With Christmas on its way, your thoughts might naturally be turning to throwing a holiday party or two. Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry, but don’t forget about the dangers to our four-legged friends at party time.
Alcohol, party food and even drugs might be around, and even though responsible pet parents wouldn’t give their cat these things on purpose, it can be easy to not notice your cat sniffing around if everyone’s having a good time.
Common Party Dangers for Cats
Alcohol is toxic to cats, and you don’t have to put it into his bowl for him to get a taste. If you’re having a party, punch bowls and glasses of alcohol will probably be lying around, and even a spilled alcoholic drink can be left unattended to in the midst of having a good time. The higher the alcohol volume of a drink, the more likely it is to seriously harm your cat, but even drinks with low alcohol volume can cause liver damage or brain damage in cats, and even death. Think of how only a relatively small amount of alcohol can affect us humans, now translate that to a cat who is so much smaller than us.
At this point you might be thinking – we don’t take drugs in our home – but if you throw a party, can you be 100% sure that none of your guests have bought anything with them? ‘Party’ drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy will affect your cat in similar ways to the way they do humans, but even the tiniest of doses are likely to be fatal. Don’t forget that nicotine is also a drug, and can seriously damage your cat’s health even through second-hand smoke. The only ‘drug’ your cat should ever be exposed to is catnip.
With lots of plates of food lying around, your cat is likely to be interested, especially if he’s on the greedy side! Most human food isn’t suitable for cats to eat, that’s why they have their own food – but there are some that are particularly harmful. Many cats are lactose intolerant, so dairy products will cause stomach upsets, and foods that include onions, chocolate and grapes can all poison cats.
Symptoms of Poisoning in Cats
Like humans, consumption of alcohol in cats can lead to drowsiness, lack of coordination, excessive urination, disorientation, vomiting, dilated pupils, tremors and increase in body temperature. If a cat has ingested alcohol, his blood sugar can drop to a dangerously low level, which can cause seizures.
If you think that your cat has ingested something he shouldn’t have and is suffering from the effects of poisoning, take him immediately to the vet. If you can give your vet some idea of what might have caused it, it will help, but they’ll be able to perform tests to try to identify the poison.
How to Avoid Your Cat Ingesting Things he Shouldn’t
If you know there’s going to be fun and frivolity, with alcohol and food around, try to keep your cat in a separate room. He probably won’t like being left out of things, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! You and your animal-loving friends understand the things that are bad for your cat, but just to be on the safe side, make sure all of your guests know that it’s not clever to feed inappropriate things to your cat just for fun.
What precautions do you take with your cats when you’re throwing a party at your house?