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How to Keep Your Kitty Safe This Christmas

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With Christmas only a week away, many of us are busy with wrapping gifts, cooking food, and cleaning the house for expected (or unexpected!) company. In all the bustle of the season, sometimes we forget to keep an eye on our furbabies. If we're not careful, we may soon hear a thud! as the Christmas tree tumbles to the ground. Surprisingly, the Christmas season offers many unique hazards for our cats. 

Read on to learn how to keep your kitty safe this Christmas.

1. Cat-proof the Christmas tree.

According to cat owner Whitney, choosing a smaller, artificial tree can make your life (and your kitty's) a lot less stressful. If your cat knocks over the Christmas tree, it's easier to clean up + less risky for your fur baby. She also recommends waiting a few days before you decorate it. That gives your cat some time to investigate it and (hopefully) get bored with it.

Whitney also recommends, "Most cats hate foil and citrus scents, so wrap your tree trunk in foil, and place a few lemon or orange peels around the base." This will discourage your cat from climbing the tree and having a Humpty Dumpty moment.

2. Keep electric lights out of reach.

For a curious cat, there is nothing more enticing than a string of glowing Christmas lights. But, if she chews on them, she could get an electrical shock or even get her fur singed. To prevent this, hang lights out of reach. Also, tape down loose cords on the ground.

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3. Limit holiday snacking on "people food."

Although you may love to give kitty "a little nibble" of your favourite holiday foods, be cautious about doing this. In particular, avoid giving your cats dairy-based treats. Vets estimate that about 50% of cats are lactose intolerant. Foods with high sodium or fat content may also cause health issues, including vomiting and diarrhea. Jenna Stregowski, an RVT, recommends that you limit holiday snacks to no more than 10% of your cat's diet.

4. Prepare for guests.

Before you invite guests into your home, set aside a dedicated room for your kitty to have personal space. Place her bed, food dish, water dish, and a few toys there. Instruct the guests not to disturb her when she retreats to "her room." Often, hosting guests is stressful for cats. She may take a little while to adjust, especially if they are staying for an extended period. Be patient with her. In addition, let your guests know about any problem behaviours you may be dealing with or any house rules about cats. This will ensure a pleasant stay for both your guests + your fur babies.

Let's Chat:

How do you keep your cats safe at Christmas? Which one of these tips was new to you?

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