Making the holidays safe for kitty

Zanzibar Xmas stockingAs we head into the holiday season, it is important to protect our cats from possible dangers and accidents. Here is our list of the ‘Top 7’ hazards your home may contain during the holidays:

1. Some flowers and plants can be toxic or highly irritating if ingested, such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettias. Almost all types of lilies are very dangerous for cats, causing kidney damage and death. It is better to avoid having them in your house or to keep them away from reach.

2. Certain foods are also toxic to pets, such as chocolate, onions, garlic, fat trimmings, alcohol, etc. Even if not toxic, pets given treats they are not accustomed to may suffer from gastrointestinal upset.

3. Unattended holiday candles can be the cause of burns to curious cats from the flame or from hot wax. Or they may be knocked over by a curious cat, causing a fire hazard in your home.

4. Simmering liquid potpourri can lend pleasant smells to your home, but the oils contain chemicals that are highly irritating to the skin of cats and to the mouth, esophagus, and stomach if licked and ingested.

BCH tree with donations5. Decorations such as tinsel, small shiny ornaments and garlands are very attractive to cats are they are bright and glittery. Decorative bows and ribbons are also a temptation. All of these can be ingested, potentially causing injury to the mouth, choking, or an intestinal obstruction that would require emergency surgery.

6. Christmas trees may be a temptation for cats, not only for the ornaments and tinsel they contain, but also to climb. In addition, it appears some natural trees may be sprayed with dangerous substances, such as ethylene glycol, which are highly toxic to cats.

7. With visitors coming and going, it is important to keep your pets away from open doors preventing them from going outside unsupervised. Your cat may also become frightened by unaccustomed visitors and noises, so it may be best to confine your cat to one quiet room in your home during parties.

If your cat has been exposed to any of these hazards or injured, please contact us immediately. When we are closed, please contact:

Animal Emergency Ottawa: 1155 Lola St., Ottawa, Ontario: 613-745-0123

We hope that you and all members of your family have safe and happy holidays!

[Dr. Sylvie Nicholson, Dr. Susan Little]

For more information:

Pet Poison Helpline

ASPCA Animal Poison Control

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The Cat Hospitals website

Animal Emergency Hospital

Bytown Cat Hospital on Facebook

Merivale Cat Hospital on Facebook

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About The Cat Hospitals

Veterinary care exclusively for cats
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