Keeping Your Cat Safe at Christmas

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

The holidays are full of fun and cheer for people, but they can also pose some hazards for cats.


As a pet parent, it’s important to be aware of those hazards so you can keep your furry friend safe throughout the season. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Holiday Trees and Decorations: Things to Consider

If you’re planning on putting up a tree to celebrate the holidays, keep in mind that your cat is likely going to be interested in it, and might be so curious that she ends up trying to climb to the top. Whether you go with a real or artificial tree, you don’t want your kitty chewing on it – and in the case of a real tree, you definitely want to prevent your pet from drinking the water too. Also, setting it securely in place can help ensure it won’t get knocked over by an excited kitty.

Ornaments, ribbons, tinsel, garland, and other décor that you use on your tree and throughout your home can also pose a threat to your cat if she ends up chewing on them or ingesting them. Plus, ornaments that can shatter could lead to injuries. So, in addition to figuring out ways of keeping your cat away from the Christmas tree, carefully consider how you’ll decorate it to keep your pet safe. For example, you might opt to avoid certain decorations, such as tinsel, and you might switch from glass ornaments to plastic ones.

Avoid Toxic Holiday Plants

You might be tempted to bring home some holiday plants to decorate for the season, but if you have a cat, you need to consider whether those plants are safe for your pet.

Your kitty might be tempted to chew on petals, berries, and leaves, and if a plant is toxic, you might find yourself taking your pet to the emergency vet. So, it might be best to stick with artificial plants to get the look of your holiday favorites without the danger, or just leave plants out of your decorating plans altogether.

Some holiday plants that are toxic to cats include:

·      Holly

·      Mistletoe

·      Poinsettia

·      Amaryllis

Holiday Lights: Electrical and Natural

Holiday lights add beauty to your home during this festive time of year, but you need to be sure your kitty won’t end up chewing on the wires. In addition to keeping the wires out of reach and organized (don’t leave them loose and dangling), using cord covers can help keep your kitty safe.

If you prefer the natural glow of candles, you don’t want your kitty knocking them over and you don’t want her to hurt herself by getting too close to the flames. Be sure to keep candles out of reach, and only burn them while you’re there to keep an eye on things.  

Keep Your Cat Away from Toxic Foods

Finally, a lot of your favorite holiday foods and sweets aren’t good for your cat, so you need to take steps to ensure your kitty won’t end up eating anything toxic. In addition to the various everyday foods that cats shouldn’t eat, your pet shouldn’t ingest holiday foods and drinks like eggnog, chocolate, and, of course, alcohol.  

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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