When we think of the Thanksgiving holiday, we think of food, family, friends and celebration. Did I mention food? This should be a time of feasts and fun, whether you are enjoying your holiday in a big or small way. One thing you don’t want to have to deal with on Thanksgiving is a trip to the pet emergency clinic so here are 12 simple tips for keeping your cat safe so everyone, including kitty, can enjoy the holiday.
1. Protect your cat’s tummy
You and your guests should enjoy all the holiday food but don’t feed any to your cat. Most holiday foods are too rich and fatty for cats. Stick to your cat’s regular diet because rich foods can cause gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting, diarrhea and uncomfortable gas. You probably will have that one guest who can’t resist sneaking a little tidbit to your cat so it’s best to advise everyone in advance not to feed the cat no matter how cute and irresistible she may look.
2. Stuff the turkey and not the cat
Keep the turkey stuffing away from your cat. Stuffing often contains onions, garlic, raisins and spices. These are all toxic to cats. The aromas from atop the kitchen counter can be too hard for a cat to resist so be very mindful while you prepare and stuff the turkey.
3. Keep tabs on the front door
It’s easy for a cat to dart out the door when guests come and go. Make sure your cat has a collar with ID and is microchipped. If you have a cat who tends to door-dart, keep her in a separate room, away from the door.
4. No raw turkey for cats
Don’t feed raw or undercooked turkey to your cat because of the danger of salmonella bacteria. Thoroughly wash all cutting boards, prep areas and utensils that have come in contact with the raw turkey because your cat can easily sneak up on the counter and start licking contaminated areas.
5. Hazards of food wrappings
Any wrapping that contains the smell of food, such as aluminum foil, plastic wrap, waxed paper, strings used to tie turkey legs or plastic cooking bags, can be very enticing for your cat but can also pose a serious choking hazard. Don’t leave these items on the counter or exposed in an open trash can. Dispose of wrappings immediately and don’t be tempted to toss a crumpled up aluminum foil ball for your cat to play with.
6. Don’t leave the turkey carcass or other leftovers out
Cooked turkey bones can create an emergency situation if your cat chews or swallows them. Cooked poultry bones easy splinter and can get caught in the throat or esophagus. They can also cause intestinal blockage or perforation which can lead to infection. Turkey gristle also poses a choking hazard.
7. Keep your cat away from the trash
Make sure trash cans are either covered or stored in cabinets to prevent your cat from diving in there and gaining access to bones, gristle or other dangerous trash. If you have quite a few guests over and are celebrating throughout the day, take the time to empty the trash several times.