These tips are based on emergencies and problems veterinarians see on or around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Please take special care with the following:
1. Prevent access to counter tops: Some cats will jump up onto counters the second that you turn your back. The succulent smells of turkey and food are like a magnet for a hungry cat. Jumping on counters is especially dangerous during this holiday as often all the burners are on and hot pots and pans are placed on the counters. In just seconds they can cause severe burns. Hot burners can also cause your cat's tail and hair to catch on fire.
2. Safely dispose of the turkey string: The string used to tie turkey legs is often haphazardly placed aside during the carving process, then found and eaten by cats. The same danger exists with the plastic turkey wrapper. These indigestible items can require life-saving surgery if they must be removed from a cat's stomach or intestines. Place them in a secure covered trashcan and weight the top down if possible.
3. Take care with the fireplace: Thanksgiving not only kicks off the holiday season, it's often the first time in many months that the fireplace has been used. Take special care that pets stay away from the fire. It is a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home to ensure all heaters are adequately ventilated.
4. Be careful with table scraps and food: Just a small amount of table scraps can make an otherwise healthy cat very ill. This is especially true with high fat meals. Don't feed your cat the skins to get rid of them; place them in the covered trash can with the turkey string and wrapper.
5. Take special care with candles: Many Thanksgiving celebrations involve the warm flicker of candles but beware: candles should never be left unattended. Pets can knock them over and cause burns or house fires.
6. Beware of liquid potpourri: This item is commonly used during the holidays to give homes a wonderful aroma. However, it can be deadly if ingested as the liquid potpourri can be very caustic to the gums and throat. Spray or plug-in air fresheners are a safer alternative.