Keep your cats safe this Thanksgiving with a few tips from the PDX Cat Stalker!
Thanksgiving can be an exciting time for many; filled with family, friends and lots of delicious food. It can also be a very stressful time for yourself and your pets. Changes in their environment, lots of guests and loud noises trickling through, possibly children running around, and their overall normal routine pushed aside can be stressful for many animals.
As a veterinary nurse, this is also a known and very busy time for pets being admitted into urgent care for eating something toxic, pancreatitis flare ups, and more.
Here are a few tips to remember around the holidays to relieve some of the stresses and dangers for our beloved furry friends:
1. Flowers are great for center pieces and gifts for hosts on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, many flowers and plants are toxic to our sensitive felines. Lillies are the most poisonous and should never be brought into a house with pets! I seriously can’t emphasis this enough: Lillies will send your cat to the ER and make them extremely sick and/or lead to death. There are many more (less) toxic plants so always check online or with your host prior to bringing them over.
Potpourri is another holiday favorite that is toxic if ingested by your cat, so please keep out of their reach.
2. Candles, food warmers, fire places are wonderful but can be dangerous to unattended or curious cats. Burns on animals are often seen in the veterinary hospitals during the holidays, so please be extra careful in leaving anything out unsupervised. For known counter surfing kitties and cats who like to knock over things, this is especially important.
3. Human food can be quite inviting for our animals and often times we love to be able to share our delicious feast with them. While many cats would be fine with a small amount of plain turkey of field roast, others have a lot of sensitivities and feeding table scraps could make them very sick. It’s especially important to be careful with turkey bones and human foods that are toxic to our cats. Always check with the host before offering any human food to their cats or dogs. If you are a host, please remember to mention it to guests.
4. String is often used to tie up your Thanksgiving turkey. String and thread can look like a fun toy for cats, but if ingested can cause many complications including an obstruction in the GI tract. These can be especially tempting to felines because they retain the smell of food. Please keep them out of reach of your furry kids!
5. With guests coming and going from your home, it’s easy for your cat to slip outside. If your cat is indoor only, make sure your guests know this and leave a sign on the door as a reminder for people going in and out. Leave a collar on your feline and update tag and microchip information in case of an unfortunate escape.
6. Lastly, if your cat is prone to door dashing or is very timid and fearful, you may want to consider setting up a safe room (prior) for them while you are hosting Thanksgiving. A quiet room with litter box, food and water and toys and beds closed off to guests will make your cat feel more secure and create less worry for yourself. Anxious or easily stressed out cats will definitely appreciate a quiet sanctuary room. Stress can lead to disease in felines so it’s extremely important to plan ahead accordingly for events such as holidays and parties.