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January 26, 2021

Opening Holiday Presents with Cats

12.21.14 Opening holiday presents are fun for everyone—including the family cats. Keep an eye on your cats and kittens during the festivities. Make sure they do not become tangled in ribbons or other wrappings. Don’t let them play with fragile ornaments or small objects that can easily be chewed up or swallowed. Place candy, cookies and other food in areas that are inaccessible to your cats.

Christmas Tree Pet Safety Tip

12.07.14 It is common for people to keep Christmas trees fresh during the holiday season by placing them in stands filled with water. Christmas tree water is toxic for animals. It contains phenols from the tree, fire retardants as well as preservatives. Help keep your pets safe by investing in a Christmas tree stand that has a covered reservoir which makes the water 100% inaccessible to all of your resident animals. Keep this Christmas tree pet safety tip in mind when trimming your tree.

Holiday Plants and Cats

11.30.14  Most holiday plants are toxic to cats. They can kill or cause painful intestinal upsets if swallowed. Poisonous plants include: Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Holly, Bittersweet, Boxwood, Lilies and Christmas trees. In addition to commercial Xmas trees being sprayed with poisonous fire retardant, pine is toxic and the needles can pierce intestines and cause other injuries. Always monitor cats around live holiday plants and Xmas trees. Or, invest in fake. Fake plants last for years, don’t need to be watered and most are safe for cats.

Rescue Alert Stickers for Pets

08.31.14 Emergencies can occur at any time. Let people know you have pets. Stick a rescue alert sticker where rescue workers can see it–on a window or door. List the number of pets in your home, along with the veterinarians name and contact information on it. Also include your pets hiding places. Free rescue alert stickers for pets are available from the ASPCA or purchase them from Petco.

Make a note on the stickers of the cats hiding places

Emergency Preparedness Tips: Make a note on the stickers of the cats hiding places


Protect Cats from Sunburn and Cancer

08.17.14 Although all cats are at risk for becoming sunburn and developing skin cancer, those who are white and a light color are more at risk. Protect cats from sunburn and cancer by limiting sun exposure: don’t let them outside when the sun is strongest, provide lots of shade and close curtains and drapes.

Protect cats from sunburn and cancer

Protect cats from sunburn and cancer

Cats and Heat Stroke

08.10.14 Cats can quickly overheat on hot days. Watch for panting, drooling, sweating paws and restlessness. Cats will often excessively groom in an effort to cool off. Extreme signs include vomiting, lethargy and stumbling.


Cars, Children and Animals: Beat the Heat Tip 1

07.27.14  Animals and children should never be left alone in cars. Temperatures inside cars quickly escalate and can have deadly consequences.

Holiday Feast Tip: People Food and Cats Do Not Mix!

12.16.12 Most people food is toxic for cats. Spices, including onion and garlic, sodium, fatty foods, chocolate, coffee and alcohol are examples from a long list of food that can kill or cause cats serious health issues. Check out WebMD for an extensive list of food that cats should never eat.

Halloween Safety Byte

10.28.12 Keep your cats safe and stress free during Halloween. Provide them a quiet room away from the festivities, equipped with food, water, litter box, toys and comfortable places to sleep.

Ups and Downs

Before I muse about safety in high places, I need to give a lame explanation. I know it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. I’ve been so busy with other projects, including consultations, my columns for Cat Fancy Magazine and catchannel.com and a few others, that I just haven’t been able to sit down and blog. My dad’s sad and awful death has also been on my mind. It’s been an up and down year…

Talking about ups and downs… a recent mishap with one of my cats has inspired me to write about the importance of safety around cat trees and high places. Last month, my 15 year old cat, Maulee had a terrible accident, which resulted in a major laceration, Ms. Maulee loved to sit about 7 feet high in my laundry room. Unfortunately, the pillow she was surveying her world from, shifted under her weight and she fell, causing her major damage. She did not land on her feet. The good news is that after surgery and many hours at the vet clinic, she’s fine.

Her accident has prompted me to talk about safety. Yes, cats do need high places to sit for a variety of reasons. Those high places need to be safe. If you have cat trees, make sure the bases are stable enough that the whole tree can’t topple over. You may need to either add a larger piece of wood on the base, or secure the cat tree to the wall somehow. Also, the shelves should be wide enough to accommodate at least one cat, if not two. Always provide escape hatches, so that a cat can’t be cornered. In other words, have more then one way off and on the top shelf and these shelves or pieces of furniture need to be at different heights.

If shelves are used for vertical territory, make sure they are really securely fastened into the wall. Also, they need to be wide. I like shelves that are at least 10 inches wide, with a lip. Again, there needs to be multiple ways up and down so that a cat can’t feel like she can be ambushed by another cat.

Don’t make my mistake! If there are pillows up high on shelves or high furniture, make sure they are secure so that your cat can’t accidentally knock them off and fall. Velcro might work for this.

I spent about one hour yesterday rearranging the location of one of my cat trees so that my cats didn’t have such a long way to jump off of the top of one of my cat trees. One of my cats had gotten into the uncomfortable habit of jumping from 7 feet down to the floor, instead of using the shelves