What do we love about Christmas? ALL. THE. THINGS!
Don't tell me you don't like Christmas because over at Kitty Shop of Horrors, we bloody love it.
Did we put our tree up in October? YES.
Is it bigger than a Westfield Shopping Centre tree? YES.
Thankfully Snoopy and Leah have no interest whatsoever in the tree so I've been able to get fancy ornaments like a glass shark and not worry about them getting smashed.
Snoopy, however, does like to chew on the tree a bit. Which I'm teaching him not to do in the time-honoured fashion of using a water sprayer.
What else will they try to eat?
Coming up to Christmas time, people give you a lot of stuff - including things that aren't normally in the house - so keep an eye out for things that aren't kitty safe.
This includes plants and, weirdly, the string you use to truss up your turkey or other meats. If your kitty starts eating it, it'll suck that thing down like a noodle and clog up its innards. This is potentially fatal, so make sure you get rid of any meat string in a place that's not accessible to your pets or you could doing a very expensive emergency dash.
It's not too soon to talk about plants. I've already been given two plants, even though I'm a known plant murderer. Luckily most of my people know to check if plants are cat-friendly first but a lot of plants can be dangerous or even deadly for cats.
Surprisingly, poinsettia's are not dangerous - this is a myth. This Christmas fave is quite safe for your kitty to snack on.
But here's a list of some of the plants that should be kept well away from your fur babies (with thanks to the ASPCA):
- Lilies. Members of the Lilium family are considered to be highly toxic to cats. Many types of lily, such as Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestion of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.
- Marijuana. Ingestion of Cannabis sativa by companion animals can result in depression of the central nervous system and in-coordination, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, and even seizures and coma - even if they don't inhale. But cats can get all the same fun without the buzz-killing side effects from marijuana's cuz, catnip!
- Tulip/Narcissus Bulbs. The bulb portions of Tulips and Narcissus contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.
- Azalea/Rhododendron. Members of the Rhododenron family contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.
- Oleander. All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects,including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.
- Cyclamen. Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.
- English Ivy. Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.
- Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily). Spathiphyllum contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.
- Chrysanthemum. These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.
What do do
If you think your kitty has eaten something it shouldn't have, take it to the vet immediately. If you know what it ate and you're able to, take the plant with you for ease of identification.