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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 pets healthy, happy and safe. Here are some helpful tips from your friends 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 pet 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 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 pet 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 pet snacks. Many holiday foods are loaded with fat and sodium and can cause stomach upset. Chicken bones can easily get stuck in the digestive tract and other foods like chocolate or onions can be poisonous. In short, people food is meant for people. Stay disciplined in keeping your cat on the right Science Diet™ cat food formula 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 for adult cats.
  • A holiday recipe for a healthy homemade cat treat. Take Science Diet™ canned cat food and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook in the microwave for approximately two-and-a-half to three minutes. In a conventional oven, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Use dry Science Diet™ cat food by grinding it into flour using a blender, then add water until it is the consistency of dough. Make into cookie shapes and bake on a cookie sheet for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let your cat watch you make them to build anticipation.