!Header Logo

Good Friends Animal Hospital

!Give us a call button

Call us for an appointment! 217-344-1017

!Call Icon

Holidays With Fluffy

December 1 2023

Season’s Greetings! Holiday events and decorations are definitely taking center stage this month. Our feline friends are more than happy to join in on those seasonal celebrations! Read on as a local Champaign, IL vet offers some tips on spending the holiday season with a kitty.


Don’t forget to pick up a few things for your feline buddy! Toys, treats, and catnip are the gold standard when it comes to kitty gifts, though Fluffy will of course also approve of some cat furniture, such as a new bed or cat tower. (Your furry pal will probably also appreciate having some of those empty boxes and gift bags (no handles) once everyone has opened their presents.)

The Tree

One seasonal tradition we don’t foresee going away any time soon? Those annual video compilations of cats destroying Christmas trees. This may make for a cute social media post, but it’s actually quite dangerous. Your kitty could get seriously hurt toppling that tree! Your best bet is to try to make it unappealing. Decorate the bottom part of the tree sparsely, with just a few dull, unbreakable items. Most of the decorations, including anything sharp or fragile, should go on the top half. It’s also best to avoid putting the tree near anything Fluffy may use to jump off, such as a couch. (Those with super-frisky furballs may want to consider using fishing line to secure the top of the tree to the ceiling.)

Seasonal Hazards

The tree isn’t the only thing that can be dangerous to a playful pet. Many popular seasonal plants, such as holly, ivy, poinsettia, and mistletoe, are toxic to cats. Peace lilies are particularly deadly: kitties can go into organ failure just by eating a single leaf or drinking the water. You’ll also want to keep anything small, sharp, or fragile out of paws’ reach. Items with strings or ropes also pose a threat. Not only are these choking and entanglement hazards, they can also cause very serious—and potentially fatal—internal injuries if ingested. If Fluffy is bound and determined to make mischief, give her some of her gifts early. You may also want to try tiring her out with play sessions.


Kitties can be quite bold and charismatic, but many of them are actually very emotional. Fluffy is also a homebody, and she can get stressed by changes, commotion, and even decorations. Spend some quiet time with your furry buddy, and keep that motor going! Happy Holidays!

Our Advice on Holidays With Fluffy in 2024

What specific types of toys are safest and most engaging for cats during the holiday season?

During the holiday season, the safest and most engaging toys for cats are interactive toys such as laser pointers, feather wands, and ball tracks that stimulate their natural hunting instincts. Toys that encourage physical activity help keep cats entertained and active. Avoid toys with small, detachable parts or strings that can be swallowed or cause entanglement. Robust, chew-resistant toys are ideal. Catnip-filled toys or puzzle feeders that challenge their minds and reward them with treats can also provide hours of safe, stimulating fun.

Are there any particular brands or types of treats that are healthier or more appealing to cats?

When choosing treats for cats, it’s important to select those that are both healthy and appealing. Brands that offer grain-free options with high protein content and minimal additives are generally healthier. Treats made primarily from real meat, such as freeze-dried chicken, salmon, or liver, tend to be more appealing to cats due to their natural ingredients and aroma. Additionally, treats that support specific health benefits, like dental hygiene or hairball control, can be beneficial. Always ensure treats are appropriate for your cat’s dietary needs and do not exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake.

Are there any specific signs of stress or anxiety that cat owners should look out for during the holidays?

During the holidays, cat owners should watch for specific signs of stress or anxiety in their pets, including hiding more than usual, decreased appetite, and excessive grooming or scratching. Changes in litter box habits, such as accidents outside the box, can also indicate stress. Vocalizations like increased meowing or growling are common signs of discomfort. Additionally, signs of aggression or changes in interaction, such as shying away from touch or becoming clingy, can also suggest that a cat is feeling stressed or anxious.

How can cat owners help their pets cope with the increased noise and activity levels that often come with holiday gatherings?

To help cats cope with the increased noise and activity of holiday gatherings, owners should provide a quiet, comfortable space away from the commotion where the cat can retreat. This area should include familiar items like their bed, toys, and litter box. Playing soft music or white noise in the background can also help mask disruptive sounds. Additionally, maintaining a regular feeding and play routine during the holidays can provide stability. Introducing calming products such as pheromone diffusers or sprays may further alleviate anxiety and help keep cats relaxed.

Are there any holiday foods that are particularly dangerous for cats to consume?

Several holiday foods are particularly dangerous for cats to consume. Chocolate contains theobromine and is highly toxic to cats, even in small amounts. Onions and garlic, often found in holiday dishes, can cause anemia by damaging red blood cells. Foods with xylitol, a sweetener used in many desserts and baked goods, can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia. Additionally, fatty foods like gravy and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis, while bones pose a choking hazard and can splinter, causing internal injuries.

Contact us here at Good Friends Animal Hospital, your Champaign, IL animal hospital, anytime!

!Single Blog Social Sharing Icons