Is your cat in—or entering—her senior years? If so, you’ll want to pay your kitty some extra attention over the next month or so. This can be a dangerous and stressful time of year for pets! Here, a Wichita, KS veterinarian discusses keeping Fluffy happy and purring over the holidays.
First and foremost, be sure to keep Fluffy indoors. Cats of any age are in danger from things like cars, weather, and chemicals. Senior kitties are especially at risk, as they may not be quick or agile enough to escape. They’re also more likely to get confused or forgetful about their whereabouts, which puts them at higher risk of getting lost.
Cats are at their friskiest at this time of year. Many decorations can be dangerous to these little furballs! Keep things like tinsel, lights, and candles in spots Fluffy can’t reach. You’ll also need to be careful with plants. Many seasonal favorites, such as holly, ivy, poinsettias, and mistletoe, are toxic to pets. Trees are another hazard. Even older kitties often can’t resist batting at Christmas trees! Put only a few unbreakable decorations on the lower branches.
Don’t forget to add some things to Fluffy’s stocking! Toys and treats are great, but senior cats also appreciate comfort gifts, like thermal beds or some pet ramps or stairs.
Our feline pals are very much creatures of habit, and can get quite distressed by any disruptions to their daily kitty schedules. Decorations, parties, visitors, travel, loud noises, and schedule changes can all upset your furry friend. If you’re hosting an event this year, give your pet a safe spot to retreat to, such as a spare room. Give Fluffy comfy bedding, food, toys, and treats, and let her snooze through the festivities.
We love those delicious seasonal foods, and so do our patients. Keep in mind that older pets often have quite sensitive tummies. Rich, fatty foods can make your cat quite sick! It’s fine to give your furball a special snack, but stick with things that you know are safe. (Note: plain, cooked chicken or turkey, without the skin, bones, or fat, is always a good bet.)
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Sweetbriar Animal Hospital, your local Wichita, KS veterinary clinic, Please feel free to contact us anytime!