Christmas Safety For Cats

by Ruth
(England)

We cats realise that most visitors to PoC will know all this already, so this article is just a reminder and mainly for people who have a cat in their lives for the first time who may not realise what a miserable and somewhat dangerous time Christmas can be for us if they don’t ‘think cat’

Remember it’s our Christmas too and please ‘think cat’ throughout all your preparations and celebrations.

Cats love climbing trees, so Christmas trees are irresistible to us, especially to kittens and young cats. Real yew trees have sharp pine needles, which if swallowed accidentally can cause us serious damage inside.

Even the water from a real tree is poisonous to us cats if we investigate the tub the tree is standing in and sample some of that water.


Poster by Ruth

Please consider having an artificial tree which is much safer. Place it away from any furniture we could jump from and make sure it has a solid unmovable base.

Glass baubles are another temptation to us as we can’t resist a swipe at them to knock them off the tree, but if they shatter they can cause our mouths or paws to be cut. Please use tree decorations made from materials which won’t harm us if we do manage to get them off the tree.

Christmas tree lights have electric wires and young cats don’t know it’s very dangerous to chew those wires, so if you must have lights, they should be tucked right away and never left on when we are alone in the room with the tree.

Don’t think hanging mothballs around the bottom of the tree to keep us away is a good idea, cats have died from batting at them and then licking the poison from their paws.

Tinsel and ribbons can be fatal if we swallow a bit while playing as it can block our insides. We don’t want to spend Christmas at the vets undergoing emergency surgery but some of us are silly at times and don’t know bad things can happen just because we love playing with dangly things.

Artificial snow sprayed on the window could tempt us to lick it and that is something else which can make us ill.

Never leave us alone with lit candles in the room, burnt paws or noses can happen or even a fire can start from our innocent investigation of the flickering flame.

Make sure Christmas plants are not in our reach, Mistletoe, Holly berries, Amaryllis, Poinsettia and Christmas Roses are poisonous to cats, as are all varieties of Lilies.

On Christmas Day please don’t give us cooked turkey or chicken bones, bury them deep in a bin with a secure lid so we are not tempted by their aroma to dig them out. We will love a bit of cooked chicken or turkey cut up small but rich food to excess can upset our delicate tummies.

Don’t allow children to feed us chocolate, most of us cats know not to eat things that harm us but when we are young we aren’t always sensible.

If a lot of guests are around we would be much happier shut safely in a room with our food, water, scratching post, litter tray and toys. If Santa Claws has brought us new catnip toys please make sure there are no long tails we could get stuck in our teeth or throat and no loose ears or eyes we could swallow when playing.

It seems a lot of rules, maybe visitors could think of even more we may have forgotten ?

Those rules ensure a wonderful and happy Christmas for us and for those who love us.

Please, always ‘think cat’

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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Christmas Safety For Cats

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Dec 05, 2011
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Beware of drawing pins
by: Ruth

I’ve just been putting up a few Christmas decorations and had a sudden thought of how dangerous drawing pins can be to cats.
It doesn’t bear thinking about if one got dropped and lost and a cat trod on it and it was stuck in his foot.
Bad enough, but how much worse for a declawed cat if he stood on a drawing pin and it got stuck in one of his sensitive mutilated toe ends !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Nov 26, 2011
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Fun way to educate
by: Sue

Yes brilliant!
Ruth I just love the fun way you educate.


Nov 24, 2011
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So much to think of!!
by: Leah England

Brilliant article for Christmas! People get so carried away with the festive season they just don’t realise about all the dangers!

I’ve had cats for years and even I hadn’t thought about some of the threats you’ve mentioned.

Well done Ruth this will really make people think twice.

BTW I racked my brains and can’t think of anything to add.


Nov 24, 2011
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Just a thought
by: Ruth

Michael, if you do decide to make an ebook I wonder if the two pages you wrote and I designed the posters for, for the Childrens Corner, could be included ?
It didn’t go down that well I know, maybe not many children visit ?
But as most of my articles are basically simple about cats and cat care, those two articles might fit in nicely ?

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Nov 23, 2011
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Making Christmas trees safer for cats
by: Michele S.

Many years ago we were woken during the night by a loud crash coming from downstairs. One of our young cats had climbed the Christmas tree and his weight had made it topple over, knocking the TV off it’s stand in the process. Fortunately the cat wasn’t injured but the TV didn’t fare so well.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to place Christmas trees well away from free standing objects if possible. If space is limited, then consider securing taller trees with nylon thread or fishing line to a small hook screwed into the ceiling. Ideally close off the room by shutting the door at night or whenever the cat is home alone.

