I’m a vet…here’s the common household item that could KILL your cat and why the holiday season is the riskiest

A vet has discovered the common household item that could KILL your cat – and the holiday season could spell danger.

The veterinarian Dr. Catherine Henstridge, known as “Cat the Vet” on social media, has compiled a list of items that should be out of your furry friend’s reach as the holiday season begins.

A vet has discovered an everyday household item that could be fatal to your cat


A vet has discovered an everyday household item that could be fatal to your catPhoto credit: Getty
Pet owners need to be vigilant as the holiday season approaches


Pet owners need to be vigilant as the holiday season approachesPhoto credit: Getty

Battery-operated gifts are popular during the holiday season, especially if you have children.

However, if ingested, these can lead to serious complications for your cat – and possibly be fatal.

“Unfortunately for our pets, especially our cats, they can look like fun, shiny toys and can cause significant problems if swallowed, particularly button batteries,” Cat warned.

“If swallowed, a condition called current-induced necrosis can occur, which can cause perforation of the mouth, esophagus, stomach or small intestine.

“So either purchase with ‘batteries included’ or make sure to only remove the batteries that you will immediately insert into your new gift.”

Frequently served food on the big day can also be harmful to cats.

Sweet treats like chocolate “contain a toxic chemical called theobromine,” while other foods like cheese, onions and garlic “can cause serious blood disorders.”

Cat continued: “It’s not just the sweet snacks that cause problems.

“Any of the rich and fatty foods we enjoy can be problematic for our dogs and other pets who don’t mind clearing a plate of cheese or stealing some Christmas ham.”

These foods are far too high in calories for them and often cause vomiting and diarrhea that no one needs to clear up the morning after Christmas work.

So make sure these don’t end up in your pet’s Christmas bowl – sharing is important, but limit yourself to simple meats and vegetables.”

Concerned owners should also be careful if their cat is eyeing the Christmas tree in the living room.

Cat continued: Essentially, you’ve set up a giant sparkly toy in your living room, with fun dangling things to play with and great climbing opportunities.

“Veterans regularly see injuries caused by pets tearing down trees, swallowing decorations, or breaking glass balls and sustaining cuts.

“So try to only allow your pets around the tree if you can supervise them, or make sure they don’t have easy access to the tree.”

Some pets also try to nibble on the tree decorations, which can be fatal if they get caught in the neck.

“They love playing with things like tinsel, but if they accidentally swallow it, it can cause serious blockages in their throat and digestive system.”

Experts urge pet owners to consider investing in pet insurance before they have to forego festive sweet and savory snacks.

Saarrah Mussa, pet insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Our research shows that some dog owners are foregoing insurance because of cost.”

“But as we saw in our survey, accidents do happen, especially at Christmas when a mince pie or box of chocolates might be too tempting for your pet.”

“Vet bills can add up quickly. So if the worst happens, it’s better to be covered.

“Almost all insurance policies have a two-week cooling-off period and during this time insurers will not honor any claims.

“That means if you’re thinking about getting covered for Christmas, you’d better do it now, before the house fills up with festive treats.”

It comes after Cat lifted the lid on the five things you should never do with your dog – but her advice divides opinion.

The animal expert said dog owners should never rely on homeopathic treatments or “all-natural” remedies for their dogs.

Swallowing batteries can be life-threatening for your cat


Swallowing batteries can be life-threatening for your catPhoto credit: Getty
Chocolate contains a toxic chemical called theobromine


Chocolate contains a toxic chemical called theobrominePhoto credit: Getty

John Verrall

John Verrall is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. John Verrall joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: johnverrall@nytimas.com.

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