Sunday, December 11, 2016

Holiday Home Prep

That look on Vixen's face says it all, doesn't it?

Holiday Home Prep

Decorating for the holidays is always a fair amount of work, but when you have cats it's just a little extra challenging. Not only do you have to keep them from climbing the tree, knocking off the ornaments to bat around, drinking the water out of the tree reservoir, chewing the light cords, and setting their tails on fire with burning candles, but getting them to hold still while you put cute costumes on them and take pictures can actually get you injured!

Here are some tips on getting your home ready for the holidays, along with suggestions on items we offer that can help you.

Holiday Safety for Cats

Many dangers for cats abound during the holidays...even for indoor kitties! Just a few of them:

  • Holiday greenery that could be toxic when nibbled
  • Water in the tree reservoir treated with chemicals to lengthen the life of the tree
  • Human food slipped to them by party guests who are unaware those hors d'oeuvres may contain something like onions that could seriously damage a cat's kidneys
  • Chewing on electrical wires...who remembers the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?
  • Cuts from broken ornaments knocked off the tree as toys
  • Slipping out a door to escape from strangers in the house for a party or a family visit
  • Escaping in a strange place while traveling for the holidays
Obviously there are more, but those are the main ones that come to mind. How do you protect your cats from such things?

Try using artificial trees; they don't smell as good, but may not be as tempting to climb or eat. And they don't require water to stay green all season!

Make sure your guests know that the cats shouldn't be given a little nibble from their plates. Feed the cats something really smelly and good (for them) shortly before guests arrive so they won't be hungry and will likely turn up their noses at anything offered.

Keep electrical wires out of their reach, and train your cats to leave them alone. Easier said than done with a teething kitten, but provide plenty of alternatives for your cats to chew on: I've even used pacifiers intended for human babies that were a good size, and the cats loved them!

Use non-breakable ornaments, especially down low where the cats will want to bat at them.

When entertaining, put the cats in a quiet room that's off-limits to guests, or put them in a crate while people are visiting. Midwest's Collapsible Cat Play Pen is a little tricky to get assembled, but I keep one up all the time in my downstairs room and use it for segregating my cats when needed. It stays open so they can go in and out of it, and as often as not I'll walk in the room and find one or more of them dozing inside it.

The Collapsible Cat Play Pen can be used with or without wheels.

If you're traveling with your cats, we offered a wide array of travel crates for all modes of transportation. Studies have shown that when traveling in the car, the safest place for your cat's carrier is on the floorboard directly behind the passenger seat. Make sure your cat is fitted with a harness you can tether to the carrier, and keep a leash in the car for exercise walks along the way.  We have several in our Collars, Harnesses and Leads section. Tip: Hook on the leash before untethering the cat from the carrier; that way you won't have a little runaway to chase!

Fun Holiday Home Items for Cat Lovers

It's getting late to enjoy anything holiday-themed this year, but think about these types of items for next year. Custom items can be made at any time, and enjoyed year-round.

Newly available again after a short break is The Gold Cat's jewelry. Their earrings and rings are especially popular, and Valentine's Day will be here before you know it! Since all of them are custom made to order, getting your order in now will beat the rush and make sure it's delivered in time.

The sterling silver Nabi Cat Ring is one of their most popular designs,
and it's also available in 14 kt gold!

Holidays are not happy times for everyone. If you know someone who has recently lost a beloved kitty, a cremation urn or a comforting book may be a thoughtful gift. Just released this year was Purr Prints of the Heart, Deborah Barnes' heart-warming story of her cat Mister Jazz, told from his own point of view.

This new style of wooden frame urn will soon be available,
but you'll find many more in our Cat Memorials & Grief Support section.

Got to run for some holiday prep of my own now, but keep us in mind as you complete your shopping!

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