It’s almost that time! Bad Christmas-cracker jokes, wrapping-paper everywhere and Fairy-Tale of New York playing for the six-hundredth time of the day (we may be under-estimating!) Everybody wants to have a great Christmas, but often the Yuletide season can be difficult for cats. Luckily, we here at Kitty Café have come bearing the gift of tips to make this Christmas just as meow-y for your cat this year and avoid any purr-tential cat-astrophes! (No, we do not write the cracker jokes...)
Trees and Decorations
To us strange humans, what greater an icon than a Christmas Tree? However, (as far as we’re aware anyway), cats don’t understand Christmas, and thus, your lovely tree is nothing more than a new playground to wreak havoc upon! In order to avoid transforming your tree into a kitty-standard jungle-gym, we suggest:
Choosing a stable location: a Christmas tree’s mortal enemy is a curious, climbing kitty, so spare yourself any potential tidying up. Failing this, try putting a play pen around, it may not stop your pal from attempting to be a lumberjack and ‘redecorate’, but it will fall safely!
Avoiding launch-pads: Furniture, Sofas and Window-sills are all absolutely purr-ime positions for a curious kitty to do their best impressions of Eddie the Eagle, so positioning your tree in a safe space is very im-paw-tant!
Not decorating instantly: Understandably, you may want to jazz up your tree the second you have it out of the loft with your ornaments, but holding fire for a few days to allow your cat the chance to investigate this strange new play-thing and get bored of it, possibly helping avoid any stealth attacks!
Putting fragility first: Many baubles are made of glass that can easy shatter and potentially cut paws and noses – if your cat is going to give your ornaments a vicious left-paw, keep your least-harmful ornaments to the bottom.
Trying to avoid tinsel: As nice as it can make your trees look, it can be incredibly dangerous for your kitty! Most cats cannot resist the shiny allure, and if chewed, tinsel can easily cause intestine blockage. If you are going to use it, try to put towards the top, as far out of reach and be careful to clear any bits that fall.
Visitors and Visiting
Don’t take your cat anywhere new: as friendly as our feline friends are, very few enjoy a sudden change of scenery and a whole host of bizarre new faces. Cats purr-fer just to stay home, be fed and checked upon by a furr-miliar face!
Keep your routine as close to normal as possible: As we said earlier, cats do not have a concept of Christmas, it is merely another day, and ideally, we should try to keep it this way. Make sure they have a quiet place to eat, play and lie down.
Let your cat introduce itself: Cats can find meeting new people difficult, especially when strangers chase them – allow your cat to meet any guests on its own accord and allow them to build trust.
Gifts and Wrapping
Try to avoid wrapping with your cat present: Despite what your cat may feel, they are not very helpful with this part of the holidays whilst sitting on the paper, trying to play with it and getting stuck to Sellotape. Cats may be many things, but they are not good decorators!
If possible, try to keep presents away from the tree until the big day itself: Cats will naturally investigate these strange boxes at the bottom of the tree if they see them, so to avoid spoiling any surprises, keep any gifts hidden until the big day when you can supervise.
Keep a bin-bag handy to throw away any rubbish: This will help to avoid any potential choking and an unexpectedly festive visit to the vet!
Who can possibly deny a kitty a Christmas treat? Giving your cat a bit of a surprise snack is absolutely fine, but be careful not to over-do it! Cats are creatures of routine, and too many tasty extras may upset their bellies! (Truthfully, this is also a problem for us humans at this time of the year!)
If you are feeding your cat turkey, make sure you cut off and throw away any string used in the cooking in a cat-proof bin – Unsurprisingly, a kitty eating string is not an ideal scenario for your friend, nor you, and an unnecessary trip to the vet to have the string removed is probably not how you envisage your day going!