Make Christmas safer and less stressful for your cat

POSTED ON: Wednesday 16th December 2015
AUTHOR: Caroline Clark

Christmas time can be quite stressful for our feline friends. Cats are creatures of habit and so can get quite anxious during the festive period. There are lots of new smells, changes to the layout of the home and visitors calling. Not only this but there are lots of other potential hazards in and around the home too.

Here are some tips to help make Christmas safer and less stressful for them:

  1. Cats like to be in control of their environment so sudden changes can be stressful. Think about this when decorating the home. Particularly try and avoid upsetting or changing where they rest, eat and drink.
  2. If you know that you are going to have lots of visitors give your cat places to go where they can have peace and quiet. Providing boxes and places to retreat to in high up places can offer some sanctuary for them.
  3. Feliway is a feline pheromone that helps some cats feel less anxious. It may be worth installing a diffuser before the festivities to prevent stress. This product is available from your vets or through reputable on-line pet pharmacies.
  4. Christmas floral displays pose a risk to cats. Many species of Lily are highly poisonous to cats. All parts of the plant are toxic including the water that they are kept in. If ingested they cause kidney failure and can be fatal. Therefore make sure that your display is well away from where your cat can access – even the pollen is toxic!
  5. Mistletoe, holly and ivy are toxic. Although it is unusual for cats to eat these, the berries can be attractive for playing with and so can be accidentally eaten.
  6. As a veterinary nurse, I have seen cats coming in with lametta and tinsel impacted in their guts. This can result in surgery to remove them.  So keep cats and kittens away from decorated trees unless supervised
  7. Most people know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs but it’s toxic to cats too. Although they need greater quantities than dogs, its still a good idea to make sure your cat can’t get any.
  8. If it’s going to be cold and frosty this Christmas make sure that you use de-icers and anti-freeze safely. They are highly toxic to cats and a very small amount can be fatal. For some reason cats are attracted to the taste so make sure you clean up spillages thoroughly and store products safely.
  9. Hopefully you won’t have a hangover this year! But if you need to use products with paracetamol or asprin remember that they are toxic to cats.
  10. Finally read my blog on Zylkene – its another safe and natural product that can help keep your cat calm.

If you want to learn more about poisons I run an an accredited First Aid for Pets course as well as a Feline Behaviour full day seminar. Contact me for details.