With Christmas just around the corner, it becomes a mad rush of shopping, decorating, baking and all the other fun and hectic activities associated with the holiday season. Since there are so many changes that take place in the household during this time of year, take a few minutes to go over the checklist below to make sure your pet stays safe and happy.
When you place a tree in the middle of your living room, your cat may think you have created the ultimate in environmental enrichment. Make sure the tree is secure and won’t topple over. If possible, leave the tree up undecorated for a day or two so your cat gets used to it before adding all those hard-to-resist ornaments.
If you’re having trouble keeping the tree from toppling over due to your cat’s insistence on climbing it, try using picture wire to secure the tree. If there’s a picture hanging behind the tree, remove the picture and attach the picture wire to the tree and then to the wall. After the holiday, when you take the tree down, no one will see the hole because the picture will be back in place.
If you have a live tree, cover the water reservoir with netting or use Sticky Paws for Plants (available at pet supply stores and online) in a crisscross pattern across the opening. It’s important to prevent the cat from drinking the water in the reservoir. Water additives used to preserve tree life are toxic to cats.
Lights and Wires
To reduce the chance that your pet will chew on electrical wires, coat the wires with a bitter anti-chew substance before wrapping them around the tree. Make sure lights are secured around branches and not dangling in order to reduce temptation.
Dangling ornaments can be hard for a pet to resist. Don’t decorate the very bottom of the tree to reduce the temptation as a small pet walks by. Don’t use ornament hooks which can cause internal injury if chewed or swallowed. Instead, secure the ornaments with green twist ties so they’ll stay securely on the branches.