Make sure your kitty is safe and sound for the holidays by reading these tips:

1. Keep holiday plants out of reach. Many plants poisonous to cats are commonly used in holiday decorating. Below is a list of the most common ones and their side effects:

  • Poinsettias - Nausea, vomiting, and an irritant to your cats mouth causing excess salivation.
  • Mistletoe - Vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.
  • American Mistletoe - difficulty breathing, severe irritation to digestive tract, excessive thirst, unsteadiness.
  • Holly - Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, hypersalivation, headshaking or lipsmacking.

For a worry free alternative you may want to consider using plastic or silk arrangements.

2. A sturdy and inaccessible Christmas tree. When setting up your Christmas tree make sure it is safely and securely set up to avoid being knocked over by a mischievous cat. Placing the tree in one corner of the room is often helpful. If using a real Christmas tree avoid using chemicals in the water. Fertilizer and bacteria if ingested can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

3. Place fragile or eye catching ornaments out of harms way. Make sure to place glass, fragile or interesting ornaments or decorations out of high traffic areas and away from low hanging branches. This is especially true for decorations like tinsel, ribbon and string for cats. An inquisitive tug could send them crashing down leaving shards of glass underfoot. Alternative options could be ornaments made of dried non-toxic flowers, pinecones, fabric or wood.

4. Keeping your pet calm and happy during holiday get-togethers. ‘Tis the season to make merriment and with all the comings and goings of party goers it’s easy for your cat to slip through an open door. A good strategy is to place them in a quiet and comfortable room with food, plenty of water and their litter box to keep them from bolting (which cats tend to do) around large numbers of guests.

5. Choose the perfect toy. You’ve spent all this time keeping them safe, now it’s time to make them happy! It’s what the holidays are all about isn’t it? To ensure your cat gets the most out of his new toy try to avoid toys with small parts that can possibly become detached. Chances are they will and are likely to pose a choking hazard.

6. Nothing beats love and attention. The holidays can be hectic, but there’s always time to take a little breather and spend some play time with your cat whether it’s scratching his belly or teasing him with a toy. It won’t only provide the love and attention he craves, but the welcome respite from the holidays you just may have needed.