1. Holly and Mistletoe
It’s a common misconception that poinsettia’s are dangerous for pets. They are not actually hazardous for your cats (aside from some minor issues that can occur) but some other holiday plants certainly are. According to the ASPCA, mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems in cats and holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea so if you love these festive plants best to stick to the fake versions!
2. Festive Drinks
We know we should limit the food our cats swipe off our plates but one of the dangers, especially around the holidays, are festive drinks such as egg nog or coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream. Most cats will dive right into anything milk/cream/egg based so your spiked nog looks pretty tasty to them but obviously alcohol is a no-no for pets. Make sure holiday guests know to keep their nog or other dairy drinks away from your feline friends.
To cats, tinsel is a glittery toy they will almost definitely want to play with, and cat’s ‘playing’ generally means putting it in their mouth. If a cat swallows any tinsel it can be really dangerous to their intestines and can require emergency surgery to remove. This is definitely one Christmas decoration you will want to avoid if you have kitties roaming the house!
4. Christmas Tree Water
Christmas trees are an obvious danger as they are just so tempting for cats to climb and they can smash glass decorations but one of the most dangerous aspects that people often miss is the water in your Christmas tree stand or pot. This water sits for a long period of time so it is prone to developing bacteria that will make your kitty sick if they decide to take a drink. That Christmas tree pot can look just like a water dish to your cat so make sure to cover it with something like a a tree skirt.
5. Cats Given as Gifts
While we love the idea of saving a cat from a shelter a pet is a gift that comes with a 10-20 year commitment of time and money. Many kittens are given as holiday gifts because who wouldn’t want to wake up to an adorable kitten on Christmas morning??? However, these cats are often returned to shelters because the recipient wasn’t ready for the responsibilities of being a pet owner. As cats get older it is harder for shelters to find good homes for them so adopting a kitten and returning it a few months later can lead to cats having a hard time finding a home. If you are going to give someone a cat make 100% sure they are ready for the responsibilities and truly want the long-term commitment of a furry little friend. PETA suggests giving a gift certificate to cover adoption costs or a cat carrier, food bowls, or other pet accessories as a gift and then taking your loved one to a shelter so they can bring home their perfect match!