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Felinexpress.com home > Cat Care > Safeguarding Your Cat against Holiday Hazards

Safeguarding Your Cat against Holiday Hazards

The holidays, always a time for celebration, overeating, overindulging and enjoying yourself and your family. Sometimes a noisy holiday like the Fourth of July or a scary holiday such as Halloween can be intimidating to your cat.  Wonderful times of celebration; Thanksgiving and Christmas can be filled with danger; some hazards apparent, others are hidden.

Fourth of July

  • Isolate your cat(s) in a room that is away from the area where the fireworks are going off. You should keep your cat in this room for at least 24 hours after the 4th (due to the heavy smell of smoke in the air). 
  • Keep a radio playing either on 24 hour classical music station or even static. Turn on a television in the room to keep the noise of the fireworks down. 
  • Use caution that your cat doesnít try and escape, for she will try to dash outside.  Make sure you provide food, water and litter pans for her. Also a Comfort Zone Room diffuser by Farnum Petô

Halloween and your cat

Costumes and masks make for scary predators. Children dressed up for Halloween high on sugar can become rowdy and out-of-control. 

  • Be sure to isolate your cat in a room all evening if you are handing out candy. Keep her occupied with toys, treats,  provide food, water and litter pans. 
  • If you are having a Halloween party, post a sign on the door that the room is off- limits.
  • Donít leave Halloween masks lying around. Rubberbands used on the masks are a strong attraction. Once swallowed, rubberbands can wreak havoc internally.
  • Keep all candy and plastic bags out of the catís reach.
  • The plastic pumpkin used to hold the candy are not cat toys. Keep those out of the reach as well. 
  • Remember that certain chocolates can quickly take your catís life.
  • Jack-o-lanterns with candles should be on the porch and not in the house. Curious kitties often come to harm  when investigating burning candles.


  • Although you are treating your family to a large meal, confine your treats for your cat to small amounts of cooked turkey.
  • Do not feed turkey bones to your cat, nor any pork, chicken or fish bones.  . The bones can splinter and cause an unexpected and expensive addition to the holidays- a trip to your vet!
  • Alcoholic beverages should never be given to your cat.
  • Chocolates, abundant during Thanksgiving and Christmas should be kept in covered containers or inside cupboards. Theobromine, a lethal ingredient to chocolate contains a scent that is very attractive to cats and dogs. 
  • Some florist shops will use Cocoa Mulch for their holiday potted plants. This mulch is just as deadly to your cat. 
  • If holiday plants arrive, check with the florist to see what type of mulch they used. Also plants can be toxic as well.
  • If you are unsure, keep the plant high and out of reach of your cat.
  • If you have kittens in the house, be sure and cut up the plastic six-pack rings that sodas and beverages come in. Little kitties can get their head stuck in the rings and panic.
  • It is a good idea to always cut these rings up before discarding them. Wildlife can become caught in the deathly grip of these rings.

Christmas and your cat

 A catís instinct is to climb trees. If this instinct werenít strong enough, the cat owner adds to the temptation by decorating the Christmas tree with shiny items that dangle tantalizingly within reach for the cat. Musical lights tempt the catís innate curiosity and suddenly you have the attack of the Christmas tree. Stabilizing your tree will help to keep it upright. Use fishing line and a ceiling hook and run the line up over the topmost branch wrapping it securely then attach the line to the hook.

  • Avoid tinsel on your tree. If the tinsel is eaten, your cat will experience a myriad of digestive problems or worse.
  • Keep glass ornaments up high so curious paws canít reach out and swat at the pretty glass balls sweeping them off the tree, shattering them.
  • Electrical cords should be hidden from sight, either tucked under slats of boards or covered with flex tube which you can purchase at most hardware stores.
  • Spray-on snow is generally toxic containing an odor most cats canít avoid.
  • Use electric candles.
  • Cats are curious, be sure that when you wrap your gifts you donít use aluminum foil paper (highly toxic).
  • Keep ribbons off packages if your cat is prone to exploring. Use paper decorations instead. (Cut up old greeting cards and glue the characters to the paper).
  • Keep kitty away from the Christmas tree stand by adding the juice of one lemon to the tree water.
  • Many of the plants that are given at Christmas time are toxic or dangerous to your cat.
  • Rubberbands are another hazard. A chemical within the rubber is highly attractive to cats. I have seen cats actually pull open drawers where rubberbands are stored.
  • Never give a kitten as a Christmas present. If you know of someone who wants a kitten, visit the local animal shelter and buy a gift certificate for them.  Most shelters close their doors before and after this holiday. This is not only so the employees can enjoy their family time, but the procedure is also to save pets lives.  Many puppies and kitties given for Christmas gifts are discarded not long after.

The holidays are special times. With care and consideration they can also become a safe time for you and your cat.

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