Friday, November 18, 2011

Celebrating Thanksgiving with your Cat

A cat with a Pilgrim hat on 

Do your cats hate the holidays? Do they run when company comes over? It might be a good idea to set your cats up with a special room in your house for the holidays - a quiet place where they can escape the hustle and bustle of friends and family getting together to celebrate. Make sure that their safe place has a litterbox, food, water and a comfy bed in case they hide for more than a few hours. Some cats readily overcome their fear of strangers and come out to mingle on their own, but most cats would just prefer to wait until after the house is quiet again before they emerge.

Sometimes, very timid cats may benefit from anti-anxiety medications at busy and chaotic times of year.

Some more curious cats may try to come help cook the turkey and stuffing - be careful about cats near hot stove burners, or getting shut in the pantry, especially if there are extra helpers in the kitchen that don't know your cat's habits.

When it comes time to sit down for your turkey dinner, you may want to make sure that your cats are celebrating elsewhere and not begging at the table for some gravy! While turkey is a very appropriate food for cats, be aware that some of the spices we may use are not. Sage is an herb that cats are extremely sensitive to, and can cause an upset stomach or depression of the nervous system. Onions and garlic can cause the destruction of red blood cells. Small bones can cause choking or bowel obstructions. Ingestion of broken bones can cause perforations of the intestinal tract, so if you offer turkey meat, make sure it is boneless.

In addition, cake batter has raw eggs that can carry salmonella, and bread dough can expand in your cat's stomach and become quite uncomfortable. Be aware that parchment paper, tin foil or saran wrap with yummy turkey drippings (or other tasty treats) on it could also be a hazard, as they are easily swallowed while a cat is licking the deliciousness off of them.

Watch out for the begging cat that weaves around your legs while you're carrying that 20-pound turkey to the dining room table!

And, of course, after the hustle and bustle is over, make sure to spend some quality snuggle time with your cat, letting him know how thankful you are that he's willing to put up with all these silly human shenanigans and share your home with you!

We at Exclusively Cats are thankful for all you loving cat owners that trust us with the care of your beloved companions! Happy Thanksgiving!

A cat dressed in Native American costume
(This and other adorable pet hats are available from "To Scarborough Fair" at!)