As the nation gears up for the festive season, Natures Menu, the UK’s leading expert in natural pet food, has shared potential cat cautions that pet owners should look out for this winter.
Christmas is such a lovely and exciting time of year, but unfortunately all the twinkling lights and merriment can be hazardous for your cat. When managed with a bit of extra care, the holidays can be a time of fun and happiness for both you and your four-legged friend.
Veterinary Education Manager Melanie Sainsbury has given her top tips on how to combat each issue and how to ensure that your feline friend is kept safe and warm this Christmas. We have listed some below, you can read the full article in Issue 2 of Edition Cat.
Christmas trees and Christmas tree water
If you opt for a real Christmas tree this year, be aware that it could prove hazardous to your pet. Christmas trees are considered to be mildly toxic, as the fir tree oils can be an irritant to the mouth and stomach. However, the water that the tree sits in can be even more poisonous, so make sure that your cat doesn’t mistake it for their drinking bowl by keeping the pot securely covered.
Decorations made of plastic, paper or foil are of low toxicity, but may obstruct the stomach or pose a risk if chewed or swallowed. Fairy lights and other electrical wires can result in electrocution if chewed, so keep them out of reach of felines.
Candles and oil burners
Lit candles, oil burners or wax melts can make a room feel cosy - however, we need to be cautious as cats are attracted to bright, flickering lights in a darkened room. Candles should always be kept out of reach of pets and you should never leave your cat in a room alone with a lit candle.
We all enjoy a roaring fire when the temperatures drop outside and so do our cats, however both open and gas fires can give pets serious burns. To avoid your cat getting too close to the heat source, be sure to place a fire guard around it for safety.
If your cat ventures outside on a cold, wintery day, be sure to check their paws when they return. Salt and grit from treated roads can irritate the skin and cause harm if ingested when grooming. Cats with particularly fluffy feet can also be vulnerable to ice balls forming in between their toes, which can be very painful. Try to gently bathe their feet on return or encourage them to walk across a warm, wet towel.
Antifreeze tastes wonderful to cats but is highly poisonous. Poisoning usually occurs when nosey cats venture into garages or sheds, sometimes trying to find a warm, comfortable place to sleep. Make sure you keep any chemicals safely stored away outside and keep garages and shed doors closed. If you are unable to find your cat after they have ventured outside, always remember to check outer buildings to make sure they haven’t become trapped, as well as checking with neighbours to make sure they haven’t accidentally trapped your cat outside.
Even though Bonfire Night has passed, people do often celebrate Christmas and New Year, with fireworks. Always make sure that your cat is safely inside before dark to help prevent them being spooked by loud bangs and flashing lights, as this can cause them to panic and run into danger.
Read the full article in Issue 2 of Edition Cat
For more information on Natures Menu and feeding a raw and natural diet for cats and kittens, please visit www.naturesmenu.co.uk and search ‘cat’.