Photo credit: pippalou from morguefile.com
Watch out for Easter dangers to cats! There are many things that can be dangerous to your cat at Easter. Be on the alert for:
- Lilies: All parts of the lily flower are poisonous to cats. The Pet Poison Helpline lists the Easter lily as "moderate to severe" poison for kitties. Unfortunately, there is also no antidote! So if your cat ingests Easter lilies it can be a huge problem. I don't plant these in the garden or bring them inside. If you own cats, be aware of the problem of Easter lily poisoning.
- Easter basket grass: The fake plastic grass, like the stuff in the photo above, is so enticing to cats. They love nothing better than to pull it out of the basket and chomp on it as if it were real grass. Unfortunately, it either 1) passes through the digestive tract, dangling from the nether regions like an extra tail covered in nasty stuff that will mar your house with disgustingness or 2) tangle in the cat's stomach, causing a giant hairball to end all hairballs 3) tangle in the intestines, causing kitty massive amounts of pain and causing you extensive pain in the wallet as you pay for emergency surgery. Paper grass isn't much better, but cats seem to eat it less. Instead of lining your child's Easter basket with plastic Easter grass, try pieces of green fabric or green napkins folded into fans. You can also simply spread green or Easter patterned fabric in the bottom of the basket for a festive look that won't hurt your cats.
- Small toys: Tiny fluffy stuffed chickens, fluffy bunny toys and the like are adorable. If they're big enough, the worst trouble your cat may get into is hauling them around the house (I have one cat that loves to grab stuffed animals, the bigger the better, and take them with him!). Smaller toys can become lodged in the cat's throat.
- Chocolate: Dogs are much more likely to eat chocolate than cats, but the sweet stuff is poison to both species, so be careful when keeping chocolate around the house. Keep it in cupboards or drawers that your pets haven't figured out how to open yet, and make sure that your children know not to feed chocolate to the pets.
Easter is a beautiful spiritual holiday for Christians and a fun holiday for children of all faiths. Celebrate it, enjoy it, have a piece of chocolate, but keep those kitties safe!