Houston Humane
Society News

Avoid a Christmas CATastrophe

There is nothing more that attracts a cat than shiny toys and high places to climb. Many owners struggle to keep their Christmas tree picture-perfect thanks to their feline friend exploring the new addition. To help avoid any tree crashing this holiday season, the Houston Humane Society wishes to share some tips to keep your kitty (and tree) safe:
Pine needles are toxic for cats – While a real tree can fill the room with fresh scent, their pine needles can cause serious health risks if ingested. Fallen needles can also cause discomfort to your pet’s paws so make sure to sweep around the tree regularly.
Keep the tree safe from kittens – To help keep the tree standing tall, consider anchoring it to your walls or ceiling using clear fishing line and investing in a heavy and sturdy base. If possible, place the tree away from their favorite pouncing spot (i.e. counters, stands, furniture). There are a variety of sprays intended to keep pets away at many pet stores. For an at-home alternative, orange peels can be placed around the tree as cats hate the smell of citrus! As an added precaution, aluminum foil wrapped at the base can be enough to keep cats away.
String lights aren’t string toys – To avoid finding your string of lights on the living room floor instead, place them towards the center of the tree and secure them to branches with wires. Many owners purchase cord protectors or duct tape to prevents pets from gnawing at the cords closer to the base. Also, a friendly reminder to always turn off your lights when away from your home.
Holiday tinsel can be fatal – While tinsel can seem like the finishing touch to your holiday decorations, these metal strands can cause serious damage to your pets – both feline and canine. It is hard for cats to resist anything so shiny and sparkly but it’s common for pets to choke on it or can get stuck in their intestines if swallowed. Skip a trip to the vet by decorating with thicker cloth ribbons instead.
Holiday cheer in your home should not be dimmed just because your feline friend can be adventurous. By following these tips and keeping an eye on your pets, you’ll be sure to have a safe and happy holiday.