5 Things Not to Feed your Cat this Christmas
Cats and Christmas go together like ham and eggs. Your cat is the first one on the scene when the tinsel comes out, and they love to sleep curled up under the tree — when they're not playing with the sparkly baubles, that is. Then on Christmas morning, there are crumpled paper and ribbons to chase, and, of course, all those empty cardboard boxes. After all, what self-respecting cat doesn't love to sit in a box?
Lucky cats might also have a present or two of their own under the tree. While yours might be hoping for a catnip mouse, a GPS cat tracker is the ideal gift for you to give him to ensure he always stays safe when he's out and about doing his rounds of the neighbourhood.
While you might not be feeding your cat ham and eggs, there are plenty of festive foods you will also want to avoid him having access to. So many of our Christmas treats are unhealthy or dangerous for cats, and the very last thing that's likely to be on anyone's Christmas list is a trip to the vet. For a safe festive season for your furry family member, here is our handy list of five things not to feed your cat this Christmas.
Show us a house at Christmas, and we'll show you a place that's a treasure trove of chocolate goodies. From foil-covered coins in stockings to tree decorations to that delectable dessert, chocolate is everywhere, and an integral part of every Christmas. But chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao plant, and it contains not one, but two ingredients that are toxic to cats: caffeine and theobromine.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:
- Vomiting & diarrhoea
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- High temperature
- Tea & Coffee
The caffeine in chocolate that will poison cats is the same caffeine that you will find in your tea and coffee. If you had one or two too many glasses of bubbly the night before, then you might be putting on the kettle to make a cuppa before opening your presents. If so, then be careful where you place your mug to keep it out of reach of any inquisitive felines. If you drink decaffeinated, then it's a little better, but even decaf still contains some caffeine. You might think that your cat is unlikely to help himself to your hot drink, but if you take it with milk, then they may well be attracted by the smell.
- Milk, Cheese & Other Dairy
Speaking of milk... did you know that cow's milk is bad for cats? It seems strange, as the image of kittens lapping milk is a familiar one. But it's true; cats are naturally lactose-intolerant. Although it's unlikely to be fatal, any dairy products made from cow's milk, including cream and yoghurt, can give them painful cramps and indigestion as well as vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Onions, Garlic & Leeks
It might be surprising, but lots of cats like to nibble on vegetables. Your Christmas lunch could feature leeks or chives and your turkey stuffing will almost certainly contain onions and garlic. All of these items are part of the allium family of plants and are extremely bad for your pet in any form. Eating these can cause anaemia with the symptoms of nausea and, of course, our old friends vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Mince Pies & Christmas Pudding
All grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants are highly poisonous to your pets and can cause kidney failure, even in small amounts. That means keeping all your holiday goodies far away from your cat, including Christmas pudding, fruitcake and mince pies.
What to do if Your Cat Eats Something They Shouldn't
People who are owned by a cat know that they are curious creatures who will enjoy investigating any food that's left where they can find it. So, be sure to keep potentially dangerous foods sealed or behind closed doors out of reach of your feline friend.
If you think your pet has consumed one of these toxic items, and they are exhibiting any worrying symptoms, then contact your vet straight away. Some of these dangerous substances will only cause symptoms days later, so it's best to take no chances.
When your cat is feeling unwell, he's very likely to hide away — inside or outside. A Safer Pet cat GPS tracker fitted to your pet's collar will enable you to track his movements in real time using an app on your phone. That way, even if he's sick and hiding, you will be able to find him and make sure he gets the medical treatment he needs.
Taking just a few precautions can make sure you and your pets have a safe and happy holiday season. As for ham and eggs, if you have ever seen a cat climbing a Christmas tree, then maybe you agree that cats and Christmas actually go together more like Tom and Jerry.