A stress-free Christmas for your cat

CHRISTMAS is a stressful time for most cats, except for the very laidback ones.

Strangers coming into the home, small children, loud noises from guests and TVs, unusual smells from Christmas trees and holly and mistletoe, unusual food, etc, can all have an effect.

If you have a nervous cat, give it a room it can retreat to, with litter tray, food and water. If it wants to come down and join the fun, let it. If not, leave it be.

Give your cat the choice. If it is very nervous install a Feliway diffuser in the room, starting a week before Christmas.

Most cats are afraid of visiting dogs, even if they live with a familiar dog. In this case make sure the cat is shut away from the dog so that they never have to come face to face. After all this is your cat’s home, and it deserves to feel safe.

Chocolate is poisonous both to cats and dogs. Grapes and raisins are poisonous to dogs and probably to cats, too. Turkey and chicken bones can get stuck in the throat or wound the stomach. Alcohol will lead to accidents like falling off shelves, or, if a lot is taken, it can kill. It is not funny to give a cat alcohol: it is cruel.

Therefore, shut away all food. Or shut away the cat. After all, you don’t want to go into the kitchen and find cat nibble marks on the turkey.

String that ties up a turkey may be half swallowed. NEVER pull it out. Ring the emergency vet service and take their advice. This also applies to tapes, strings or anything that may end up half in and half out at either end. Just yanking can cause serious injury.

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