Easter Risks for Cats
We are coming up on another holiday season and no matter what you’re celebrating, there’s a good chance your holiday will introduce new risks into your cat’s environment! This quick read gives you a few things to think about that are commonly found in homes this time of year, but we invite you to continue the conversation by sharing other risks and important considerations in the comments!
Sultanas, Raisins, Currant, and Grape Recipes
Some specific foods are toxic to your cat (and your other pets), and a lot of those foods make an appearance during spring celebrations! Sultanas, raisins, currant, and grapes are some of the most popular tiny treats it’s important to keep away from cats. Not only do you need to keep kitty off the counter, but it’s also important to make sure they aren’t snacking on any foods that drop to the floor! If you think your cat did ingest something they shouldn’t have, just watch for signs that they aren’t feeling well like vomiting or diarrhea, extreme lethargy, or a lack of appetite. Contact your veterinarian at the first sign of any of these symptoms! For a longer list of foods to avoid, follow this link.
If there’s a risk you’ve probably heard of, it’s probably Easter lilies! And yet the increase in discussion about the risk of lilies to pets hasn’t kept them out of every home. Lilies are a hot discussion topic because the smallest amount consumed by your cat can have serious and immediate consequences for their liver.
Since you probably know not to buy lilies yourself, here are a few helpful tips to keep them out of your house in other ways!
- If you’re inviting guests over for a meal, you’re probably sending some kind of invitation – either a formal message, email, or text chain! However you’re communicating, just add a polite note reminding people not to bring lilies to your home because they are toxic to your cat. That way you can be sure no one will “gift” you a lily and you may even be educating people who didn’t know about the dangers of having these beautiful flowers when there are cats in the home!
- If someone does bring a lily and you don’t want to decline it, place it out of reach of your cat for the duration of your guest’s visit and then donate it to your local church or school – anyplace that doesn’t have cats!
If your cat does come in contact with a lily, contact your veterinarian immediately and let them know what happened!
Like lilies, most people know chocolate is toxic for cats, so day-to-day sweets are tucked safely away in drawers and cupboards. But holidays like Easter often lead to small changes in our environment that could mean that Easter candy is suddenly available to your cat – whether you know it or not! Some cats won’t go anywhere near chocolate, but some will want to try it, so it’s best to follow a few rules to keep your kitty safe!
- Don’t give out chocolate! If it’s your party and you’re controlling the menu, the simplest way to keep your cat from accidentally eating chocolate is to simply not have it in the house. There are plenty of other fun gifts you can share during your celebration.
- If weather permits, keep the chocolate and the cat in different places! In other words, keep your cat inside and your Easter egg hunt outside or vice versa. This doesn’t work in every climate and a rainy day could spoil your plan, but if you can, a simple solution may just be to keep the chocolate and your cat from crossing paths.
- Educate your guests – youngest to oldest! Like the note about lilies, you can remind each of them to keep their chocolate safely secured. You may find some people had no idea the risks associated with chocolate and you’re saving another pet owner down the road from future heartache and expensive vet bills!
Plastic Easter Grass
Of all the solutions, this is our easiest! Because plastic Easter grass can destroy your cat’s digestive tract, don’t buy it! Purchase paper grass or tissue paper instead. For this tip, you’ll notice that we aren’t recommending closely monitoring your cat and your guests. There are two simple reasons for that!
- There’s no reason to risk it! Paper grass can save the same purpose and it isn’t a danger to your cat.
- Easter grass is essentially a bunch of string – the ultimate temptation for your cat! It is likely that they will work very hard to play with it and that inevitably strands will get away from you. Accept that and only use the safe alternative!
Your guests themselves are the final risk we want to share with you! We know you love your friends and family, but we also know there’s a good chance they aren’t all pet owners and may not know how to interact with your cat. In addition to the risks we’ve already identified, we encourage you to consider the following tips:
- If you have an indoor cat, make sure everyone knows not to let them out (and vice versa)!
- In addition to the foods listed in this article, ask your guests not to feed your cat table scraps. They may think it’s fun to feed your kitty bits of ham, but not only do you risk the wrong foods getting to your cat, but your cat may also overeat and end up with tummy trouble.
- Does your cat like to be picked up by strangers? If not, let your guests know how they should engage with your kitty. This can help you avoid upsetting your cat and your guests if a well-intentioned visitor tries to engage with your cat in a way they don’t like!
What did we miss as we head into the spring holiday season? Share your tips below!