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    How to keep your cat safe during the winter holidays?

    Articlegeneral cat adviceFriday 28 October 2011

    Although the autumn weather is outside, all the responsible cat owners should already start to prepare for the winter season and what is close related to it - witner holidays. Christmas, New Year's, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and all the celebrations they entail might pose safety problems for all pets. The overexcitement and confusion caused by too many guests, relatives or holiday travels, there are purely physical problems. A cat can singe a tail on a candle or can swallow tinsel and wind up with an intestinal blockage that may need surgery to repair. Not mentioning the poisonous plants or food! Read the article below to make sure you are going to enjoy the winter holidays this year with your feline.

    Cats are like humans and the natural smell of a Christmas tree simply attracts them. Remember that needles, even the artificial ones, are indigestible so it is better that you keep your pet away from the tree. You might think of getting a baby gate in the doorway or low lattice fencing around the tree itself. As generally cats like to climb, you should secure the Christmas Tree so your cat cannot knock it over. Artificial trees also pose their own hazards. Small pieces of plastic or aluminum can break off and be swallowed, causing intestinal blockage or irritation to the mouth of your cat. Remember not to use preservatives in the stand water. They might be toxic if consumed by a thirsty pet. Carefully cover the top of the stand with a tree skirt so your cat can't get to it. Christmas tree lights pose also a great hazard to pets as they can get very hot. It is recommended that you remove them from the lower branches of the tree so they won't burn a curious cat. Tinsel is dangerous as well as its sharp edges can cause cuts in the mouth of your cat. If your kitten swallows it, it can block intestines, causing decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and weight loss. Treatment usually involves surgery.

    Remember not to use edible ornaments or fragile, easily breakable glass decorations to trim the tree. Your cat might knock over the tree trying to get to them. It is not recommended to use angel hair. It's made of spun glass and can cause irritation on contact. Make sure electrical cords are out of reach, taped firmly to walls or floors. Chewing on wires may cause burns or pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), which can be fatal. Never use wire ornament hooks as they can easily snag an ear or a tail, or, if swallowed, can lodge in the throat or intestines. Instead, fashion loops of yarn, ribbons or light weight twine. Be careful not to leave any of that lying around. Gift wrappings can be dangerous to your cat's health. String and ribbon can cause obstruction of the small bowel if swallowed. Cats, especially, love to eat the string used to tie up the turkey as it cooks. Before throwing away large boxes or cartons, check the insides to make sure a kitten hasn't curled up inside.

    Alcohol and chocolate are toxic for cats so you should keep drinks and sweets out of a pet's reach. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, and even a single ounce of pure chocolate can be lethal to a small cat. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolate are most dangerous. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.

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    Text source: petplace; image source: fotopedia

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