting our hair down and celebrating with our nearest and dearest. But for our cats, it can also be one of the most risky. There’s a whole heap of festive hazards which could spell trouble for a curious cat!

Read on to discover the most common festive hazards for cats to reduce the chances of your puss getting into a pickle…

Christmas Calamity 1: Christmas Tree & Decorations

Let’s face it, most cats see the Christmas tree as one giant play thing! And can we blame them? We cover it in shiny, dangly baubles and it looks and smells exactly like the ones they climb up outside. But believe it or not, the Christmas tree can pose a risk to our pusses!

They may try to climb the tree and get tangled in the tinsel, attack the string lights or nibble the decs. Or try to reach the very top, in which case we all know what happens…(TIMBER).

We know it’s easier said than done, but try to be present when your cat is hanging out near the tree! 

Christmas Calamity 2: Food

For many of us, food is up there with being one of the best things about Christmas! But some of the food we enjoy can actually be harmful to our cats.

Food and drink to keep away from your cat includes:

  • Onions and garlic – these can be poisonous whether cooked or raw. Also consider what these ingredients have been added to. For example, you don’t want to give your cat a mouthful of turkey if it has some onion gravy on it! 
  • Raisins and grapes – these can cause kidney failure.
  • Chocolate – this contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to cats if a certain quantity is ingested. If your cat has chowed down on some chocolate, always speak to your vet right away for advice.
  • Alcohol – mop up any spillages quickly so your cat doesn’t get in there first for a lick.

What to do if your cat eats these foods:

If your puss has indulged in something they shouldn’t have, it’s important you check in with your vet right away. 

Did you know Itch subscribers have 24/7 access to UK-registered vets through Video Vet, 365 days a year? Purrfect for a puss in a palava!

Christmas Calamity 3: Plants and Berries

With its vibrant red and green colouring, the poinsettia is a classic Christmas plant. Many of us will have one in our home this festive season! But did you know poinsettias are mildly toxic to dogs and cats? Those Christmassy leaves contain a sap which can irritate your pet’s mouth and oesophagus. 

Symptoms to look out for if your cat has ingested poinsettia include:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhoea 

If your cat has ingested poinsettia, please speak to your vet for further advice.

Other festive berries to keep well-away from your puss include mistletoe and holly – these are extremely poisonous to our feline friends. 

There are lots of other festive plants (real and artificial) that you could have in your home instead, so why take the gamble? Opt for something equally as festive but non-toxic! Your cat will thank you.

Christmas Calamity 4: Candles and fires

For maximum hygge feels, many of us will snuggle up in front of the fire this Christmas and perhaps burn a few tealights too! However, flickering flames can be enticing to a curious cat… 

A fire guard can help to keep your puss at a safe distance and prevent their floof from getting singed. Don’t leave your cat unaccompanied in a room where you have a fire going, and avoid playing with your cat near the fire in case they get over-excited and get too close. 

Many people think wood burning stoves are safer than an open fire for our pets. However, a cat could still get too close or jump on top of a stove without realising how hot it is. Always stick around to supervise and prevent any mishaps!  

As for tealights and candles, we all know how cats LOVE to push things over. Not only could your cat burn themselves doing this, but it’s a real potential fire hazard. Either keep tealights and candles well out of your kitty’s reach, or opt for battery-powered LED flames instead.  

Enjoy a calamity-free Christmas!

We hope these tips help to keep your kitty safe and happy this festive season!

And remember, if you’re an Itch subscriber, you get 24/7 access to UK-registered vets, 365 days a year with Video Vet. Perfect for a pet in a pickle on the big day! 

To start using Video Vet:

  • Register with our partners FirstVet using the same email address and mobile phone number you use for Itch.
  • Click ‘My pets’ – no need to fill in any information, well have that sorted for you.
  • When you’d like to book a consultation all you have to do is select your pet, describe their symptoms and chose a time that suits you.

And that’s it!