Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Top tips for a cat-friendly Christmas

Christmas is on its way which for us means fun times aplenty. But for our pets, the arrival of trees, fancy food, toys and guests can have an impact.

Longhaired cat with Christmas presents
Photo by Clay Shonkwile via flickr / Creative Commons
Here is a checklist to ensure your cat’s festive season is a safe and happy one:

Tree safety

1. If your cat is tempted to climb the Christmas tree, discourage them from doing so – and never encourage them to play with decorations

2. Ensure that the base of the tree is as sturdy as possible just in case your cat decides to have a mountaineering adventure when your back is turned!

3. Avoid glass baubles which can break; and tinsel which can get stuck in cats’ throats and tummies

4. If you have a real tree, cover up the base so your cat can’t get at it. The water may contain preservatives which are poisonous to cats

5. Vacuum around a real tree frequently as pine needles can hurt your cat’s feet

6. A number of festive plants are potentially fatal to cats, including mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, ivy and Christmas roses so choose carefully and keep them out the way. Find out which plants may be harmful here

Tabby cat and Christmas tree
Photo by Rosana Prada via flickr / Creative Commons
Tasty grub 

7. Restrict any turkey you give your cat to a small amount of cooked boneless meat for his Christmas dinner and take account of any treats like this in your cat's daily food ration

8. Some rich foods like chocolate are poisonous to cats so should be off the menu

Giving gifts

9. Ensure any toys you buy for your moggy are suitable for cats 

10. After opening presents throw away the wrapping – string and ribbon could be dangerous if your cat eats them

Grey and white cat with Christmas presents
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski via flickr / Creative Commons
Welcoming visitors

11. If there are friends and relatives visiting, this could be quite stressful for your cat, so provide a quiet place for them to hide with access to their food, water and a litter tray – party bangers, Christmas crackers and the general hub bub can all be disturbing to a cat

12. Try using Feliway, a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that helps to support and comfort cats. Pheromones are important for cats to recognise safe and familiar parts of their home – they do this by rubbing their cheeks against objects and areas to leave the pheromone behind. They regularly top these up as they go around the home. Feliway provides this pheromone during times when they are not able to mark for themselves due to stress or changes in environment. We are currently offering 25 per cent off Feliway products in our online shop (see offer details at www.cpshop.co.uk)

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