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Planning a safe holiday for your cat

When it comes to the holidays, there are so many things to be careful of — not gaining 10 lbs. on cookies, not getting yourself into debt just to buy some presents — and of course keeping your cats healthy, happy and safe. Here are some helpful tips from your friends here at Hill's Pet Nutrition on how you can do just that.

  • Provide solitude. Guests may cramp your cat's style, so keep her favorite place free from the holiday hubbub so she can relax.
  • Keep poisonous and dangerous plants away. Plants like mistletoe and poinsettia are poisonous, and ingested pine needles can cause digestive tract blockage. Keep your cat away from these plants and you just might save yourself a trip to the emergency vet.
  • Decorate safely. There are a variety of decorations that can cause problems for your cat. Ribbons and tinsel are frequently implicated in veterinary emergency rooms. Light cords, when chewed or frayed, can cause severe burns or electrocution. Prevent these disasters by keeping decorations out of your cat’s reach or locked in an inaccessible room.
  • Make holiday trips safe and prepare for them well in advance. Take special precautions when traveling with your cat no matter how you choose to travel. Several days before departing, consult with your veterinarian about how to properly prepare for a trip.
  • Table scraps aren't cat snacks. Many holiday foods are loaded with fat and sodium and can cause stomach upset. Not to mention the additional calories! Chicken bones can easily get stuck in a cat’s digestive tract and other foods like chocolate or onions can be poisonous. In short, people food is meant for people. Stay disciplined and keep your cat on the right Science Diet®, Ideal Balance™ or Prescription Diet® cat food for optimal health.
  • Because chocolate can cause illness and even death in cats, it should be avoided completely. Chocolate contains theobromine, a potent cardiovascular and central nervous system stimulant that is eliminated very slowly in cats.
  • If your cat experiences occasional stomach upset, consider Science Diet® Sensitive Stomach & Skin for adult cats. For best results, your cat should gradually transition over 7 days from her current cat food to the new cat food to avoid digestive upset or food avoidance.
  • Are you looking for a holiday recipe for a healthy homemade cat treat? Check out these cat treat recipes.

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