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Arch Creek Animal Clinic
Call us today! 305-945-1223
Give us a call today! 305-945-1223

15372 W Dixie Hwy, 
North Miami Beach,
FL 33162

Holidays With Fluffy

December 1 2019

The holiday season is officially here! Many of our feline patients are extra adorable—and extra frisky—at this time of year. You may want to take a few precautions to keep Fluffy happy, healthy, and purring over the next few weeks. A North Miami, FL vet discusses holiday care for cats below.


Don’t forget to fill Fluffy’s stocking! Toys and treats are always great gifts for kitties. Your cat may also appreciate a new bed, a window seat, or even a cat tower. When everyone is done opening presents, give your pet some empty boxes to play in.


This can be a dangerous time of year for kitties! Ribbons, tinsel, garland, pine needles, all pose serious choking and entanglement hazards to frisky furballs. Lights, ornament hooks, and fragile ornaments are also unsafe. Toxic plants are another concern. Many popular seasonal plants, such as poinsettia, mistletoe, and ivy, are toxic to kitties. For a comprehensive list of holiday hazards to watch out for, check out our article on Common Holiday Hazards for Pets – What You Need to Know. Flames from candles, fire pits, and potpourri burners are dangerous as well. Keep these things out of paws’ reach! Regular check-ups with our Vet Wellness and Pet Vaccinations services can also help ensure your feline friend stays healthy and safe throughout the holiday season.

The Tree

Stories and videos of kitties gleefully attacking trees are pretty much ‘purr’ for the course at this time of year. There are a few ways to make your tree less appealing to your furry friend. We recommend decorating the bottom of the tree sparsely, with just a few unbreakable objects. Put the majority of the decorations on the top part of the tree. If your feline buddy is extremely mischievous, you may want to use fishing line to secure the top of the tree to the wall or ceiling.


Some cats are very friendly, and will approach guests, in hopes of scoring ear scritches and cuddle time. Others are quite shy, and will bolt for cover as soon as the doorbell rings. If your furball falls into the latter category, put her in a quiet back room with food, bedding, toys, treats, and a litterbox when you have company.


Fluffy will certainly appreciate a yummy holiday snack! Plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken, without the skin, bones, or fat, is a good choice. Your kitty can also have sodium-free broth; shredded deli meat; or a can of plain tuna, chicken, or crabmeat in water.

Our Advice on Holidays With Fluffy in 2024

How can you help a shy or anxious cat feel more comfortable with guests and holiday noise?

To help a shy or anxious cat feel more comfortable with guests and holiday noise, create a safe, quiet space in a less-trafficked part of the home. Equip this area with your cat’s essentials, including food, water, a litter box, and favorite toys or bedding. Playing soft music or white noise can help mask the sound of guests. Consider using pheromone diffusers to further reduce anxiety. Gradually acclimate your cat to increased noise levels leading up to the event and ensure guests know to give your cat space.

Are there any holiday foods that are particularly beneficial or healthy for cats, in addition to plain meat and fish?

In addition to plain meat and fish, cats can benefit from small portions of other holiday foods, such as cooked pumpkin or carrots, which can aid digestion. Plain, cooked sweet potatoes are also safe in moderation but should be served without any added sugars or spices. Additionally, offering a small amount of plain, sodium-free broth can provide hydration and a tasty treat. Always avoid onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and anything containing artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol, as these are toxic to cats. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your cat’s diet.

Can cats safely travel with you to visit friends and family during the holidays, or is it better to leave them home?

Cats generally prefer the stability and safety of their own environment, so it is often better to leave them at home during holiday travels. Travel can induce stress and anxiety in many cats, which could affect their health and well-being. If you do need to travel with your cat, ensure they are comfortable with travel carriers and car rides beforehand. Always provide access to water, a litter box, and familiar items like toys or blankets. Consider your destination’s environment and how your cat will be housed upon arrival. If unsure, consult your veterinarian for advice tailored to your cat’s temperament and health needs.

Are there any special grooming or hygiene needs to keep in mind for cats during the colder winter months?

During the colder winter months, special attention should be given to a cat’s grooming and hygiene needs. Cats may develop dry skin due to indoor heating, so consider using a humidifier or grooming them more frequently to help distribute natural oils through their coat. Ensure their bedding is clean and warm, and check their paws regularly for any signs of irritation or cracking from cold weather exposure. For long-haired cats, additional brushing may be necessary to prevent matting, which can worsen with damp winter conditions. Keep litter boxes clean and easily accessible, as cats may be reluctant to go outside.

Are there any common holiday decorations or items, aside from plants and trees, that pose a particular risk to curious cats?

Yes, several common holiday decorations pose risks to curious cats. Tinsel, if ingested, can lead to severe digestive tract issues, including obstruction. String lights can be hazardous if chewed on, risking electrical shock or mouth burns. Ornament hooks and small, detachable parts from decorations can cause choking or internal injury if swallowed. Additionally, ribbons and yarn used in gift wrapping can cause similar internal issues as tinsel if ingested. Always monitor your cat around these items and consider safer, cat-friendly alternatives when decorating.

All of us here at Arch Creek, your local North Miami, FL vet clinic, want to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Please contact us anytime!