We humans like to decorate our homes and treat ourselves to chocolaty treats at Christmas, but as cat owners we need to be careful.
Here are a couple of things we need to look out for.
Although the sight of your cat pawing the tree may be cute, Hull warns that tinsel, ribbons and other assorted shiny things can be deadly if eaten. String like decorations can do serious damage to intestines and surgery if often needed to remove objects unable to pass through your pet on their own.
“We have also had cases of pets eating decorations that may look appealing, get swallowed and then got stuck and needed to be surgically removed so it’s vital to be aware of where you hang your decorations.”
Never feed your cat left overs, and keep that Christmas chocolate out of reach!
“We advise that pets are kept on a complete pet diet. There’s nothing wrong with treats as long as they are natural foods.
Theobromine is the toxic compound in chocolate that can be fatal to dogs and cats. Signs of chocolate poisioning include increased thirst, vomiting, weakness, hyperexcitability and difficulty with balance. As with any poisioning, Hull recommends calling a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate.
Giving a puppy or a kitten as a holiday gift may seem like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting, but often, reality is nothing like the picture.
The fuzzy fur-ball for the kids under the Christmas tree is a decades-long responsibility that some folks just don’t think about, said Capt. Dawn Hull, who oversees Fort Hood’s Veterinary Center.
“Pets are commitments, and you can’t really surprise someone with a commitment; it’s just not a good thing,” she said. “You have to be aware of all of the responsibilities that comes with a pet, especially the medical requirements.”
Puppies and kittens are also seen as incredibly popular and cute Christmas gifts, but Katie McAllister, regional fostering manager for the East of England for Blue Cross, says that giving a pet as a surprise gift is never a good idea.
Remember these simple things and keep your cat safe during the holidays.