The holidays are a wonderful time of the year–and we want to make sure they’re also the safest. When we’re caught up in the good food and tinsel, it’s easy to forget that many of the traditions we love can pose risks to our pets.

Alley Cat Allies has the top tips and advice to help keep your cats (and dogs!) safe and happy during the holiday season.

Watch the Video

Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday plants like lilies, poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are toxic to cats. Use artificial plants instead.

Ornaments seem like toys to cats, but may break easily. You don’t want your cat hurting themselves, so put ornaments out of reach.

Cats can burn themselves on candles, or even knock them over and start a fire. If you choose to use real candles, make sure the candleholder is safe and sturdy. Or look for candle alternatives.

Visitors can overwhelm cats, so make sure your pets have a safe space to hide.

Ribbons and tinsel can be very dangerous to pets. If eaten, these items can become entangled in the digestive tract and require life-saving surgery!

Be careful with scraps from your holiday meal. Bones are choking hazards, some people food is poisonous for cats, and even cow’s milk can upset their stomachs.

Additional tips:

  1. With carolers and guests coming and going, your pet may sneak a peek outside. Make sure that they have collar, tags, and microchip in case they get lost.
  2. Batteries are used to power many gifts from toys to watches, but they are corrosive if your pet eats them. Be careful not to drop batteries.
  3. Indoor trees and can pose multiple problems for pets. Cats may try to climb the trees or chew on sharp needles. Especially dangerous are live trees sitting in a bowl of water and fertilizer – your pet could think that water is for them to drink! Don’t add chemicals to the water for a live tree and make sure that all trees, live and artificial, are properly set up to avoid falling.
  4. Strings of lights can pose a hazard both for cats getting tangled in the strings or burning themselves by chewing the wires. Look for options like LED lights instead.
  5. A trash can with a lid that can’t be tipped over is important. Food and other items that need to be kept away from cats even after they’ve been tossed out!
  6. If you’re leaving town for the holidays, have a cat sitter visit your home. Cats get stressed out from boarding.
  7. Take time to play with and comfort your cat. You’ll feel less stressed out too!

With these tips in mind, every member of your family can have a safe and happy holiday season!

You can also help community cats remain safe and comfortable during the winter in frigid temperatures, snow, and other challenging conditions. Check out our winter weather tips to help community cats in your region.