Holiday Safety Tips, Keep it Meowy

The holidays are here! Hopefully this means fun time with your family and cats! There are a few additional safety recommendations to keep your feline family as healthy as possible this time of year. Read on for holiday safety tips for cats!

Cats shouldn’t drink the water in your tree.

Stagnant water is a great place for bacterial populations to thrive, and often contains fertilizers from the tree itself. If ingested, it can wreak gastrointestinal havoc on a kitty. To prevent this, try plastic wrap or tinfoil over top of the tree’s water reservoir. Some cats also will avoid areas with strong citrus scents, so using oranges or large orange peels around the base of the tree may help deter them.

Cats love ornaments—especially the fragile ones.

Before decorating your holiday tree, it’s a good idea to let your kitty become accustomed to the new sight and smell for a day or two. When it’s time to decorate, be sure to put the heavier, sturdier ornaments toward the bottom of the tree, being sure to tightly fasten them to the branch. We recommend putting any fragile or sentimental ornaments toward the top of the tree.

Keep the green tree away from the cat tree.

As space allows, we recommend putting the tree as far away from furniture and perches (i.e. launch pads) as you can. Some folks find that tethering the tree to a window sill or ceiling to keep it from falling over; if you do, be careful about what you use and how it’s knotted since cats love playing with wires and strings!

Unplug string lights when you’re away.

Be sure to unplug the lights at night or when you’re away at work. Any flickering/frayed wires should be tossed right away.

Tinsel? RUN!

Angel hair, tinsel, and ribbon can be an irresistible opportunity for play for some cats. Because of the throat-facing little barbs on cat tongues, it’s difficult/impossible for them to spit out tiny string-like substance. From an evolutionary standpoint this is to help keep prey in the mouth once caught. This trait can lead to string/linear object ingestion, which can be quite serious indeed.

Skip the Mistletoe, it’s poisonous.

Enjoy special holiday plants at a safe distance from your feline friends. Poinsettias and holly can cause serious gastrointestinal upset if ingested; lilies and mistletoe can potentially lead to life-threatening conditions even if only a small amount is eaten.

Other Winter Considerations

  • Antifreeze and other ice-melting products are very toxic to cats. Be sure to store these items in a secure place, especially if you have a kitty who enjoys time outdoors.
  • With a lot of travel this time of year, check out our Tips for Traveling with Your Cat
  • If you’re worried your kitty may need some medical help, don’t hesitate to call us at (608) 833-9750. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is another great resource at (888) 426-4435

Need more holiday tips? We’re here to help!

As always, we are so thankful for the excellent care you provide to your kitties. Happy holidays!

Madison East Side

Cat Care Clinic - East

1006 E. Washington Ave.

Madison, WI 53703


Directions to East Clinic

Madison West Side

Cat Care Clinic - West

322 Junction Rd.

Madison, WI 53717


Directions to West Clinic
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