|Natasha looking out of the window on Christmas morning, 2015|
Getting ready for November and December holidays can be stressful, especially when we try to do too many things or we think only perfection counts. We can make the holiday preparations and celebrations a little less stressful by taking precautions to help keep our pets safe and healthy.
The ASPCA has a good article on its website with “Holiday Safety Tips.” And there are other resources online that give great advice on safety. The tips may or may not apply to you.
Below are some of the precautions we take during the holidays. I don’t advocate that this is the only way to decorate. I tend to be anxious, and I probably worry about things that I don’t need to worry about. But these precautions work for us.
*We use battery-powered candles. They have a warm glow without the danger of overturned candles with flames. And you can get all shapes and sizes now.
*We don’t wrap any gifts until Christmas Eve. Ribbon, boxes covered in paper with corners to chew on, and handles on gift bags have just been too enticing to our kitties through the years. So we wrap all the gifts on Christmas Eve and stack them on the dining room table so it’s harder to get to any ribbon. Christmas morning, we put them under the tree, take a few pictures, and then open them.
*We choose tree decorations carefully. The long ribbons that some people attach to the top of their trees so that they stream down are beautiful. But they’re also easy for kitties to grab and pull and eat.
We use only shatterproof ornaments and avoid using any with glitter.
*We keep human food out of reach. We cook more during the holidays than any other time of the year. Our kitchen is small, with no table, so we eat in the dining area, from where we can see only part of the counter space and stove. So while we aren’t in the room, hot dishes or foods they shouldn’t get into go on top of the refrigerator (we actually have a trivet on top), or we close the doors to the kitchen.
*We don’t have live plants inside. No poinsettia, holly berries, mistletoe, lilies, or any plant that could be harmful if ingested.
There are things we don’t do and things we don’t include in our holiday celebrations. But we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything. We just believe that we’re making choices that hopefully will help keep our cats safe.
What are some of the things you do during the holidays to help keep your pets safe?