Welcome back and thanks for reading! This is the second part of our Holiday Happiness for Cats piece. We hope all of our friends, both human and animal, have a safe and happy holiday season!
One of the best parts of the holiday season is all of the amazing food! Many common holiday foods are pretty enticing to cats. A little bite of turkey or ham here and there is ok, but the grease and sodium can lead to GI distress, including vomiting, diarrhea and even dehydration. Strings from a holiday ham make for an incredibly tasty and dangerous toy. If ingested, these strings and any other string like materials can cause intestinal damage that could potentially result in the need for surgery. We also know that cats are drawn to the crinkling sound of chewing on plastic. Plastic wrap, especially when covered in juicy deliciousness from a holiday meal can also be considered a treat to many cats. Similar to strings, ingesting plastic wrap can cause major GI issues. Make sure to not leave any food unattended to avoid any unnecessary tummy troubles and hospital visits.
The holidays bring many new and unfamiliar sights, sounds and even people into our homes. Cats are very territorial creatures and all of these new things can be very stressful. It is important to be aware of how your cats feel about visitors and new people. While many cats are very social and like meeting new people, some cats get very anxious and stressed when strangers come into their territory. For cats who prefer a more calm and quiet environment, creating a space where they can retreat during holiday gatherings can greatly reduce their stress levels. This is as simple as setting up an area in a quiet room, where the door can be closed if needed. Include their food, water and litter box, along with their favorite toys and a bed for them to relax. It’s also a great time to make sure that your cat is microchipped and that the microchip is registered and the information is current. With many people coming and going, it can be easy for a cat to slip outside without being noticed. Ensuring your microchip is up-to-date makes it much easier for pets to be reunited with their families.
Many of us travel out of town to visit with family and friends during the holiday season. It's best to plan as far in advance as possible. While there are boarding facilities specifically for cats, it can be terribly stressful for cats to go into boarding. Cats are very territorial and are very attached to their own territory. Having someone come to your home to care for your cats will keep them feeling less stressed while you are away.