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5 Tips for Having a Safe Easter Holiday with Your Cat

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Easter holidays are a time for celebrations with family and friends — our felines included. With a wealth of surprises, including festive baskets, goodies, cute bunnies and pretty flowers, it promises to be an exciting festivity. But a few Easter goodies are toxic to cats.

From potentially toxic foods and décor to stressful environments, here are five tips to ensure you have a safe and happy Easter with your cats.

1.  Mind Your Easter Décor

Easter decorations, such as plastic or foil Easter grass, can be intriguing to your cats but may present a danger. When swallowed, plastic or foil Easter grass can be a choking hazard. Worse yet, they can cause intestinal distress, requiring emergency and costly veterinary surgical removal.

As an alternative, use paper grass or Easter-print fabric. In comparison, they're less hazardous than plastic/foil grass — but still be sure to exercise caution and vigilance. On the other hand, fragrances such as potpourri sometimes used in Easter celebrations are unsafe for cats. Potpourri, whether liquid or dried form, may be toxic to cats if ingested. It can cause inflammation and tissue damage in your cat's mouth and digestive organs.

2.  Avoid Easter Lilies

All plants within the lily family are lethal to cats. Some such as the Easter lily, Tiger, Day, Asiatic, and Japanese Show lilies are incredibly toxic to cats. Even the slightest ingestion can result in severe acute kidney failure or death. Less lethal lilies such as the Peruvian, Peace, and Calla lilies result in minor health issues, such as mouth tissue irritation and drooling. Still, they aren't safe for your cat.

Should you find your cat consuming a lily plant, take your cat immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. The sooner your cat gets medical attention, the better and more efficiently your vet will be able to treat the poisoning. Alternatively, call animal poison control if you suspect your cat may have consumed anything.

Rather than Easter Lilies, opt for safe alternatives like daisies, orchids, violets and other safe flowers. Check out ASPCA's list of toxic plants and flowers for cats.

3.  Keep Chocolate Bunnies Away from Your Cat

For many, Easter is incomplete without the classic and delicious chocolate bunnies! Unfortunately, chocolate can be lethal to cats and other pets too, particularly dogs.

With plenty of chocolate bunny treats and the holiday excitement, small children or adults may feed or unintentionally leave half-eaten chocolate treats where your cat may find them. Chocolate contains theobromine, a toxic agent known to cause chocolate poisoning, particularly liver failure cats and dogs.

4.  Check on Easter Eggs

Easter eggs are festivity highlight symbolizing rebirth and fertility. However, for your kitty, they may present a health hazard. While fresh eggs, adequately handled, present no danger, old spoiled eggs can be toxic. Old eggs will attract bacteria which will multiply into millions of colonies, becoming a health hazard if ingested.

As much as young children enjoy Easter egg hunts, keep tabs on your egg count and ensure that everybody disposes of half-eaten eggs in the trash — not anywhere else. Egg leftovers can be later found and consumed by your cat, causing severe illness.

5.  Brief your House Guests

If you invite guests over, exercise extra caution so that your guests don't scare your cat or give them potentially toxic substances. Brief your guests on how to handle your cat. They shouldn't feed your cats anything, particularly chocolate or any poisonous foods. If your guests are especially loud, have your cat stay in a spare room for the period of the visit.

Easter is a wonderful holiday, but it also poses some dangers for your cats. It's best to err on the side of safety as you celebrate. Create an environment that's fun for you and isn't potentially dangerous for your feline friend.

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