FloridaWild Vet Hospital

How to celebrate Thanksgiving with the hoomans: Safety tips from our felines extraordinaire

For many years this writer’s annual ritual has been offering readers suggestions about how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving with their cats. Instead, this year I decided to do something dramatically different. I recruited our two highly-intelligent cats; Aki and Edgar Allen Poe, to share their suggestions, from a feline purrspective on how to help kitties safely celebrate Thanksgiving with their hoomans.

For many years this writer’s annual ritual has been offering readers suggestions about how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving with their cats. Instead, this year I decided to do something dramatically different. I recruited our two highly-intelligent cats; Aki and Edgar Allen Poe, to share their suggestions, from a feline purrspective on how to help kitties safely celebrate Thanksgiving with their hoomans.

Our two cats were thrilled with an opportunity to participate in this project. In fact, Aki was “chomping at the bit” to begin expressing his ideas. Edgar Allen Poe immediately started jotting down some notes.

Aki began speaking to get the ball rolling. “The aroma of the cooking turkey, ham or roast beef floating around the house is exceedingly tantalizing. I’ll bet my favorite catnip mouse that few “hoomans” could resist sharing a few tasty morsels of their holiday fare with their kitties. Since we’ve politely endured the mouth-watering scents wafting from the kitchen all day, rewarding us by dropping a piece of the delicious bounty into our food dish is the right things to do- don’t you agree? But do tell your guests not to give any meaty handouts to cats under the table since it can lead to begging. Civil kitties have been carefully taught that mooching is bad manners”.

Poe chimed in, “Children must be warned and carefully supervised It’s very important that all treats are shared safely. Turkey and other kinds of fatty meats are very rich, so feed us very small amounts so we don’t get a tummy ache. Remember there are many foods that hoomans can safely eat but are toxic to cats. You wouldn’t want to spend most of Thanksgiving Day with your hooman, sitting in a Veterinary Emergency waiting room, now would you?”

Poe added, “To avoid food poisoning, be sure that any meat your hoomans serves is fully cooked and all the bones have been carefully removed. While kitties can safely gnaw on a raw bone, cooked bones are a huge no-no. Cooked bones must be thoroughly be removed because they splinter easily. We could choke if a cooked bone got lodged in our throat. In fact, swallowing bone splinters could cause an intestinal injury. Young-uns must be carefully supervised by adult hoomans to prevent them from giving us cooked bones”.

“Many herbs and spices are harmful to kitties”, Aki added. “For example, sage and other herbs contain essential oils that might cause kitties gastric distress. What’s more, if kitties consume stuffing in large amounts, it could cause central nervous system depression. So to be on the safe side my dear feline buddies; make sure your hoomans store all stuffing safely”.

Aki then voiced another opinion, adding, “Can you imagine that any right-minded hooman would even think of feeding their cats raw dough? But just in case, experts from the ASPCA warn hoomans that raw bread dough can react with the cat’s body heat causing it to rise in their tummy. Vomiting, bloating and extreme abdominal pain can result. Feeding raw cookie dough to cats can end up in a life threatening veterinary emergency, requiring surgery”.

Poe interrupted, shoving Aki aside and in a loud voice said, “While hoomans may enjoy those luscious-smelling creamed onions, and foods containing garlic safely, these foods are toxic to felines. Onions and garlic cause a breakdown in red blood cells which could lead to anemia. Although some commercial cat foods contain a small quantity of garlic, your hoomans should warn their company to not feed us any table scraps containing these dangerous items.

“Hoomans will be following the main meal by serving up luscious deserts and drinks. Remember that chocolate, caffeine and alcoholic beverages are toxic for us kitties. Be sure to warn your hoomans never to share any of them with us”, chimed in Poe.

Aki and Poe concluded their Thanksgiving safety tips suggestions together. “Dear hoomans, on Thanksgiving day please keep it simple. To help keep things moving along smoothly, to stop us from accidently escaping out the door, or getting underfoot when dinner is being served, confine us to your bedroom. Although we may get a bit lonely, it really does keep us safe. However, when dinner is finished and the dishes are safely in the dishwasher, that’s the time to let us out to hang out with the company. By just observing these few safety tips can prevent Thanksgiving Day from turning out to be a disaster for both us and our hoomans. We suggest that your hoomans read this article!”

By: Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW, (Ret.)

Thanksgiving Photo credit: Flickr Brittany Randolph

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