Holiday Plants and Foods That Are Toxic to Cats

November 8, 2018 11:12 pm Published by

As the temperature outside trends downward and the holiday season begins to ramp up, many pet owners are preparing their favorite dishes and bringing festive plants and decorations indoors. Unfortunately, not all of these preparations are pet-friendly—some popular plants and food items that proliferate during the holidays are toxic and potentially deadly to cats.

If you’re concerned that your cat has come into contact with any potentially harmful substances, call an expert at a cat clinic in Alexandria, VA right away. If treated immediately, exposure to some toxins may be reversible. Don’t wait to call a qualified veterinary expert, however—cats digest and metabolize foods very quickly, and even the smallest delays could be deadly.

Poisonous plants

It turns out that some of our favorite festive plants can be downright deadly to our furry friends. Here are some of the most popular holiday plants to keep away from your kitties:

  • Amaryllis: This popular plant is commonly enjoyed around the holiday season, thanks to its dramatic transition from bulb to blossom. Unfortunately, it’s also extremely toxic to cats.
  • Holiday trees: Kittens playing with holiday trees is a common sight—unfortunately, it’s often a foreshadowing of future health problems. Pine needles have been known to cause liver failure and other adverse conditions.
  • Mistletoe: This parasitic plant causes indigestion when eaten in small quantities, but if your cat consumes a number of berries and leaves, it could potentially be fatal.
  • Poinsettia: Another popular plant to have around the house during holidays, poinsettias are also very toxic to pets, causing serious stomach aches and indigestion when eaten.

Dangerous foods

While it’s tempting to sneak your pet a little bit of your favorite holiday feast, you should always avoid feeding your cat anything other than specially formulated cat food. Here are some popular dishes that are especially dangerous to your pet:

  • Raisins: Raisins, or anything containing grapes, are toxic to cats. It can cause acute kidney failure with few onset symptoms.
  • Poultry bones: It may be tempting to share your table scraps with your pet, but poultry bones become brittle when cooked, and could shatter and cause choking or worse when eaten. Allowing cats to lap up leftover grease can also cause indigestion.
  • Alcohol: Make sure that your kitten doesn’t get too close to your glass of eggnog! Alcohol affects cats in much the same way that it affects humans, but, because cats are so much smaller, it can cause liver failure and more in very small dosages.
  • Chocolate: While it’s well known that chocolate adversely affects dogs, it’s also toxic to cats. Chocolate contains a chemical that can result in acute nervous failure when consumed.

Kingstowne Cat Clinic is a trusted cat clinic in Alexandria, VA. We’re here to help each of our clients maintain their cats’ health throughout the year. If you have questions or concerns about anything that your furry friend may have eaten or come into contact with this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our friendly staff.

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