Do your Thanksgiving menu plans include a traditional turkey? Don’t give into the temptation to share scrumptious scraps with your pets. Be careful about dropping food on the floor or leaving it unattended on the counter. Remember that cats are smelling the basted bird 14 times more strongly than you are. Be vigilant. Turkey bones can puncture a cat’s digestive tract, and poultry skin can cause a life-threatening bout with pancreatitis. It’s not worth it.
Healthy, Happy Alternative: Avoid spending the afternoon and your entire holiday budget on an emergency vet bill. Instead, serve your pet a small amount of well-chopped, fully cooked, and unseasoned turkey to enjoy. You can also feed your friend plain pumpkin puree (not pie filling), green beans, steamed carrots, or raw apple slices (not whole).
Pets love garbage. It’s a disgusting fact, but there it is. The smell of blood, rotting food, and fried scraps is irresistible for many cats. Thanksgiving trash cans, though, hold serious dangers for your animals. Spoiled or raw meat can contain salmonella. If you suspect your cat got into the trash, watch for fever, shock, vomiting, or diarrhea. Paper products, Styrofoam, plastic wrap, and even diapers (ugh!) also attract our pets’ interest. These can choke our friends.
Healthy, Happy Alternative: Cover your trash can, and keep it in behind a door so your cat can’t get to it. If she acts obsessed with it, she might be hungry. Give her a special treat or distract her with a toy.
Did you decorate for the holidays with flowers, candles, and bowls of spicy potpourri? Each can be troublemakers for our companions. Some flowers such as lilies are toxic to cats. Our animals can enjoy other plants, however, so keep a selection of the non-toxic varieties on hand.
Candles and cats make a dangerous combination. An errant tail can smack a lit candle off a table. Besides, many cats seem fascinated by fire and will play with open flame if given a chance. It’s not safe. Try burning a beeswax candle in a bowl of water. If that’s not possible, supervise candles when cats are in the room.
Potpourri is another mixed blessing. While the scent may refresh your home’s appeal, potpourri oils are caustic and can burn a cat’s skin, eyes, or mouth. Use extra caution when working with potpourri.
Healthy, Happy Alternative: Light your home with the warm glow of salt lamps. Add a lovely smell by using natural oils like vanilla or by simmering a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, and citrus peels in a crock pot. And brighten up the place with cat-friendly flowers.
If you want to give your cat a treat that will either perk him up or put him to sleep, consider catnip.
Worry you're becoming the stereotypical "crazy cat lady?" You can breathe a sigh of relief.