The One Safety Tip for Cats at Christmas

There are actually many dangers to your cat that you should watch for during the holidays. There’s the swallowing hazard of attractive tinsel floating to the floor, the toxicity of caffeine and theobromine in chocolate that’s sitting within licking distance on the coffee table, the door left ajar when visitors arrive, the burning candle on the mantle, the ribbon on the presents under the tree. I could talk about the time my dog, Mikey, grabbed an entire roast off the kitchen table when someone turned their back for a moment, but dogs are a different story. This Christmas, the only safety tip you have to remember for cats is this:

Do not underestimate the ambition of your cat.

You can’t be too careful when it comes to your cat. You may think you put the tree decorations high enough. You’re pretty sure you folded that bag over so your cat wouldn’t try to crawl in and get their head stuck in the handle only to tear through the house in a manic panic. And you’re positive there’s absolutely no way your lazy kitty would get up to the counter, and then the fridge, and then the top of the cupboard where you put the poisonous poinsettia they can’t take their eyes off of.

But trust me: where there’s a will, there’s a cat.

I actually suggest getting low. Really low. Like, lie down on the floor and look around. See things from your cat’s perspective. Oh, there’s a tiny lego piece that escaped when you were wrapping Katie’s present. Looks like it could be a treat to a cat. Oops, there’s a long piece of string just under the couch from the package you sent off to grandpa. That’s an expensive operation just waiting to happen. And if you look carefully, you can see the path from floor to side table to a long jump halfway up the Christmas tree to get that noisy bauble you told kitty to stop batting off when you had put it lower; they’ve actually been waiting patiently for you to leave so they could Mission-Impossible that bauble down and probably take the whole tree with it.

I think you get the point. Being overcautious is a necessity this season. Cats have great aspirations and great abilities, and they can’t be underestimated for even a second. Put yourself in their paw prints, and see all the wonders that Christmas offers and do your best to protect them.

Shorty demonstrates how easy it is to silently pilfer the tree here:

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