Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Keep your pets safe during the holidays

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?


  1. I am lucky in that my cat(s) have never been too bad at Christmas, apart from Stimpy's two-time tree-takedown record. After that I tried wiring the tree to the wall but now I just anchor all the legs with cat litter boxes and don't buy litter till May! I guess faux trees don't float their boat quite so much as real (though Stimpy too down the fake tree!)

    I only hang felt and wood at the bottom. The more fragile things go near the top.

    We wrap presents as normal - None of my cats have been big into the wrappings once wrapped. However, DURING wrapping they're a pile of fun!

    She's not a climber so I can get lilies, mixed flowers or poinsettias. I put them high and I make sure she has plenty of her wheat grass and catnip plant so if she wants to chew on something, she has the real thing.

    And any year it could change and she could go wacky! But so far, so good!

  2. Chucky goes after anything that has a string or rope, so we've banished most things like that from the house, or tie up window blinds and cords where he cannot reach them. He's eaten my pajama bottom laces too; I've learned to hide them. Now, the tassels on my scarves are another issue...Good post; folks need to be reminded every year.

  3. An excellent and very important post. We have to keep our furry babies safe!

  4. Great list. We also use battery-powered candles.

  5. Those are some great tips! For some ODD reason, our mom only has trees that go on top of tables now (that might not work with kit-cats) and there is an old brass bell ornament that is always very strategically placed. We'll blog about it eventually, but let it suffice to say that it is now known as the "Maggie Motion Monitor". Hmm. Whatever.
    Yours sincerely,
    Margaret Thatcher

  6. Excellent tips. The mom does not put any presents under the tree until Christmas morning because we always want to rip the paper off.

  7. guys...thanx for sharin theeze tipz...they bee grate; eye am knot a loud ta haza a tree in me houz coz oh a bunch oh main one coz eye chew cordz ~~~~~ tuna of moon ♥♥♥

  8. Great tips. I wrap gifts, but don't put bows on until right before company arrives.

  9. Great tips. Thank goodness Gracie and Zoe don't mess with our decorations or ornaments. We're still very careful, though. Just in case!

  10. I know my wife's old cat furball many years ago got burnt by a candle by being curious. It wasn't that serious though

  11. Mom only does flameless candles here.