Holidays can be some of the most enjoyable times of the year: a decorative Christmas tree, a delicious meal on the table, the smell of cinnamon pine cones drifting through the house. But some felines have a propensity for mischief and can be more naughty than nice! So if your kitty is on Santa’s naughty list, here is what you should watch out for and how you can make your home feline friendly for the season:
Christmas tree – Secure your tree so that it cannot fall on rambunctious pets as they run around or try to climb them. Place ornaments out of the reach of your cat. Avoid tinsels, cats cannot resist them. Broken ornaments, as a result of an enthusiastic cat batting on them, can be swallowed easily and have the potential to cause blockages in the cat’s digestive tract, which may require expensive surgery to remove.
Don’t let your cat drink out of the tree stand – especially if you’re feeding the tree with a lifetime promoter. Placing a tree skirt or a makeshift wall (chicken wire) will help to deter your cat.
Bones – Small turkey and ham bones can lodge in the throat, stomach and digestive tract, requiring surgery to remove. Also, the fats and gravies that you may add to your pets’ food can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Holiday Plants – Many plants can be poisonous to your pet. The holidays add a few more to that list and include mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies and holly (the berries are especially toxic).Orchids and Rosemary are good alternatives for this time of the year.
Electrical Cords – These are always a hazard to curious kittens and puppies. If a cat bites into a cord, it can get serious electrical burns. Make sure that all electrical cords are out of reach and covered with rugs or electrical tape.
Sweets – Holiday candy can cause GI problems and become toxic once ingested. Chocolate is one of the most common causes of toxic reaction in pets. The darker the chocolate, the worse it is. Do not place wrapped boxes of chocolate under the tree. Also, be sure to keep the candy dishes covered so playful paws aren’t tempted to fish them out.
Lost Pets – The holidays make it easier for pets to sneak their way out of the house with the extra guests and visiting friends going in and out. Be sure to keep identification on your pets at all times and keep them contained in a bedroom if you are expecting a lot of foot traffic through your front door.
One of our 9LCR volunteers found a three week old black kitten with severely infected eyes, sitting in the middle of a highway. Just like the little kitten described in Gwen Cooper’s book “Homer’s Odyssey’ he needed expensive surgery when he was only a baby, but recovered fully from the removal of both of his eyes. At age 3 months he was adopted to a young family of five humans, three dogs, and two cats. At first we were concerned about Homer’s safety regarding the other animals, but it turns out that the largest dog (40lbs) accepted Homer immediately and is very protective of him. Homer and the family are very happy with each other.
Carey (very shy)
Because of changes in his life, her previous owner could not take care of her any longer. CAREY was very unhappy at 9 Lives Cat Rescue although we tried hard to make her comfortable: open cage at all times, access to screened-in-porch. Her quiet voice was heard; a retired teacher sensed her broken heart and immediately bonded with her. CAREY went home with her to become a very spoiled cat.
Wallace Hume Carothers (late teenager, black & white)
He was found in company of a tiny kitten, trying to find scraps for both of them to survive. They were found at the Carothers construction site behind the Chemistry department on Campus. W.H.C was shy at first but warmed up to us quickly and became very affectionate. A young couple opened their hearts and home for him.
Cinderella (late teenager, tortoise)
She was found lost in the country. CINDERELLA was named after the folk tale because she seems to have lost her second ‘orange sock’; she has orange markings on only one of her hind feet. She is a playful and affectionate kitten who loves to talk. She was adopted to a young woman to be playmate for her 1 1⁄2 year old cat.
Sylvester (very mellow adult, black & white)
He is such an extremely loving and gentle cat that our 9 Lives Cat Rescue volunteers called him “Buddha”. He is shy at first but once he gets to know you he will reward you with gentle head butts and will roll over to be petted. SYLVESTER was adopted to a quiet household to be a friend to a cat with vision problems. After a short period of adjustment the two cats became best friends and play buddies.
Bella (7 years old)
She grew up in a household with six additional cats. Unfortunately she had to be surrendered by her owner because of changes in her personal life. BELLA is a very mellow cat, and is very loving when she gets attention. She was adopted by a young woman who prefers to live with a mellow cat that has a fully developed personality rather than with a highly energetic kitten.