The holidays are the busiest travel times of the year. More people are bringing their furry loved ones along on their holiday trips. If you are one of the many people who travel with cats are you doing everything you can to keep them safe? When driving do not let the cat roam free in the car. If traveling a long distance obtain a carrier large enough for a small litter box and have bowls for food and water that can be atttached to the carrier. If a car accident occurs while Fluffy is running around the car your kitty can easily go flying through the windshield of your vehicle.
When doors get opened there is nothing to prevent him or her from jumping out and running away. Many people state they let their cat free roam in the car because the cat cries when traveling. If the cat gets very stressed when traveling talk to your veterinarian before leaving and get a medication that will keep the cat calm during the trip. Would you rather have a groggy, slightly irritated feline or lose him or her through an accident?
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Guests are another problem for many cats during the holidays, especially indoor cats. Many people do not realize that not everyone has indoor/outdoor cats. Many people keep cats strictly indoors and when guests are coming over chances increase that one of your visitors will let the cat out without even thinking twice about it. Most often you will not find out about it until hours later or even the next day because your guest did not figure it was worth mentioning that they let your cat out.
When guests are coming over keep your cat in your bedroom or another room people are not going in and out of in order to prevent a guest from accidentally letting the cat outside. Another reason to do this is many cats often do not enjoy noisy holiday parties or gatherings and would actually prefer to cuddle up on your bed in peace and quiet.
Holiday Decorations and Cats
Just watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…need we say more? Christmas decorations can be very dangerous for our beloved felines. Chewing on electrical cords to Christmas tree lights might have been funny in the movie, but in real life your cat can suffer injury or even die from this action. Other tree decorations can also cause injury or illness in cats. Tinsel, tree hangings or the white flocking used on some trees are not considered toxic but if a cat eats the items they can cause intestinal blockages that can kill the cat. Plants such as Christmas Berry, Christmas Cactus, Christmas Rose, Holly (English and American), and Poinsetta are considered dangerous or toxic to cats. There are several sites that offer advice on items to keep away from kitty to keep him or her safe.
If your cat should injest something immediate attention is required. It is always a good idea to know your veterinarian’s hours and where the local emergency veterinary clinic is located. Keep the telephone numbers of your vet and the emergency clinic in a location where they can easily be found. If your pet injests a toxic substance and you cannot get to a clinic immediately call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Be Careful and Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season
If you take the time to think ahead about what could happen you can plan ways of protecting your kitty during the holidays. The holidays are a wonderful time of year. Take some simple steps in keeping your furry family member safe and have a happy holiday season.
Best Holiday Safety Tips for Pets and Kids
Even if the house is kid-proof or pet-proof the rest of the year, holiday decorations pose special hazards. Those vintage bubble-lights from Grandma might have a frayed wire. Christmas trees are laden with choking hazards and sometimes also fire hazards. To a playful dog, some extension cords look like chew toys. And of course, a lit Hanukkah menorah is an accident waiting to happen.
No need to be a party-pooper, though! Just follow these basic holiday safety tips to keep small kids, dogs and cats safe:
Avoid decorating with real plants like holly, poinsettia and mistletoe, which are all poisonous when ingested. Choose fabulous fakes instead.
Place candles and menorahs out of reach of kids and pets. If a toddler is especially fascinated with the candles, consider setting up his or her playpen near them but not close enough to touch.
Placing a screen around the tree keeps curious kids and pets out of the decorations – and the presents!
Choose decorations carefully. Tinsel is a choking hazard (and something cats love to eat – which can be very dangerous for their digestive system), angel hair is spun glass, and these decorations almost always find their way off the tree and around the rest of the house. Better to choose different decorations altogether than to take a chance!
Be sure adults know not to leave hot drinks where curious kids or playful pets can reach them or bump into them.
Practice kitchen safety. Make sure pot handles are turned inward on the stove, and that pans of hot food aren’t on the edge of the counter within reach of a small child. And of course, store food safely and promptly when the party is finished!
Clean up the night after the Christmas or Hanukkah party or family gathering. A whole house-cleaning isn’t necessary, but do make sure that all cups of alcoholic beverages and random cigarette butts are disposed of before going to bed – because the kids will probably wake up earlier than the grown-ups and might sample these forbidden items.
Make sure dogs and cats have a quiet place to go in the house – they can get stressed out by large crowds and run out. Of course, a collar with a name tag on it is a good idea any time of year!
Many accidents involving small children happen when everyone thinks someone else is watching the kids. If Mom needs to work in the kitchen and Dad’s running a holiday errand, they should designate another responsible family member to watch the kiddos.
Keeping kids, dogs and cats safe during the holidays requires extra vigilance, but taking steps to ensure their safety ahead of time means a happier, more relaxed holiday for everyone!
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