Tag Archives: cat-safe plants

Holiday Hazards for Cats

With the holidays approaching, many kitties are partaking in seasonal kitty traditions, like helping their humans with wrapping gifts, or bringing down Christmas trees. Fluffy is certainly an adorable part of the family, and is great for snuggling with on those Florida ‘winter’ nights. However, this can be a dangerous time of year for her. Here, a Brandon, FL vet lists some holiday dangers for people owned by cats to be aware of.

Plants

Kitties often like to nibble on green leaves, or peek out from behind them. However, many popular holiday plants are toxic to Fluffy. Lilies, for example, are very poisonous to cats. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and pine needles are also unsafe.

The Tree

It could probably be argued that cats are as dangerous to trees as trees are to cats. Fluffy may very well see your Christmas tree as a cat tower hung with fun toys! However, your furball could get entangled, or cut herself on sharp ornaments or bulbs. If you get a real tree, the water itself is also a concern, as it could contain residue from sap and/or chemicals, such as fertilizer. Opt for an artificial tree, which will be harder for your feline buddy to climb.

Decorations

Many seasonal decorations can be hazardous to kitties! Ribbons, tinsel, and ornament hooks are a few things to be concerned with here. Strands of lights are also dangerous, as are edible decorations, such as popcorn strands. Pick up strands of tinsel and ornament hooks off the floor, and keep other hazardous decorations out of paw’s reach.

Food

Those mouth-watering holiday foods are a big part of holiday traditions. Many people like to offer their furry friends special treats at this time of year. This is fine, but you do need to be careful with what you offer your feline friend. Never give Fluffy anything that contains garlic, onion, scallions, or chives. Nuts, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, pitted fruits, and sugary foods are also on the no-no list, as are meat on the bone; grapes, currants, and raisins; and raw meat, dough, or yeast.

Flames

Candles and fireplaces offer that special, cozy glow, but they definitely aren’t pet-safe. If you burn candles or use potpourri burners, keep them in high spots Fluffy can’t reach.

Season’s Greetings from all of us here at Animal Medical Center. Please call us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, anytime!

Tips for Creating a Catio

Do you keep your feline friend indoors? If so, that’s great! Fluffy may think she’s invincible, but she’s actually pretty small, and is very vulnerable in the great outdoors. Cars, weather, other kitties, gators, and heat can all endanger outdoor cats. However, there’s no reason your pet can’t enjoy a taste of nature. Read on as a local Valrico, FL vet offers tips on setting up a catio.

Picking The Spot

A screened in porch or patio is a purrfect spot for a catio. If you don’t want to let the A/C out, put a cat door in for your pet. You can also use a spare bedroom or even just a quiet corner.

Plants

Our feline pals love to nibble on and hide behind green plants. Set out some pet-safe plants for your furball. Some good options are Boston ferns, Money tree plants, Spider plants, Rubber trees, and African violets. Certain palms, such as Areca palms and Ponytail palms, are also fine, as are some succulents. You can also grow fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage, and parsley. Catnip is, of course, a must. Plant small containers of it for your kitty. If you really want to spoil your four-legged companion, plant a living mat of cat grass in a storage tote, and give Fluffy her own little lawn. You can find a full list of both toxic and nontoxic plants online at the ASPCA website here.

Purrniture

A catio is a great spot for a cat tower! If possible, position it so that it faces a yard or field, and then set a birdfeeder in Fluffy’s line of sight. Your feline buddy will also appreciate cat walks, kitty condos, and, of course, cardboard boxes. Set out some things for yourself as well. This may very well end up being your favorite coffee spot or reading nook!

Toys

Playing isn’t just fun for Fluffy: it’s also very good for her, both physically and mentally. Offer your feline companion lots of fun toys to smack around. Catnip mice and small balls will always be popular with our furry pals, but you can also get your frisky pet more modern toys, like catnip bubbles, robotic mice, automated laser pointers, or remote-controlled “swimming” fish.

Please reach out to us, your local Valrico, FL vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Keeping An Indoor Cat Entertained

Do you keep your cat indoors? If so, that’s great! Fluffy is both happier and healthier staying inside, where she’s protected from weather, cars, gators, and other hazards. However, indoor cats do need entertainment and stimulation to stay happy. Believe it or not, kitties can get bored! A Valrico, FL vet discusses keeping your furball amused in this article.

Toys

Playing benefits cats in several ways. First and foremost, pouncing on that catnip mouse or chasing that laser pointer around is great for Fluffy physically. Even a few minutes of play can keep your frisky pet strong and healthy! Offer your furry friend lots of fun toys, and play with her regularly.

Catio

If you have an enclosed porch or patio, or even a sunroom, consider making it into a catio. Set out some pet-safe plants for your feline pal to nibble on and hide behind. This will give Fluffy a taste of nature, and offer her some mental stimulation. You can find a complete list of nontoxic plants listed online at the ASPCA website.

Purrniture

Cats love to explore small spaces. Get Fluffy some pieces of kitty furniture to lounge around on. Cat towers are great, because they provide kitties with napping spots, lookout points, nail care stations, and jungle gyms, all in one. Your feline buddy will also approve of pet tents or tipis. Of course, your pet may be thrilled with a cardboard box or two.

Vertical Space

Kitties don’t have much of a view from ground level, so they have to climb to high vantage points to properly survey their kingdom and humans. Give Fluffy some vertical space. Cat towers, as mentioned above, are great. You can also give your furry pal some wall-mounted furniture, or even a catwalk.

Stimulation

Make sure that Fluffy has at least one comfy spot before a window with a good view. If possible, put a birdfeeder up in your feline friend’s line of sight. Kitties love spying on local wildlife! It’s also good to keep a radio or TV on for your pet when she is home alone. The music and voices will help keep her from feeling lonely. You can even offer your furball DVDs made just for cats!

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Valrico, FL pet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re always here to help!