With the holidays coming up, we all want to make sure we’re including our cats as much as possible. After all, they’re part of the family, too! And while there are so many wonderful things we can share with our pets over the holidays, there are some important things to remember when we think about including our cats in our holiday celebrations.

Probably the most important thing to remember is that the increase in activity in your home could be stressful for your cat. If you don’t already, make sure you have plenty of safe spaces in your home for your cat to escape to if they feel nervous or overwhelmed. Even the most social and confident cat can need a break from the party, and making sure that there are great hiding spaces, vertical options and cat safe resting spots throughout your home will give your cat space to retreat to if needed. If you have a very nervous cat, it’s ok to close them into a room that they feel comfortable in. Make sure they have a great bed, some toys and their food, water and litterbox, and they’ll be much happier in that space than being asked to find a hiding space among the holiday celebrations. You can turn on a TV or radio for them that might dampen the sound of unfamiliar voices, lessening their stress just that much more. If you have a cat who might come out with some tempting, ask your guests to spend some time offering treats or playtime to your cat, rewarding them for coming out and including them in the party.

Knowing and feeling confident with the list of foods and plants that are toxic to cats will also make the holidays happier and safer for your cats.

If you’d like to offer your cat some festive treats, you can always add cat treats to your holiday cookie baking! There are a lot of recipes out there for soft and crunchy cat treats that include cat safe ingredients, try a google search for cat treats and see what you come up with. Adding your cat into your holiday bake off can be a lot of fun!

Finally, remember that if you’re putting a Christmas tree up this year, there are ways to make sure that it’s cat-safe. Securing it to the closest wall can be a great place to start when cat-proofing your tree. Keep cat enticing ornaments higher up on the tree, potentially making them too difficult for your cat to reach. Avoid blinking lights, if you can, along with things like tinsel (which can be quite dangerous to cats) that might reflect light as those things are sure to attract your cat’s attention. Consider offering a cat-safe tree nearby, one that they can play with or chew on, which might distract them from your larger tree.  Here’s a great link on cat proofing your Christmas tree: https://www.rover.com/blog/cat-proof-christmas-tree/

There are so many ways to make the holidays enjoyable for your cats; it might just take a little bit of forethought to make sure that they’re safe and feel comfortable!