Remember to Cat-Proof Your Holiday Decorations

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If you have been following us for some time, you may remember that we have discussed how it seems that almost ALL traditional Christmas flowers and plants are toxic to household pets. Sad, but true!

I can assure you that you will never find me nibbling those green and red things – I have much more discriminating taste and consider myself a true carnivore! However, Beau is another story and a real cat from the streets. He will try to eat anything! He has to taste-test everything new that comes into the house – and plants and flowers really attract him!

Many pet owners are not aware of the potential hazards of their holiday decorations, until they read a story of a pet’s passing from digesting some Christmas Lilies or Paperwhites, or even worse, it happens to their pet.

Flowers to Stay Away From

Many of the flowers and plants cause mouth and throat irritations and/or mild gastrointestinal problems, but when consumed in large amounts they can lead to death. Others are deadly even if consumed in small amounts. It becomes an issue of the pet parent getting their beloved pet to the vet in time as to whether it survives.

Mom says “who wants to go through that pain” when you can control it from ever happening to begin with…in our case, because we have “one of those nibblers” – mom has to cat-proof all the holiday decorations…all our plants are under decorative vintage bird cages…or placed up high and not where Beau can reach it easily…and if the decoration is on the table or somewhere accessible, then it is natural and organic but! not toxic.

Among the live holiday decorations that are toxic, the list includes:

  • Poinsettias

  • Lilies of all types (except Peruvian Lilies)

  • Amaryllis

  • Mistletoe

  • Narcissus also known as Paperwhites

  • Eucalyptus

  • Anthurium

  • Cyclamen

***This is a partial list – be sure to check the name with the ASPCA for everything that you want to bring into the house if you have a nibbler kitty!

In addition – also consider that many plants are treated with pesticides at the nurseries that can often be toxic. And be sure to check the additives that you might put into your Christmas tree water – as it can be toxic to pets as well.

And by the way – Christmas trees are highly toxic to cats!

  1. Chewed and ingested pine needles can puncture the intestines.

  2. Pine is very toxic to cats and can lead to liver damage, intestinal blockage or even death.

Since we have a nibbler, mom says a faux tree is the only holiday tree we will ever have, as it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Keep Your Electrical Cords Out Of Reach

But one more word of caution…Beau also likes to nibble on cords, so be careful if your pet likes to do the same, as electrocution is a very real threat to pets. All the cords for our temporary holiday lights and decorations are new tempting targets for our curious nibblers. Mom says there is a lot of solutions on the Internet from covering the wires in PVC tubing or rubbing the cords with a citrus scent which cats don’t like.

Mom says with some careful planning and research, we can still decorate the house for the holidays. And if you don’t have a nibbler like we do – then you can have all the plants and decorations as you like.

Now if we could just figure out how to prevent Beau from climbing the tree to get the view from the top…meow!