Christmas Cat Hazards

Christmas cat hazards are plentiful. They include the tree, presents, decorations, seasonal plants - even your food! But, the good news is, if you're aware of these hazards and know how to minimize the risks, you and Kitty should be able to have a happy, accident-free Christmas.

The holiday season is usually a time for socializing, fun and general over-indulgence. But this time of year does present some particular hazards to cats.

Below I've listed the main Christmas cat hazards, and suggested ways to minimize risks to Kitty:

1) The Christmas tree

photo of cat in christmas tree

Some cats (especially young ones) see the Christmas tree as a magical adventure playground which has been brought in exclusively for their amusement. If your cat won't leave the Christmas tree alone, here are some suggestions to make it safe for him:

  • Tether it to the wall so he can't bring the whole thing crashing down on top of himself and the new plasma screen TV...
  • Don't use breakable (e.g. glass) decorations, as if he knocks them on the floor they could break and be a hazard to him and everyone else in the house
  • Don't use tinsel, as it can block Kitty's intestines if he swallows too much of it
  • If you're using lights on the tree, don't leave them on when your cat is unsupervised. He'll be attracted to them and could give himself an electric shock if he bites the wires. Also he could get tangled up in them

2) Crowds of people in the house

If you've got a big crowd round for Christmas dinner, you should make sure Kitty's safe. He may not be used to big crowds, so if he's scared put him in a separate room.

Also, if there are children in the house who aren't used to cats, make sure they handle him properly. If they're running around you'll want to make sure they don't accidentally stand on him.

3) Seasonal plants

Holly berries and mistletoe are both highly poisonous to cats. If you have these in the house make sure they're out of Kitty's reach.

picture of ginger cat eating out of saucepan

4) Seasonal food

The main hazardous holiday foods for cats are joints of meat. By all means give Kitty a bit of the turkey and roast beef (he wants his Christmas dinner too!) But you shouldn't give him the fat - this won't do him any good.

Also, beware of leaving joints of meat on kitchen worktops where Kitty can sneak up and help himself. Cats have been known to swallow small bones from turkeys and lengths of string from the outside of beef joints - which will often need surgical removal.

Finally, never leave uncooked meat within Kitty's reach - it could give him severe food poisoning.

5) Candles

Never leave Kitty unsupervised in a room with a candle that's within his reach.

6) Presents

picture of tabby cat with ribbon from present

Some presents (e.g. breakable ornaments, things with small parts) can be dangerous to Kitty. Make sure any presents like this are put out of his way.

Christmas cat safety is usually fine with a bit of forward thinking and planning. You just need to think one step ahead of Kitty (not always easy I know!)

I wish you and all your cats a happy, fun and safe Christmas!

Go from Christmas cat hazards page to cat care page

Go to Cat Behavior Explained home page