Tag Archives: toxic plants for cats

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!