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C2004-47

Dear Christopher Cat

We adopted two kittens this year – our first. What precautions should we take with Christmas decorations?

Christopher Responds

I’ll share my favorite holiday antics, and tell you how my Mom thwarted my fun. If you use her techniques, your kittens won’t be completely happy, but they’ll be safe.

I love to climb Christmas trees, and it’s thrilling when the tree topples over. Now Mom secures the tree to the wall with heavy cord – which makes the tree much less exciting to climb.

I enjoy batting at ornaments along the bottom of the tree, but when glass ornaments break, the shards can hurt my feet. So Mom hangs glass and mirror ornaments high on the tree, and she secures low-hanging ornaments with green pipe cleaners instead of hooks.

Cover the Christmas tree stand so your kittens can’t drink the water, which sometimes upsets feline stomachs.

Don’t bring tinsel into the house, and don’t leave ribbon lying around, even if it’s attached to a package. We cats are attracted to tinsel, ribbon and yarn, which can cause life-threatening intestinal damage if we eat it.

Candle flames, hot wax and potpourri liquid pose additional risks, so light candles and use potpourri warmers only when you’re there to supervise your kittens.

Keep your kittens away from mistletoe, poinsettias, holly and Christmas cactus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, diminished appetite and lethargy if ingested.

Use common sense with light cords and other potential holiday hazards. If it’s not safe for a child, it’s not safe for two inquisitive kittens.

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