This is generally a very busy time in veterinary emergency rooms across the country. I asked a couple of emergency vets about the most common problems they encounter during the holidays and want to tell you about these problems and what you can do to keep your cat safe.
1. Outside Injuries - Many people get busy during the holidays and the biggest problem with cats is they "escape". Indoor cats see an open door left by company an they go out. Sometimes they hide, which can lead to a frantic hunt for a lost cat. The other tragic thing that can happen is they can be hit by a car. Please be SUPER careful by doors.
2. Electrocution - All the extra wires, lights and tree lights around the home lead to wires and extensions cords in different places. That's awfully attractive for a curious cat or kitten who likes to nibble on things. Cats that play with and chew on these wires can become electrocuted. The effects are quite sudden and severe; I've seen several kittens and cat that have barely survived an electrocution, and several more that did not. Keep electrical cords hidden and invest in rugs or special guards to hide wires.
3. Tree related accidents - Many homes have a beautiful holiday tree that is full of potential danger. Some cats knock over the tree (I've seen soft tissue damage and fractures), biting and chewing glass ornaments (causing lacerations on the foot pads or in the mouth) or even worse - eating presents. Some of the presents under the tree look like toys. The most dangerous thing is when cats that eat tinsel or ribbon on gifts. VERY dangerous! Ingestion of the ribbon on the packages can cause a life threatening bowel obstruction.
These "problems" are all preventable if you take care and monitor your cat. Please be careful around the tree.
Be safe in your travels as well, and make sure your cat is safe. Dr. Jon