Few things in the world are cuter than seeing your cat dressed up in a festive holiday costume. For cats and their families, the holiday season is a time for both celebration and caution.
At GO! SOLUTIONS, we don't just make the best cat food, we also want to educate our customers about how to keep their kitties safe, healthy, and happy during the holidays.
That's why we've put together this ultimate guide on holiday safety tips for cats. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to keep your fur babies safe this holiday season.
Should You Share Food with Cats During the Holidays?
The holidays are a favorite time of year for many people because of all the yummy foods we get to eat. Some pet parents like to celebrate by sharing the feast with their cats.
The good news is that there are many holiday foods that are perfectly safe to share with your cat! The bad news is that many others are unsafe. As a cat owner, it's important to know the difference so that your cat doesn't wind up in the emergency vet clinic with a sensitive stomach or food allergy.
Some ingredients are toxic food for cats, while others can carry illnesses or cause digestive issues.
The following ingredients should always be avoided and never included in holiday treats.
- Raw poultry
- Butter and oils
- Turkey skin
- Bones (cooked bones especially)
- Nuts, especially macadamia nuts and walnuts
- Sweets like pies, cookies, and cakes
- Onions and any dishes that include them
- Sage, nutmeg, and other herbs
The following foods are safe to share with your cat during the holidays.
- Boneless, cooked turkey
- Whole raw eggs
- Sweet potato or yams (just make sure there's no onion or cream included)
- Pureed pumpkin
- Raw apple (remove all the seeds first)
- Raw or steamed vegetables like carrots, green beans, or broccoli
- Brown, white, or wild rice
How to Safely Share Holiday Food with Your Cats
Knowing which foods are harmful and which ones are okay is only the first step in learning how to share holiday foods with your kitten. There are a few other things that you should do to ensure that your cats stay healthy and safe.
First, if you're going to add special treats to your cat's diet, do so in moderation. On days when they'll be getting extra goodies, feed them less of their usual food.
This helps prevent overeating, which can be very serious in cats. It can cause gastric torsion or twisting of the stomach. In addition to this, eating food that is too rich, like turkey skins, can cause pancreatitis.
We recommend mixing table scraps in with smaller portions of the food that your cat is used to. This helps ease digestion and prevents overeating.
Solutions for Your Pet's Unique Dietary Needs
If your cat is a picky eater, has a dull coat, or food sensitivities, feeding them a solutions-based food may be the answer to many issues.
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We also recommend sharing holiday foods with your cat only during their mealtime and in their food bowl, rather than handing them small bits here and there throughout the day. This prevents constant begging and other unwanted behaviors. It also helps you keep better track of how much your cat is eating.
Make sure you communicate your rules and expectations to your guests as well. And if you're visiting someone who has rules about giving human food to their pets, be courteous and follow them.
More Holiday Safety Cat Tips
Monitoring and regulating your cat's nutrition and holiday treat intake isn't the only thing you can do to keep them safe this holiday season.
Unfortunately, more pets go missing during the holidays than during any other time of year. This is primarily because there are more people coming in and out of homes as families and friends get together to celebrate.
If your cat is likely to bolt, consider putting them in a secure location while people are arriving or departing.
If guests will be coming in and out frequently, as they may during trick-or-treating, a bonfire, or other outdoor gatherings, make sure that your pets are somewhere safe.
You should also keep your counters clean when preparing food or hosting holiday parties. This removes the temptation for cats to help themselves to potentially dangerous food items. If your cat can't keep their paws out of the candy bowl, it's safest to keep the sweets stowed away.
Be aware of edible décor as well. Some people like to use:
- Peanut butter
- Dried oranges
- Other food items in ornaments, garlands, and other types of decoration
If you have kids, there's a good chance they'll come home with a hand-crafted edible decoration like "reindeer food" or a peanut butter and birdseed stuffed pinecone.
These kinds of edible décor are often mixed with glitter, glue, and other materials that you don't want in your cat's stomach. Make that edible decoration is displayed in out-of-reach areas so that your pet won't be tempted to sneak a snack. If your cat just can't stay out of the Christmas tree, it's safest to avoid these decorations entirely.
Mitigating Holiday Pet Stress
Finally, make sure your cat is comfortable with any events going on in your home. Communicate with your guests about whether or not your pet is people-friendly, good with children, or good with other animals. Don't expose your fur baby to a situation that will cause them unnecessary stress.
If having a house full of rambunctious kids or loud guests is going to be too much for your cat, consider boarding them or having them stay with a friend. This will be better for both their stress levels (and yours) in the long run.
Shop for the Best Cat Food Today
Sharing the holiday season with your pets is always a delightful experience. Now that you know how to keep your cat safe during the holidays, you can focus on celebrating and creating amazing memories with them!
If you're serious about your cat's health and wellbeing, make sure that you're only feeding them the best cat food year-round. At GO! SOLUTIONS, we are committed to using our decades of pet nutrition experience to craft recipes that nourish your pets from the inside out.
Use our store locator today to find a retailer that carries GO! SOLUTIONS premium cat food near you.