Tag Archives: Holidays

Keep Your Cats Safe At Christmas

Inquisitive cats that like to explore have a favorite season, and it’s upon us now. To protect your cats from themselves over the holidays, keep these pointers in mind as you decorate. Secure the Christmas tree to the wall with heavy cord to thwart cats who like to climb. If your cats bat at ornaments along the bottom of the tree, hang glass and other breakables high, and secure low-hanging ornaments with green pipe cleaners instead of hooks. Cover the Christmas tree stand so your cats can’t drink the water, which sometimes upsets feline stomachs. Don’t bring tinsel into the house, and don’t leave ribbon lying around, even if it’s attached to a package. Cats are attracted to tinsel, ribbon and yarn, which can cause life-threatening intestinal damage if it’s eaten. Candle flames, hot wax and potpourri liquid pose additional risks, so light candles and use potpourri warmers only when you’re there to supervise your cats. Keep your kittens away from mistletoe, poinsettias, holly and Christmas cactus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, diminished appetite and lethargy if ingested. Use common sense with light cords and other potential holiday hazards. If it’s not safe for a child, it’s not safe for inquisitive cats.

The Truth about Christmas Plant Toxicity

Poinsettias are generally quite safe, despite rumors to the contrary. The rumors are traced to the 1918 report of a child’s death involving a plant erroneously identified as a poinsettia. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, vomiting with loss of appetite and energy can occur after a pet ingests poinsettia, but these effects are mild and resolve on their own. The same signs, along with diarrhea, have been reported after ingestion of Christmas cactus and holly. Again, signs are generally mild and resolve without specific treatment. The toxicity of mistletoe, a parasitic vine, is influenced by the plant on which it is growing. Serious poisonings, which are infrequent, are characterized by vomiting and decreased energy. If your pet eats any of these plants and then vomits, restrict access to food and water for a couple of hours to quiet the stomach. If signs persist, call us at 717-652-1270.