Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cat Christmas decoration safety: Watch out for snow globes!

Eamon the cat with his snow globe

It's the holiday season again, and that means we're all busting out the decorations (and then picking them back up in the morning, after the cats have knocked them over in the night). Typically, I keep most decorations up high, just so I can be sure that they'll be out of the way of little kitty paws. But now I have an even greater reason to lock down those decorations: A common bit of cheer that I use has been linked to cat poisoning and death.

Yep: I'm talking about snow globes.

I have a ton of them. They're filled with fluid and a little fake snow, and when you shake them up, it simulates a winter wonderland. It's pretty great for this part of Oregon, since we rarely get snow and yet still dream of a white Christmas.

Apparently, these little globes aren't filled with simple water. Instead, they're packed full of chemicals. In fact, they're stuffed with something that's related to antifreeze.

Maggie and Lucy with their snow globe

Antifreeze is really deadly for cats. The attack starts in the kidneys, and it then spreads throughout the cat's body. In as little as 24 hours, a cat can die from exposure to this stuff, even if kitty takes in only a few tablespoons.

If it sounds like an alarmist tale, check out this heartbreaking blog entry from a cat owner who lost her little one after he broke her snow globe and cleaned the residue from his paws. This kind of thing does happen, and it should put all of us on alert.

At the moment, I have pretty geriatric sighted cats who don't do a lot of jumping. And blind Lucy doesn't do any jumping at all. So my globes are safe up high on the mantelpiece. That's where the majority of them are right now.

The big one Lucy and Maggie are posing with is on the coffee table, but it's heavy and bulky. I don't see the cats trying to move it. And if they do, it'll fall only about a foot and land on carpet. Shouldn't be any breakage there.

But still. This news makes me question adding to my collection!