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Kitty's First Christmas

If you follow this space, you already know that for many families, 2020 was the year of the pet. Puppies and kittens were added to homes in record numbers. And now that the holidays are upon us, these youngsters will be entering the challenging phase of adolescence. Like human teenagers, adolescent puppies and kittens can be defiant and prone to mischief. When combined with standard holiday decorations, these traits can lead to veterinary emergencies, especially for kittens and cats. 

Young cats are often drawn to indoor plants. The holiday versions of such greenery, particularly poinsettias, amaryllis, holly, and lilies can be toxic to cats when ingested. Additionally some of the seasonal essential oils we use to scent our homes in December cannot be processed by the feline liver, and can lead to severe illness and death. Finally, tinsel is irresistible to most young cats, and if swallowed can cause a linear intestinal foreign body. This life-threatening condition requires risky emergency surgery. It has always been my recommendation that cat parents avoid these products when decorating for the holidays. 

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