Things to consider to keep your cat safe and happy this holiday season:
* Routine - Maintain your cat’s normal schedule for meals, playtime and affection;
* Holiday Plants - Many plants associated with the holidays are poisonous to cats including mistletoe, pine tree needles, amaryllis, lilies, red azaleas and paperwhites. They are not worth the risk;
* Holiday Foods - Avoid giving your cat human food as holiday food is often rich and may contain harmful ingredients such as garlic, onions or avocados. If you want to give your cat a holiday treat, try freeze-dried chicken cat treats or other favorite cat treat;
Contact your veterinarian or hotline if you are concerned your cat ingested something dangerous: ASPCA - (888) 426-4435, Pet Poison Hotline - (855) 764-7661 (fees may apply);
* Traveling - Ensure your cat is micro-chipped and in a secure carrier labeled with your contact information. For cats staying at home, the cat sitter should try to come at the same times of day your cat is normally fed, and provide physical and mental stimulation with playtime.
Jennifer Van de Kieft is a Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist in NYC, Brooklyn.