Tips to avoid sending your cat crackers at Christmas

Cats Protection shares their 12 top tips to avoid sending your cat crackers this Christmas

Curiosity can have a notorious effect on cats, so the advent of tinsel, baubles and seasonal plants can turn a cosy Christmas home into a tempting playground of hazards for our furry friends.

To help keep kitty safe this Christmas and New Year, Cats Protection has shared 12 top tips for feline-friendly festivities to ensure the season can be enjoyed by all.

1 Christmas trees present a tempting challenge – avoid placing breakable ornaments within reach and discourage climbing. Real trees can seep toxic preservatives so the base should be a no-go area for puss.

2 Glass baubles, tinsel and decorations – decorations with tiny parts can be dangerous to cats and should be avoided. If your tree is real, vacuum often as pine needles are a choking hazard and can hurt feet.

3 Dressing up your cats – this can make them stressed. It can be tempting to involve your cat in festivities, but fancy dress can restrict movement, risk injury and prevent grooming or stretching.

4 Toxic plants – plants like holly, ivy, poinsettia, lilies and mistletoe are potentially dangerous to cats. A full list of harmful plants can be found on Cats Protection’s website here.

5 Human food is not for cats – rich foods like chocolate can be toxic and should definitely be off the menu. Overfeeding can make a cat overweight and risk health problems such as diabetes.

6 Loud noise – Christmas can be loud and cats may want a safe place to retreat to when things get noisy. Cats can be startled by bangs such as Christmas crackers, party poppers and general commotion.

7 Tidy away presents and wrapping after opening gifts – Wrapping paper, elastic bands and ribbons can be a tempting hazard so keep your cat from nibbling at them.

8 Cat-friendly toys – these can be a treat at Christmas but pick ones with embroidered features, not plastic or glass ones which can come off. If you buy cat edible gifts, go for special pet treats.

9 Fire hazard – Screen open fires and don’t hang decorations near them. Avoid danger by reducing temptation.

10 Leaving your cat alone – If you’re going away consider a cat sitter over a cattery. Cats like a familiar environment so keeping your cat at home can ensure they feel less stressed. Most of all; make plans early.

11 Prepare for fireworks – Especially at New Year, when the loud bangs and bright lights can cause anxiety, so keep your curtains closed and consider a calming pheromone plug-in diffuser.

12 Do not give cats as presents – Cats are a commitment beyond Christmas and are not to be treated as novelty gifts. Cats Protection does not home cats during the holiday season.

Christmas advice can be found at: https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/cats-at-christmas