Bengal-Proof Your Easter

We all look forward to the holidays when we can get together with family and friends, but Easter, in particular, invites some dangers for Bengal cats into the home. Some careful planning can prevent these dangers while still engaging in all the fun.

Easter Decorations

Easter grass and Easter eggs can be dangerous for cats.  Most cats love the plastic grass that fills Easter baskets. Some cats, in particular, are drawn to chewing on plastic.  But these fine pieces of plastic wreak havoc on a cat's digestive system, and it may result in a trip to the emergency vet over the holiday weekend.  Avoid plastic grass by using paper grass or edible grass alternatives.  While it is not great for a cat to eat dyed paper or strands of potatoes and corn starch, a small amount of biodegradable material is more likely to be dissolved by a cat's highly acidic stomach pass through the digestive system without landing the cat in the emergency room. 

Like plastic grass, plastic eggs can present a problem if they are broken and then eaten by the cat.  If you have been using the same eggs for multiple years, it may be time to replace them before they become brittle and break.  Eco Eggs sells non-toxic, reusable Easter eggs that are less likely to shatter.  Because they are non-toxic, they are safer if a cat turns them into a toy. When wanting to avoid plastic altogether, consider hollow wooden Easter eggs.  These eggs are completely safe for cats and will last for years.  Buy them early, have the kids paint them, and keep these decorated treasures for years to come. They can be used repeatedly to hide Easter treasures.

Easter Foods 

Chocolate and baked goods can both cause digestive upsets for cats. The caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate can cause seizures, heart failure, and death.  The amount consumed increases the likelihood of these side effects.  Likewise, baked goods can contain carbon dioxide; alcohol released from the dough while rising can cause alcohol poisoning.  Keep uncooked dough out of your cat's reach while it is being left to rise, and make sure the Easter chocolate is not left within the cat's grasp as well. 

Easter Flowers

As a cat owner, it is common knowledge that Lilies are toxic to cats; this includes both Easter Lilies and Day Lilies.  The flowers, the leaves, the pollen, and even the water from a vase holding these plants can cause kidney failure in cats. Cat owners need to forgo both bringing Lilies into the home and growing them in the garden.  If a thoughtful guest brings you a bouquet, thank them graciously, educate them on Lilies' toxicity, and kindly send the flowers back home with them. 

In addition, it is important to note that all plants that grow from bulbs are toxic to cats. This includes many spring favorites: Daffodils, Paperwhites, Snowdrops, Hyacinths, and Amaryllis. As long as a cat does not have access to these plants, it is safe to have these in your garden. Unlike Lilies, the pollen on these plants is not as severely toxic or as likely to spread onto shoes and clothing and then be transferred to a cat.

Alstromeriaoften called Inca Lily, makes beautiful bouquets as an alternative to true Lilies.  They have a lily-look, but they are not in the lily family. Orchids create color inside the home without the fear of poison.  Pansies, Freesias, Iris, and Snap Dragons are early bloomers and bring brightness to a spring garden without the fear of the flowers being toxic to your cat.

It is good to have Thuja Occidentals 30c on hand in case your cat does ingest a toxin. You can place a couple of pellets inside the cat's mouth to help remove the toxins from the body while you are on the way to the vet. 

Easter Escapes

If the family is meeting at your house for Easter, it may be best to put your Bengal cat in a backroom - especially while guests are coming and going.  Easter typically focuses on little ones, and little ones tend to be forgetful when so much excitement is in the air.  If a door gets left open, a Bengal cat may dash to join the Easter egg hunt. Assess the flow of people going in and out of your home during your Easter celebration. While your Bengal cat may have a great time playing and greeting everyone during the day, you may want to keep it contained while everyone arrives and departs. If doors are opened throughout the day, it may be best to leave your Bengal cat carefully contained. 

Include your Bengal in the Easter celebration as much as possible, but remember to take a few precautions to make sure your celebration does not include a trip to the vet. 

Wishing you and your Bengal cats a safe and very Happy Easter from all of us at Quality Bengal Kittens.

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