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Feature December 2013 Issue

Common Holiday Hazards to Consider During This Time of Year

Dangerous holiday decorations. The pretty and festive adornments on your Christmas tree can pose a serious danger to your cat. Tinsel and other small ornaments can be very enticing — and potentially fatal if swallowed. The same can be said for tantalizing ribbon on packages under the tree.

Stability of Christmas tree. Surprise, surprise! Cats who climb Christmas trees often bring them down. This can result in a big mess, many broken ornaments and possibly damage to other items in your home. It can also be a danger to your cat, resulting in sprains or broken limbs. Best remedy is to secure it to the wall and/or ceiling and not rely on its often flimsy tree stand. Be mindful, too, of any chemicals that you may want to put in the tree’s water. In your effort to give the tree greater longevity, you may be posing a toxicity risk to your pets.

Holiday plants and flowers. Mistletoe and holly are toxic to your cat, and poinsettia mildly so. To be on the safe side, keep any festive greenery out of reach.

Fireplace and candle hazards. Obviously, your cat and open flames don’t mix well. Be cautious when trying to get in the holiday spirit, and make sure the cozy atmosphere is safe for children and pets.

Guests coming and going. A lot of social hub bub sets the scene perfectly for a door to be left opened a few seconds too long … and you’ll likely be too distracted to realize that your cat has made a mad dash outside. If you know you’re expecting guests, the best course of action is to create a safe, closed room for your pets. They’ll likely appreciate their own little safe haven away from the noise and activity; and you can enjoy your party, knowing your beloved pets are out of harm’s way.

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