Love the holidays? From Halloween to New Years, we at NOVA Cat Clinic want to keep your kitty healthy year round so want to make you aware of some of the most common kitty threats that come out this time of year.

Food

  • Chocolate especially the darker types is toxic to cats.  Chocolate has caffeine and theobromine. When ingested, these two ingredients can lead to various medical complications and may even prove fatal for your cat.
  • The artificial sweetener, xylitol is also toxic to cats. The ingestion of xylitol primarily affects insulin release throughout the body. Xylitol causes the release of insulin from the pancreas into circulation leading to a rapid decrease of blood glucose levels. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can occur within 30 to 60 minutes of xylitol ingestion. This hypoglycemia can lead to liver toxicity, liver damage, and ultimately liver failure. Xylitol is perfectly safe for people, but because of different metabolisms, it can be fatal for dogs and cats.

 

Plants

  • Poinsettias – These festive holiday plants can cause mouth irritation and possible vomiting if ingested.
  • Holly – Found frequently around the holiday season, this plant may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
  • Pine Needles – They always seem to be falling off the Christmas tree and may look like an appealing toy to a kitty. If ingested they can cause oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and weakness.
  • Mistletoe – Waiting for that special someone to meet you under the mistletoe? Your kitty might be waiting too, but for a tasty snack to fall. If ingested, mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and unusual behavior.
  • Lily – These beautiful flowers can easily be found year round, but also make appearances in holiday bouquets. Even one leaf from a lily flower can cause acute kidney failure.

Decorations

  • Ribbon/Tinsel/Cords – We use ribbon and tinsel to wrap gifts and decorate around the house. To a cat, they also make great toys. They just hang in such a fun way! But if a cat eats the ribbon it can cause a lot of serious problems. This linear foreign body can twist and bunch up in the intestines, causing dehydration, lethargy and very possibly the need for surgical intervention. Always check light cords and bulbs for any signs of chew marks to prevent electrical hazards.
  • Ornaments – If your kitty is super playful and likes to climb up into holiday decorations, keep a close eye on breakable ornaments. Broken ornaments can have sharp edges which may lacerate the mouth, throat, or intestines. They may also become blocked in the intestines and need to be surgically removed.
  • Snow Globes/Decorative Lights – Snow globes and decorative bubble lights both contain liquid. If they break and kitty decides to ingest the liquid it could cause stomach upset or worse.
  • Water, Water Everywhere – If you add chemicals to your Christmas tree water to make sure the tree lives longer, check the label to make sure it is safe for pets.
  • Potpourri water makes the house smell wonderful, and may be enticing to your cat. If ingested it can cause stomach upset or even oral ulcers. Make sure to keep potpourri water covered or otherwise inaccessible to your kitty.

 

If you suspect that your fluffy friend has ingested any of these items, no matter how little, please contact us right away!