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Feline Friendly Holidays

Holidays are usually a fun time for the family with family and friends gathering, and lots of great food. But they can also be stressful on your feline family members. Here's a list of things to consider at holiday time for your cat:

  • Energy - Cats feed off your energy and if you're stressed out or dreading the holidays, your cats can sense it and be affected by it.

  • Know Your Cat's Needs - Understand your cat's personality, is he shy and easily frightened or the gregarious door greeter? Cater to your cat's specific needs.

  • Shy - If your cat is shy, be sure to provide a safe haven where he can be in a quiet space away from the noise and activity. Be sure to put things that smell like him in with him - like his bed, toys, litter box, scratching post, etc. Set this space up before the chaos begins so he is already comfortable and settled in ahead of time.

  • Friendly - Let your gregarious cat partake in the festivities. Don't lock him away because it will make him feel frustrated and bored. Be sure to have plenty of wand toys and treats for guests to interact with him.

  • Say No to Dress Up - Skip the silly hats and costumes for your cat; most of them really don't appreciate it.

  • Decorations - Remember cats like to chew on things and get tangled up in lights. Instead of tinsel and garlands, consider using decorations made of paper, cardboard, wood, metal and fabric.

  • Plants - Poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, amaryllis and other holiday plants can be poisonous to cats. Try using silk versions of these, or get a planter and plant some catnip!

  • Pine - The needles on your pine tree and the tree water are poisonous to cats. Artificial trees are safer but the "needles" can still cause intestinal blockages if ingested. If your cat is a chewer, you might want to consider a ceramic tree.

  • Breakables - Locate your special, fragile and breakable ornaments at the top of the tree where they (may be) are out of reach. You could also decorate your tree with holiday themed cat toys!

  • Food - Much of the holiday meal is bad for kitty; the ingredients are too rich and some, like onion and garlic are toxic. If you are cooking the turkey, boil the giblets, liver and heart, and chop up a few pieces for your cat. A few bites of turkey is ok too as long as it isn't seasoned with onions or garlic.

  • Wrapping - Gift wrapping is one of the most enjoyable things your cat likes to help you with. Let them join in the fun and don't get stressed out if they cause you to take a little longer at the task.

  • Holiday Scents - Your cat has very sensitive scent receptors and heavy scents can overpower and irritate their sensitive noses.