How to Avoid Holiday Cat Emergencies

No one wants to experience cat emergencies at any time, and especially not during the holidays. However, they do happen, and with a little pre-planning, you can keep your kitties safe.

First, it’s a good idea to know that food, decorations, and travel or house guests can all inadvertently contribute to pet emergencies. To be best prepared, you’ll want to keep your veterinarian’s phone number handy and to know where the nearest 24/7 veterinary hospital is located. The number for the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline can also be useful.

Next, you’ll want to assess your house and kitty-proof it as much as possible. If you have younger cats, you’ll probably need extra precautions because you know how much mischief kittens can get into!


As you know, cats - especially those kittens - are curious creatures. This means, there’s more than one kitty who climbs Christmas trees or pulls off ornaments of it to chew. This can lead to all kinds of problems such as fallen trees and broken ornaments.

However, one decoration to watch out for is tinsel. It’s shiny, it dangles from tree limbs and it may seem enticing to your kitten. The danger of tinsel is that if swallowed, it can wrap around your cat’s internal organs and cause serious medical complications like blocking your cat’s intestines.

Also, consider candles. It’s always a good idea to supervise pets and candles because it only takes a batting paw or a miscalculated jump to prove disastrous.

cat christmas safety


Bows, string, tape, your cat might find these fun to play with and sometimes chew. However, they can cause internal problems. Take string for instance, like tinsel, ingested string can wrap itself around your cat’s intestines and may require surgery to release. So, to be safe, keep your kitty away from the wrappings.

Electric Cords

Some cats are prone to chewing on things like electric cords. Obviously, that’s a potential hazard and one you’ll want to prevent. Preventing your cat from chewing on electric cords like extension cords or Christmas lights may mean limiting these to a specific room and then supervising your cat when in that room.

cat christmas cord safety

You know your cat best so you’ll have to be the judge of how much supervision your cat needs. It’s the same with plants. Especially, those plants popular around the holidays.


You may be surprised at the number of plants poisonous to cats. Lilies, poinsettias, and amaryllis are a few that are popular during the holiday season and we recommend keeping these out of reach of your felines. However, these are not the only plants to be aware of, here’s a complete list of plants toxic to kitties.

Additionally, cats may like drinking the water out of Christmas tree stands, if this applies to your cat, you won’t want to add any additives to the tree water as that can make them sick. If you see any symptoms of poisoning like vomiting, please call your veterinarian right away.


Traveling with cats requires special fortitude. From carriers to medical records, what you’ll need depends on where you’re going and by what means. A car ride a few hours away may only require a cat carrier and some food while a flight will likely require medical records and maybe even kitty sedation. You can discuss your plans with your veterinarian who will make appropriate recommendations.

One way you can make preventing holiday cat emergencies easier is to quarantine your cat in a separate room away from other pets, decorations, the possibility of open doors, and other holiday hazards.

As you can see, there’s ample opportunity for curious cats to experience unhealthy explorations. But with a little pre-planning, you can keep your season bright and prevent holiday cat emergencies. 

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