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Cats and Christmas Decorations

Tis the season! Our cats enjoy Christmas almost as much as we do. But there are a few things to keep in mind when decorating your house for the holidays.

Christmas Tree
We've always had an artificial tree and, for the most part, our cats have been very good. None of them have ever tried to climb it, although some have chewed on the branches and knocked ornaments off. Now we get the spray bottle out, just in case, and keep it next to the tree. We also don't put any breakable ornaments near the bottom of the tree, where the kitties can easily knock them off. If you have a real tree, be sure to not let your kitty drink the water. Many times tree water contains chemicals to preserve the tree and those can be toxic to your cat. Regardless of what type of tree you have be sure to properly anchor it, so kitty can't knock it down if s/he chooses to attempt climbing it.

Lights
Strands of lights can add a festive flair to interior doors, windows and the like, but be sure the cords are concealed (under rugs or in cord coverings) or taped to the floor to discourage kitty from chewing on them. This can result in electrocution and possibly even death.

Figurines and Other Breakables
Breakable Nativity sets and decorations need to be placed where kitty can't get to them. If your cat knocks them onto the floor, causing them to break, the broken glass can be a real hazard to kitty and potentially result in serious injury. If you do have these decorations within kitty's reach, consider mounting them with double sided tape to keep them secure and tougher for your cat to knock over.

Holiday Plants
Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and pine boughs are common holiday plants. These can, however, be harmful (even fatal) if ingested by your cat. Keep this in mind when you are deciding where to adorn your house with holiday foliage. Vomiting, stumbling, muscle tremors, depression and seizures can all be signs of poisoning. If you suspect your cat ingested any of these plants and notice kitty exhibiting any of these symptoms, please seek veterinary care immediately.

Candles
Candles enhance the season and can permeate the air with a myriad of sweet scents. But, if left burning unattended within kitty's reach, may very well be a recipe for singed whiskers or worse. So, please don't leave candles burning if you aren't there to supervise.

Ribbons and Bows
Ribbons and bows beautify the Christmas presents under the tree. These ribbons and bows can, however, be very enticing to your cat. A couple of our cats love to chew on the bows, so we have to strategically place our presents under the tree with the bows hidden as much as possible. Or we leave the bows off some packages if they become too irresistible. If ingested, ribbons and bows can cause a potentially fatal intestinal blockage in your cat. Wire ribbons, as you can imagine, could result in kitty cutting her/his mouth if s/he chews on them. Be mindful when wrapping your holiday packages. Be sure to securely affix bows and use shorter length ribbons, as opposed to longer ones, and avoid wire ribbons if your cat is too tempted by them. If need be remove ribbons and bows altogether. Your kitty's safety is more important than a pretty package.

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