Well, Thanksgiving is over and now the Christmas Spirit is in the air! We love to decorate, play Christmas music and spend time with family during this season – but don’t let the reveling in Christmas cheer make you forget your feline friends.
Bountiful love and attention during this merry season is much better than spoiling your cats with festive excess, so pay attention to their holiday diets.
Here are a few tips on holiday foods for cats:
Ham – While a small amount (and I mean a few nibbles here and there) shouldn’t be harmful in any way for your cat, giving him a bowl full of your Christmas ham can (and likely will) upset his stomach and make him regurgitate it rather quickly – so avoid overfeeding.
Fat Trimmings – Most cats LOVE the fat from your Christmas meat, but eating the fat trimmings can cause big problems like pancreatitis, so just go ahead and throw the trimmings away.
Grapes and Raisins – Cats usually know that these are toxic, and instinctively won’t eat them, but if you have a cat that eats anything – keep the raisins and grapes away. Ingesting this can cause acute kidney failure so it wouldn’t be worth the moment of pleasure he ‘may’ have eating them.
Onions & Garlic – If you’re like us, we put onions and garlic on almost everything we eat – including Christmas dinner – but for a cat, eating a significant amount of either can cause severe digestive upset, with vomiting and diarrhea. Not festive.
Most foods that cats aren’t accustom to will not settle well in their bellies – so stick to a small amount of the non-fatty turkey or ham and their regular diets.
The best way to include a few holiday treats for our feline friends is to include some of the good stuff in their regular food at their regular feed times.
Here are a few tips on holiday decorations for cats:
As we decorate for this wonderful season, we must remember that there are also certain decorations that can be harmful for our cats so paying close attention to the following is recommended.
Poinsettia Plants – Despite popular belief, poinsettia plants are not as deadly as many think. The sap that the leaves contain is what will irritate the mouth and esophagus of your cat – but they would need to ingest quite a bit of the plant to kill them. The exception is if the plant has been treated with pesticides – and it’s difficult to know which are or aren’t. Pesticides can cause severe problems like seizures or even death. If you decorate your home with this beautiful plant at Christmastime, try buying the fake ones instead. They last a lot longer and you can insure that your kitty isn’t in danger.
Candles – We love the holiday smells that candles bring to our home every Christmas season. Our cats are curious creatures, so placing these festive fires in high cat-traffic areas cat lead to smoking tails and whiskers. So keep an eye on your cat’s candle curiosity. Place them in low traffic areas and, of course, never leave a candle burning when you’re not home to supervise.
Mistletoe – Mistletoe contains multiple toxins that can lead to major diseases or death in cats – so please keep it out of reach from your cat.
Artificial Snow – Every year we set up a Christmas village community somewhere in our home and artificial snow is popular for such things. If your cat is able to get to the snow and accidentally ingests it – it will be toxic. Try using cheese cloth, cotton or simply put the decoration out of reach from your cat.
Lilies – Every piece of a lily is toxic to cats. Simply rubbing up against them can cause the dander to fall onto your cat’s coat to be ingested later during grooming sessions. Just pick a different holiday plant or go with the artificial ones for this holiday season.
We all want our cats to stay happy and healthy throughout the Christmas season, so taking just a few precautionary steps can ensure that we and our kitties have the merriest of Christmas pawlidays! 🙂