10 Tips for a Safe and Stylish Holiday With Your Cat (s)

It’s nice to have friends and family over to celebrate the holidays. But when you have a cat  (or three) you don’t want “Welcome to Casa Cat!” to be the first things your guests think as they cross the threshold into your home.  Alternatively, holiday decor and entertaining can mean new unexpected dangers and stresses for kitty.

Stressed Out Kitty

So today I’m sharing ten ways to make sure your home is Martha Stewart – or Candice Olson –  festive, while resident felines are safe and happy. Win win!

1. Replace candles with flameless candles or tree lights. They provides a  festive feel without the hazards of an open flame. Plus you don’t have to run around during the party to make sure they’re still lit!

flameless candles2. Ban tinsel from the tree.  Each cat is different but if you’re like me and share your home with the quintessential curious cat (for me that’s Kip), tinsel can literally be a killer. If ingested it can become entangled in the intestines causing them to twist and close off requiring expensive and dangerous surgery.  In fairness how can we expect a feline to refrain from the temptations of strings swaying gently from branches? Instead use beaded garland to get the same sparkling effect on your tree without the hazard to your cats!

Beaded Garland

3. Litter potpourri.  Forget artificially scented baby powder smelling litter that mingles with the smell of poop and urine. Why not go with a naturally scented litters like World’s Best Cat Litter in naturally scented lavender, or Feline Pine (make of actual pine tree!). What could be more festive than that? Your guests might ask where you got the potpourri!

Worlds Best Cat Litter and Feline Pine Litter

4. Hide the litter box. If you’re like me, you don’t have the luxury of a separate room to stash the litter box(s). You can still hide your litter box in plain sight with one of the many sleek litter boxes currently out on the market place or with a cat door.

Modkat (left) and Litterpod (right)

Modkat (left) and Litterpod (right)


5. Bows in lieu of ribbon. See #2 above (ban tinsel), cats should never play with string or ribbon unsupervised. Packages with all textures of string and ribbon under the tree can be very tempting to some cats. Instead use thick ribbon like a grosgrain or velvet to tie up packages, or use stick-on ready made bows!

6. Oh, and about that tree…While poinsettias get the rap for pet toxicity you might be surprised to learn other more commonly found holiday shrubbery is more dangerous to felines.  Mistletoe and holly as starters, but did you know your Christmas Tree is toxic to your cat? Even drinking the water the tree sits in can be dangerous, so it’s always a good idea to cover the tree holder so the water is not accessible – try tin foil as cats don’t enjoy the sound or feel of it and you can cover with a blanket or sheet.

Plant that are toxic to cats

7. Cat toy conversation starters. There’s nothing quite as unattractive than a busted up, cat toy in the middle of a cocktail party. No one wants to see that. Buy your gang a new toy or two with attitude to kick around in the shape of a martini olive, glass of wine or sushi roll. Your guests are sure to get a kick out of it!

Martini olive catnip toys, sushi catnip toy

Jake & Micah catnip toys


8. Nuts and grapes are big no nos!  Cheese is a staple around the holidays, and it’s usually accompanied by nuts and grapes.  But did you know that just one grape (or raison) can be dangerous to your cat?  Not only from a choking perspective but because it’s toxic to them. Macadamia nuts are also highly toxic to felines (who knew!?)  And what could be more tempting to a cat than a spherical object that rolls and rolls? Not all cats are attracted to the same foods, so just be sure to keep an eye on your cat to make sure their curiosity doesn’t get the better of them.  As a general rule, it’s always good to remind your guests not to offer any human food to your feline family members.

foods dangerous to cats

9. Hold the salt. Did you know that the chemicals like chloride and salts used in most de-icing products for the roads are toxic to animals? If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, be aware of what your neighbors and you are using to remove snow from the roadways and look for pet safe alternatives. Be sure to wipe down your cat’s feet when he/she comes inside before they have a chance to go through their meticulous grooming process and ingest anything toxic.

photo courtesy of design sponge.com

photo courtesy of design sponge.com


10.  Safe room for kitty. Even the most social cat needs an exit strategy from Uncle Sal.  A safe room should be off limits to guests and have all the kitty necessities – food, water and a place to use the facilities.“Checking” in on the kitty(s) can also be a good way to take a well earned breather!

Wishing you and your two and four legged friends and family a healthy (and stylish!) holiday!


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18 Responses to 10 Tips for a Safe and Stylish Holiday With Your Cat (s)

  1. Thanks for the reminders. We give our kitties lactose free egg nog so we can all enjoy the holidays together.

  2. Wow did not know about the christmas tree this is very handy to know x

  3. Sparkle says:

    These are all really great tips!

  4. But it IS Casa Cat here! We are always happy to meet those friends who don’t like cats (and I can’t think of a one) away from our house and we would even probably buy them a drink. Your tips are great, though, but we don’t decorate here.

    • Tamar says:

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! Even if you don’t decorate you can still make sure the kitties don’t get near any grapes or nuts! 🙂

  5. Debby Taylor says:

    Wow! a great comprehensive list of tips – thank you so much! I never knew about macadamias.

    stories of my rescued kitties

    Debby in Arizona

    • Tamar says:

      Thank you Debby, for the compliment on the post. But a BIGGER THANK YOU for all you do for the kitties in Arizona. They are lucky to have you helping them out. Best, Tamar

  6. Kitties Blue says:

    Thanks for all these excellent tips. Our mom thinks we have a great life and has always wanted to be one of us and just found out from your post that she might me. She is highly allergic to macadamia nuts. One itty-bitty bite is all it takes to make her very, very, very sick. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

    • Tamar says:

      Oh dear! I hope she’s not allergic to grapes and raisons to?! Thanks for stopping by and glad you found the post useful!

  7. jmuh says:

    Thanks for these great suggestions! We basically agree with Jobi and Fisher posting earlier, except for the drink part, and we don’t celebrate Christmas, but these are good ideas for all year (oh, and about that “Casa Cat”…;) )

    • Tamar says:

      Thanks as always for stopping by and reading and leaving a comment. Glad you found the suggestions useful even if you don’t celebrate Christmas 🙂

  8. Great tips for keeping kitty safe during the holiday! 🙂 Will be sure to share with my friends!

  9. DA says:

    awesome blog and awesome tips, happy holidays to you and your loves ones and your kitties

  10. jmuhj says:

    Thank you for sharing these excellent suggestions, and I hope everyone follows them! I especially appreciate the last one, about having a cat-safe room where the beloved family felines can chill and stay safe while the humans do their party thing. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones, Tamar!