Read Alpha Vets’ guide to Christmas cat safety

November 14, 2023

Our team at Alpha Vets see a rise in the number of feline emergencies we treat around Christmas time. It’s inevitable – there are plenty more toxic foods (although delicious for humans!) available for cats to nibble on, as well as wrapping materials to ingest and seasonal risks that could leave them feeling under the weather.

So, cat owners, ahead of the festivities, why not curl up with your cat and have a read of Alpha Vets’ advice on common cat emergencies and what you need to be aware of.

Contact us for emergency advice

1. Toxic foods

The Christmas festivities bring lots of chocolate and alcohol – both of which are toxic to cats. There are various other foods, such as grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and certain spices that are also harmful and can lead to poisoning. If you think your cat has ingested something toxic, it’s important that you contact Alpha Vets straight away as they need to be treated as a veterinary emergency.

2. Decorations

Cats often love playing with Christmas trees and house decorations but be aware that accidental ingestion of these items can lead to intestinal blockages or choking – both of which can be fatal. Tinsel, ribbons, bows and mini baubles are common decorations that cats like to play with.

3. Open flames and electricity

As naturally inquisitive creatures, your cat will want to investigate new candles or electricity cables. Both can lead to burns that will need treating. Also, electrical shocks and fire damage are both serious risks that could also affect your family’s safety. Make sure your cat isn’t left alone where they can access anything dangerous.

4. Christmas plants

Your Christmas tree could be a risk to our feline friends. They love to climb them, potentially tipping them over and injuring themselves. There are also toxic plants to watch out for, such as holly, mistletoe, lilies, and poinsettias. Again, do not hesitate to contact us on 0208 943 2303 if your cat has ingested a poisonous plant. And remember to keep an eye on your cat when they’re near your tree and secure the tree to a wall if you can.

5. Antifreeze exposure

During the colder months, you might choose to use antifreeze to help defrost the windows on your car. Alpha Vets wants cat owners to be aware that even a small amount of antifreeze (which tastes oddly sweet to cats) is toxic to cats if ingested. Maybe stick to the old-fashioned ice scraping to keep our feline friends safe.

6. Stress-related illness/injury

Loud noises from fireworks, parties, or other festivities can startle cats, increasing their risk of injury, whilst the general hustle and bustle of the season can make them anxious. Monitor your cat for any signs of stress-related illnesses and any signs of anxiety, such as hiding behaviour and digestive issues. Contact us if you are worried about your cat’s behaviour or health on 0208 943 2303.

7. Accidental escapees!

Christmas is often a time for guests coming and going, making it easy for your indoor cat to escape outside. Keep them safe and ensure they are microchipped ahead of the festive season. The law has recently changed on cat microchipping and every cat over 20 weeks old must have a microchip implanted before 10th June 2024 – why not get organised ahead of this deadline? Book your cat’s microchip appointment at our Teddington practice now?

To help prevent these feline emergencies, take time to create a safe and cat-friendly environment ahead of the holidays. The proactive approach will help to ensure a festive season that’s as stress-free as possible.

Contact us for more Cat-Friendly Advice

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