How To Keep Your Cat Safe During The Holidays

We are going to talk to you today about Thanksgiving and cats.
Because we do this every single year.
Cats like turkey. We do this every year. So if you have any questions, feel free to just ask them right away so we can get to them because we have to make this a little bit short because Ellen has to go to the store because she’s going to brave the grocery store a day before Thanksgiving


So first, one of the most important things about Thanksgiving safety is the food because there are a lot of foods cats should not eat at Thanksgiving.And it’s always the day after the holiday where you see the most emergencies that are food related, unfortunately.So the most important things for your cats to not eat during Thanksgiving are the turkey bones, onion, garlic, raisins, grapes. I don’t know a lot of Thanksgiving dishes with grapes, but–Also, those people still get those gigantic fruit baskets with grapes in them.Oh, yeah. That’s a good point. Don’t eat grapes. Well, you should. Don’t let your cats eat grapes. And chocolate. Anything that’s made with sorbitol or aspartame. Don’t do that. What else am I forgetting? I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

Pretty much just give your cat turkey meat. If that’s what you want to do, that’s the safest thing but in moderation. Stay away from the skins. NOVA Cat Clinic did post just a few days ago one of our safety sheets that we normally do on what you can and cannot give to your cats. Go ahead and refer back to that. It’ll give you kind of like a better list of what you can and cannot safely give your cats.

Garbage eating

But basically, cranberry sauce is fine. Just if it has artificial sugar in it, of course, don’t use it, but cats do not like cranberry sauce usually. Light meat, dark meat is fine. Stay away from the bones, the skin., and strings from the turkeys. Cats do like the giblets. You can easily go ahead and boil those down until they’re fully cooked, and go ahead and give them the giblets.

And also, another thing in regards to food is throw your trash out as you’re working with it because if you have the dumpster divers that go in there, then that’s usually when we start seeing problems is most cats will go ahead and dumpster dive, and that’s where they get into trouble.

Yeah. It sounds like fun. I mean, if I were a cat, I would totally dumpster dive. Sorry for the noise. Earlier, as you know, we’re in our dental room, and one of our dental patients decided to use the litter box. So the other thing we forgot to mention when we were talking about food is always double-check that there isn’t a recall on what you’re serving. We looked at some of the recall things today, and there was a very long list.


Very long list of recalls. Ground turkey is being recalled by a certain companies. Ground meat is being recalled by certain companies. There are a lot of families that not only make turkeys, but they’ll make a roast alongside with a lot of stuff. A lot of cake mixes are being recalled suddenly. And of course, romaine lettuce. Oh, my God. Don’t eat any romaine lettuce.

The worst thing that had happened with butter is either GI distress or some severe diarrhea because it is an oil. A lot of cats also– and it’s mostly seen more in dogs over the holidays. When they eat too much, they end up with pancreatitis because they eat so much.Oh, yeah. That’s always a dog thing. They’re like, “Oh, my gosh. I got everything.” Or the dog will jump on the table and eat everything and then be in the hospital for like two weeks.Yep.

Cats, we tend to see profuse diarrhea and foreign bodies over the holidays, unfortunately. That’s their favorite thing to do.Yes. Because the other problem with it is it’s not just them getting into food, it’s all of these new people in the house and maybe someone left their hair ties out or someone left– they didn’t throw the trash out or maybe your cat really likes to eat wrappers. There’s some cats that like to eat plastic.


Unless the travelers know this and they’re staying with you, they don’t know to throw it out outside because they don’t know your cat’s needs. So if you do have a lot of people coming in, make sure you tell them what your cat needs.Yes. Do not make eye contact .If you See him, don’t pat him. He’s not nice. He loves us. He doesn’t like you. It’s okay.

No eye contact. He’s in charge. All right. So besides for that, besides for things that are going on in your house, a lot of you also might be traveling. So all of the things we’ve talked about in the past using the different types of Feliway, using Zylkene, trying to make sure your pet sitter truly understands your cat’s needs, that they get medication, that they’re done the right way. All those things.


Right. And double-check that your pet sitter is actually coming. There have been several instances over the holidays that we will get a phone call that a family’s left town on a Wednesday, and the pet sitter never showed up from that day until the families come home. And sometimes it’s up to 10 days we have to have some pets that have \been completely ignored. Double-check and make sure that they are coming. Contact your pet sitter during the week. Make sure that they are there. Ask for proof that they have been there to your home because it’s dangerous that these pets are left alone. There’re many cats that either wind up starving or becoming severely dehydrated. Some of them need medication.


They’re not getting their necessary medication. It’s important that you dot your Is and cross your Ts before you leave town, and make sure that they are getting the care that they need. And it is not okay to leave your cat 24, 36, 48 hours alone, by themselves, with a gigantic trough of food and water. That is unfair. Imagine being left alone in a room with a gigantic jug of water a bowl of cereal and a dirty toilet.

It is extraordinarily stressful. And, yes, we will get the complaints of, “Well, I can’t afford this. X, Y, and Z. My pet’s always been fine.” One day, it’s going to catch up with you. So we’re just letting you know that is a safety concern that we do have when pets are left alone for long periods of time.The one thing I will say is most pets sitters, especially with text messaging and pictures and stuff–

Stress and holidays

Believe it or not, I have come to the rescue of my next-door neighbor more than once when her dog walker doesn’t show up or her petsitter hasn’t shown up for a day or two, and you have to go running and take care of the animal. And then while she’s out of town, you’re the one that has to be in contact with the pet sitting company to make sure everything is happening, etc. So it’s stressful. It does happen. It happens to everybody. I’ve personally seen it happen and been responsible for my neighbor’s dog for like a day or two before these people show up.So if you need any help with petsitting needs, and you’re local to us, always feel free to contact us because we have a list of companies and recommended people

Besides for that, the other important thing about the holidays is, besides people coming in, you also have days off, and things are different. So it’s just like any other time of year. If things are changing, some cats are prone to stress cystitis or other behavioral issues when things change. So try to keep their routine the same. Maybe you want to sleep in, so get an automatic food timer. If you usually go to work, and you’re out of the door by 6:30.

I totally understand sleeping in on the weekends, but your cat probably doesn’t. So you might want to just get a automatic food timer that feeds them when you’re going to sleep in. Or maybe you stay out really late because you don’t have to be at work the next day.
Right. And then most people usually start decorating for the holidays right after Thanksgiving. So the entire household has now changed into Christmas wonderland or whatever.