Shiny objects dangling from tree branches. Curly ribbons temptingly tied to presents. Bright little lights dressing up windows. To a cat, your holiday decorations and accessories are an invitation to play. And who hasn’t heard about, or experienced firsthand, pets knocking over Christmas trees or stealing the sumptuous holiday dinner from the table?

Sure, these actions can be frustrating for you, but they’re also dangerous for your pets. Alley Cat Allies wants you to have a fabulous holiday season, so we’ve pulled together a few safety tips to help make sure everyone enjoys the festivities—including your furry, four-legged family members!

Cats and Christmas Trees

  • Avoid decorating your tree with tinsel. It seems like a toy to cats, and it’s dangerous if swallowed.
  • Hang ornaments high on the tree, so cats aren’t tempted to play with them.
  • Secure Christmas trees to a wall with hooks and fishing line to prevent kitty from knocking it over.

Pet Friendly Decorating

  • Use caution with holiday lights, whether on trees, windows, or walls. Keep them out of reach or taped down so your cat won’t be tempted by dangling cords.
  • Be careful with open flames. Use sturdy candleholders and keep them out of reach so kitty doesn’t accidentally knock them over.
  • Decorate with fake plants. Mistletoe and holly, which are holiday favorites, are extremely toxic to pets, as are many kinds of lilies! Poinsettias, also popular this time of year, aren’t as dangerous, but can cause vomiting.

Partying With Cats

By following a few safety tips, you can make sure both you and your cat enjoy the holidays.

  • Minimize stress. If you’re throwing a party, make sure your cats have a quiet, private room to go to, with their litter box, water, and food.
  • Keep human food away from pets. Avoid a trip to the veterinarian and stick to pet food and treats.
  • Leave kitty home. If you’re traveling for the holidays, consider hiring a pet sitter instead of bringing your cat along. It will likely be less stressful for your pet.

Don’t forget about community cats. In much of the U.S., the holidays mean that winter is officially here, with its frigid temperatures, snow, and other challenging conditions. Alley Cat Allies has created a checklist to help outdoor cats stay safe and healthy, too. Check out our winter weather tips.

Alley Cat Allies wishes you, your family, and your pets a happy and healthy holiday!