To deter kittens and curious cats from investigating the tree or the parcels underneath, I add a few drops of citrus scented oil to water and then mist spray the tree. I like the smell but they don’t and it can easily be topped up when it begins to fade. Pine cones around the base of the tree look nice, but cats find them uncomfortable to walk on so they’re another safe deterrent.

Museum putty or even blu tack can be used to secure Christmas decorations or ornaments into place, so that curious cats don’t knock them over.

Ruth made a good point about discouraging children from feeding chocolate to our pets and I just wanted to add a reminder not to hang chocolate coins or decorations within easy reach of cats.

I like the idea of an e-book on cat care and behaviour. I think it would be very popular. Perhaps it could even be uploaded as a slideshow on Youtube?


Nov 23, 2011
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Great advice
by: Ted

Thanks to this article a lot more cats will have a good Christmas.
Well done Ruth and I love the poster.


Nov 23, 2011
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Thanks Maggie
by: Ruth

Good point Maggie about not punishing cats at Christmas (or any other time come to that)
Thank you.
I was hoping other cat lovers would add any ideas they could think of to make it a Happy Christmas for cats as well as for people.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Nov 22, 2011
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Christmas Safety
by: Maggie

Great article, Ruth. I think the glass baubles are particularly important, if a cat climbed a tree covered in glass baubles, and pulled it down, the result could be devastating. We only have plastic baubles on our tree, and by the time Christmas is over, all the baubles on the bottom have been pulled down, and the tree looks terrible because Mae’s favourite toys are baubles, and she loves climbing and pulling down Christmas trees.

We avoid the choking on chicken and turkey bones by having a dead-animal-free Christmas. In the past I’ve seen dogs choking on bones, and it’s not nice to see, when the bone finally comes out, their throat and mouth is full of blood.

Also, if your cat does pull down the Christmas tree, or brake your favourite china Santa ornament, don’t punish them. Christmas is an exciting and different time of year for cats, they don’t know how to react to all these new things, of course they’re going to be curious, they’re cats. Embrace their curiousity, rather than punishing it. Christmas should be a happy and enjoyable time of year for both people and cats!


Nov 22, 2011
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Thank you and yes I’m willing
by: Ruth

Yes I’m quite willing for this if you want to take it on Michael.
Not sure about charging for it but if you wanted to do that the money could go to various cat charities where every little helps them. You’d need to organise that as I wouldn’t have a clue how to do it.
I just enjoy designing posters in a fun way to educate people and writing about cats to go with the posters.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Nov 22, 2011
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Good Idea
by: Michael

Grahame’s idea had crossed my mind too. Thanks Grahame.

We could make an ebook out of the posters and your articles. I could build that as I have one on cat behavior already as you know.

We could even think about selling each copy for a small amount. No promises as selling stuff on the internet is not easy but it may be worth a try.

What do you think Ruth?


Nov 22, 2011
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Merry Christmas to all cats
by: Barbara

All sensible advice, and the funny thing is that most real cat people do all this without consciously thinking about doing it because thinking cat becomes the norm, but we can become complacent so it’s vital to have a reminder now and again. It makes me sad when I read about people decorating their trees extravagantly and then battling all over Christmas to keep the family cat away from the tempting baubles hanging within his/her reach. Christmas is for cats(and dogs and all manner of stable animals too!) as well as humans so I hope all cats with homes have a safe, happy and enjoyable Christmas within the warm heart of their families and I hope some cats waiting for homes are lucky enough to be adopted in time for Christmas and that the people caring for those who have to spend Christmas in shelters have time to make it a little bit special for them.

Barbara avatar


Nov 22, 2011
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You surely do have a way with posters, Ruth
by: Grahame

This is the second recent poster from you, Ruth, and it is really timely. As was the case for the other poster and text on cat care, this one, too, can save cat lives. And the pictures are darling.

I fancy that eventually we will have a more-or-less complete compendium of cat care and safety posters and texts from you which could then be collected into a booklet to be distributed with each cat adoption.


Nov 21, 2011
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First Rate
by: Michael

Great article Ruth. A lot of these potential hazards I had not thought of. This article is useful for me. Thanks.



Comments

Christmas Safety For Cats — 9 Comments

  1. Another warning about Pre-lit Christmas tree. My husband found one of our cats hanging upside down from our Christmas tree. The cat some how got his paw tangled in the light wires. My husband had to cut the wire to save my cat’s paw.

  2. Just bringing this old article back after reading someone’s ‘advice’ on facebook that mothballs hung around the base of a Christmas tree keeps cats off it.
    It seems everyone still doesn’t know how toxic they are to cats.

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