orange tabby kitten on persons hand, thanksgiving with cats

Tips to make Thanksgiving safe for your cat

Thanksgiving is celebrated by 91% of Americans​​. This festive occasion brings together families, friends, and, inevitably, our cats. It’s essential to remember that what’s enjoyable for us might not always be safe for our cats.

With 35.7% of American households being proud cat owners, it’s crucial to incorporate their well-being into our Thanksgiving celebrations. Understanding cats’ unique needs and safety concerns during such festive occasions is key.

These insights are created to help you navigate the challenges of the holiday season, ensuring that Thanksgiving is not only a time of joy and gratitude for you and your family but also a comfortable and stress-free experience for your cat.

Safe Foods for Your Cat

Cats have specific dietary needs as obligate carnivores, requiring high protein intake. While it’s tempting to share your Thanksgiving meal, be cautious about what foods are safe:

Safe Foods:

  • Cooked turkey (without skin or seasonings)
  • Plain pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes

Unsafe Foods:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Alcohol
  • Bones
  • Turkey skin
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Seasonings
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Desserts like pumpkin pie​​

Moderation is Key: Even safe foods should be given in small amounts. Large portions or unfamiliar foods can upset your cat’s stomach​​.

Setting a Safe Environment

  1. Clear Rules: Establish and communicate rules with guests and household members regarding interacting with your cat. This includes rules about feeding, playing, and petting your cat​​.
  2. Secure Area: Ensure your cat has a safe area to retreat if they feel overwhelmed and need space alone. This could be a quiet room or a cozy bed​​.
  3. Routine Maintenance: Stick to your cat’s regular feeding and exercise routine as much as possible. Disruptions can cause stress and anxiety​​.

Other Safety Measures

  1. Trash Management: Keep trash cans secured. Thanksgiving waste can contain harmful foods and materials that might intrigue your cat​​.
  2. Avoiding Strings: Be cautious of strings used in cooking, like those used to tie up a turkey. They can be hazardous if ingested by cats​​.
  3. Plant and Décor Safety: Many holiday plants and decorations can be toxic or pose choking hazards. Keep these items out of your cat’s reach​​.
  4. Travel Precautions: If traveling, ensure your cat’s safety in a carrier or crate, and update their collar tags. If you are not traveling, arrange for a trusted pet sitter​​.

Final Thoughts

Celebrating Thanksgiving with your cat can be a delightful experience if you take the necessary precautions. Focus on providing a safe environment, sticking to a routine, and being mindful of the foods and decorations that are accessible to your cat.

Following these guidelines, you can enjoy a festive and safe Thanksgiving with your cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my cat participate in Thanksgiving games and activities?

While including your cat in festivities is fun, be cautious with Thanksgiving games and activities. Cats can get easily stressed by loud noises or rapid movements. Opt for calm, cat-friendly activities, and always monitor their behavior for signs of stress or discomfort.

How can I help my cat adjust to the influx of guests during Thanksgiving?

Cats can be sensitive to changes in their environment, including new people. Gradually introduce them to guests, allowing them to retreat if they feel overwhelmed. Consider using pheromone diffusers to help calm them and ensure they have a quiet, familiar space to escape if needed.

What emergency measures should I take if my cat eats something unsafe during Thanksgiving?

If your cat ingests something harmful, acting quickly is essential. Remove any unsafe food from their reach and observe them for signs of distress. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately for advice. Keep emergency numbers handy during the holiday season.





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