Howdy

Lexi: Well the holidays are upon us for sure. At this time of year people all over the world are celebrating some holiday. Whether it be Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or a myriad of others, it means lots of new scents, sounds, parties and maybe even overnight guests. Kitties in general don't like change. And a lot of the festivity accoutrements are hazardous to your kitties’ health. The first of these celebrations observed is Halloween.

Dezi: Oh, sissy can me tell about the dangers to kitties during this holiday? Black cats and even solid white cats and their similarly coloured woofie friends are at greater risk this time of year. The debate is ongoing as to whether or not they really are, but having seen and read stories in local newspapers we know the dangers are very real. The stories of satanic rituals still abound, but the greater dangers are from ignorance and pranks. Superstitions about black cats being bad luck still exist even in this century. We are a more educated society but still cling to old superstitions and old wives tales. Although these things can happen year round they do seem to be more prevalent this time of year.

Lexi: And then Dezi, some people want to adopt black cats just through the holidays to add to their decorations. Can you believe that? After Halloween they return the poor kitty back to the shelter. It's so very sad to get a kitty’s hopes up and then just take them away. We do have feelings you know. 

Dezi: Yeah sissy peeps (people) are a strange lot sometimes. We would just like to remind you all to keep your pets inside, especially during the holidays so you can keep an eye on them and keep them safe from all predators. The big world out there just isn't really safe for your domesticated furries.

Lexi: That being said, there are other dangers as well. Many of the foods or ingredients in your holiday feasts are pure poison for your cats. Below you'll find a list of some of the offending foods and what could happen to your beloved kitty. 

Alcoholic beverages: Can cause coma, and death.
Baby food: Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to cats. Can also result in nutritional deficiencies.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources: Can cause obstructions or lacerations of the digestive system.
Canned tuna (for humans): Large amounts can cause malnutrition, since it lacks proper levels of vitamins and minerals.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine: Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous system.
Essential oils: Can cause vomiting and death.
Dog food: Is not nutritionally suited to meet a cat’s dietary needs. If fed repeatedly, may result in malnutrition and diseases affecting the heart.
Fat trimmings: Can cause pancreatitis.
Grapes and raisins: Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron: Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Large amounts of liver: Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.
Macadamia nuts: Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive, nervous systems and muscle.
Marijuana: Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and other dairy products: Some adult cats and dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhoea. 
Mouldy or spoiled food, garbage: Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhoea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms: Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder): Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anaemia. Cats are more
susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.

Persimmons: Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems:  Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is also true of most root vegetables.
Raw eggs: Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw fish: Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
Salt:   If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
String: Can become trapped in the digestive system. Can also cause multiple problems with the intestines and cause death.
Sugary foods: Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts):  Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Tobacco: Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heartbeat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast dough: Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Dezi: And remember not all cats are comfortable with guests or parties. So make sure your cat has a quiet hideaway to retreat to when the festivities begin. If you're going to be having overnight guests set up a quiet place with everything your cat might need. Such as their favourite toy(s), litter box, food and water bowls (in another part of the room/not next to the litter box -- after all you wouldn't want to eat your dinner while sitting on the toilet now would ya'?) and a bed.

If you have a social kitty like me, make sure your guests know not to feed me. They might not know what could hurt me. And if your guests bring furry family members of their own keep us separated. Remember this is MY house. Just a few simple accommodations and the holidays can be enjoyed by all of us.  We also would like to thank Rev. Marian Hale, Betsy Spangles, Miss Pauline and Casey and Miss Helen and Denver tabby and a couple of anonymous folk for donating green papers to our fundraiser. You all heard about it through the Mewsletter and we are so grateful to you. We won't take up your time to explain it all here, but if you're interested you can read why we need a fundraiser here, and give if you would like. Thank you all.

Lexi: Yeah Dezi, we love the holidays don't we. And we really appreciate all the wonderful donors of green papers. We covered a lot in this article, and there are things we didn't even get too. So let me also say take precaution when putting up your decorations as well. Remember we are cats, and things that look like a toy will often end up being one. We do like to climb and that tree you like so much is just calling our names, so be sure to secure it or you just might wake up to a tree on the floor. And all those shiny balls........OMC that's just too much fun to ignore. And please remember foil icicles look just like string to us but can be deadly. As sis Dezi said, a few precautions and we can all enjoy the holidays. As always, you can catch up with us anytime on our Facebook page or the blog, so until we meet again............Be Blest!!!

Dezi: Have a wonderful and blest holiday season. Come on sissy let's go see what mommy's up too.

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Lexi and Dezi

(resources: Google search engine, Yahoo search engine, http://www.pragmaticmom.com/2010/07/plants-and-foods-cats-eat-that-will-kill-them/ , http://cats.about.com/cs/catfood/a/humanfood.htm)

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