Christmas can be a dangerous time for your pet cat. There are many tempting but hazardous treats that adorn every known surface of the house. This means many pet owners will experience an emergency during Christmas.
Christmas Dangers for Cats
With so many new smells and visitors, Christmas can be a stressful time for pet cats. Knowledge about the different types of hazards will help pet owners avoid them.
- Christmas Trees
Cats love to climb trees. They are often intrigued by anything bright, new, and sparkly. This means they will be attracted to a Christmas tree with all its decorations.
Christmas trees (artificial or real) are toxic. If consumed it will cause irritation to the pet’s stomach and mouth. Pet owners should also be wary about fertilizers if the tree is potted.
The sharp pine needles of the Christmas tree will cause considerable damage if they get into the ears and eyes. If the pine needles are swallowed, it can cause internal damage to the throat and stomach.
- Tinsel and Other Hanging Decorations
Hanging decorations like tinsel look like cat toys. There is always the danger that the cat might swallow it. Tinsel if ingested has the potential to cause serious damage. It can cause blockages and this can be fatal in some cases.
Christmas lights that are hanged around the tree are also dangerous to cats. If the cat chews on the electrical wiring it can cause injuries like burns. In some cases, it will also cause unconsciousness and sudden death.
Snow globes are hanging decorations. They contain ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) and this can be highly toxic to cats. If the ornaments break and the liquid spills out it poses a lot of risk to your pet cat. The cat could lick the liquid chemical and this is harmful to its health.
- Festive Plants and Floral Arrangements
Most homes have festive plants and floral arrangements as part of the Christmas celebrations. There are many plants and flowers that are harmful to cats. Poinsettia, amaryllis plants, lily leaf, Lilium, and Hemerocallis are plants that are toxic to pets.
- Food Items
Onions, chives, and garlic are found in food items (sausages, stuffing, gravy) used during Christmas. These food items are poisonous to cats. Thiosulphate is an ingredient found in onions and is toxic to cats.
Alcohol can cause brain and liver damage to the cat. Spillages should be immediately cleaned and leftover alcohol should be removed. Currants, raisins, and grapes are also food items that are harmful to cats.
Chocolates contain stimulants known as theobromine. They can cause severe poisoning in cats. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in cakes. If ingested it is known to cause dangerous side effects in cats.
If you suspect your pet cat has eaten anything that is shouldn’t, look for signs and symptoms of poisoning such as vomiting or diarrhoea. Avoid trying to fix the problem on your own.
If you think your pet cat has eaten anything toxic, you should contact the vet immediately. The vet will be able to get rid of the toxic substance that the cat has ingested.