How to cat-proof your home during the holidays

December 19, 2019 - 2 min read
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.

This article was written for the United Kingdom market and the advice provided may not be accurate for those in the United States.

Cats are inquisitive creatures, and the holiday season presents many enticing opportunities for mischief.

So, to help you keep your cat safe this Christmas and New Year's, we've listed eight festive items to keep away from their paws.

If you think your cat may have ingested something toxic, get in touch with a vet. And always consider cat insurance.

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Tinsel and other decorations can be choking hazards to small animals, and if swallowed, tinsel can cause internal damage. You might want to consider solid plastic ornaments as opposed to fragile glass ones. If they break and fragments scatter on the floor, they can cause cuts on your cat's paws. Christmas lights can be a hazard too; don't let your cat chew on the cable. "Christmas lights can cause electric shocks if your cat decides to chew on them," advises veterinary nurse Sarah James.

Poinsettias, amaryllis, and Christmas roses are Festive plants found in many homes this time of year and should be kept away from cats with a penchant for grazing on poisonous house plants.

Holly, lilies, and mistletoe berries can be highly toxic to cats. Even small amounts can be dangerous.

Chocolate and raisins are both poisonous to cats, even in small amounts.

Garlic and onion: The ingredients in many festive (and non-festive) recipes can cause stomach upsets in cats. It is best to keep human food away from the felines. If you do give your cat a bite from your plate, make sure there's no garlic or onion (or raisins and chocolate) in it.

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Snow globes: Be aware that snow globes can sometimes contain antifreeze or other chemicals. "Antifreeze can cause kidney failure if ingested or licked. It has a sweet taste, which cats like, so it is even more tempting," advises veterinary nurse Sarah James.  If your cat likes to knock things over (and watch them fall to the ground and smash into a million pieces), you might want to keep the snowglobes away from mischevious paws.

Christmas tree: Some cats are utterly unimpressed by Christmas trees. But if that's not the case with yours, you might want to consider getting an artificial tree. The chemicals produced by some real trees can be poisonous to cats if digested.

Alcohol: Even a small amount of alcohol can be toxic, so make sure you clean up any spillages immediately.

If you think your cat may have ingested something toxic, get in touch with a vet.

And last but not least, cats can get stressed when there's a lot of people and noise around, so if you're throwing a festive party this year, make sure to create a cozy, quiet spot where kitty can hide when it gets overwhelmed.

Irina Wells
Content Marketing Executive

Irina is a former content marketing executive for ManyPets. She has contributed to a number of personal finance sites, including Loot Financial Services and Claro Money.