Tips to keep your cat happy and healthy this holiday season and beyond

(BPT) – In the company of loved ones, the holidays transform into a meaningful celebration marked by decadent foods, delightful presents and joyous gatherings. As a pet parent, you want to share in this joy with your feline family members. This means enjoying the holiday season with your pets but also keeping them safe and comfortable so all can be merry.

Extra house guests, new foods and even innocent-looking ribbons decorating presents can be tempting to cats. The best way to keep your feline happy and healthy this holiday season is to take a proactive approach and follow these tips.

1. Understand litterbox habits

Your cat’s litterbox habits provide important insight into their overall wellness, including if they got into some holiday fun they shouldn’t have. However, inspecting a litterbox is not a cheery chore. Fortunately, this is the golden age of pet tech, and keeping an eye on your cat’s litterbox habits is now as simple as opening an app.

Solutions like the Petivity™ Smart Litterbox System help pet parents better understand their cat’s health by monitoring litterbox habits. Developed by a team of Purina behaviorists, veterinarians and data scientists, the system’s artificial intelligence is able to learn each cat’s unique litterbox patterns and identify subtle changes that can have big implications. Even small fluctuations in weight, frequency in litterbox visits and the types of elimination can be early signs of health concerns.

Like with all good, smart tech, setup is simple. Monitors are placed under a litterbox to track each cat’s data and habits. Then, if anything requires the owner’s attention, an alert is sent automatically to their phone. It’s a slick process, good to have all year round, and provides excellent insights during the hectic winter holidays.

2. Be mindful while being merry

The holidays are a prime time to pique a cat’s curiosity. From decadent scents and festive foods to sparkling ribbons and jingling bells — there’s a lot to attract their attention. While sharing the holidays with your feline is fun, it’s important to be cautious.

Some potential toxic temptations, like chocolate, are already well known. But some sneakier ones also pop up this time of year. For example, lilies, amaryllis and poinsettias are popular cut flowers in festive decor, but they are toxic to cats who can be tempted to chew on them.

When possible, keep food and plants up high or away where cats can’t reach them. If a cat does eat something and you don’t see it, the litterbox monitoring system can help detect any changes and alert them to you. Then you can determine next steps to keep your feline feeling well and have important information to share if a call to the veterinarian is in order.

Another healthy step pet parents can take during the holidays is to monitor stress. If you’re hosting a holiday event, consider a quiet room where cats can always retreat away from guests. This gives them a safe space to use as needed so they can rest, relax and recharge.

Keep in mind, stress alone from holiday gatherings can potentially cause digestive issues for cats. If the duration and frequency of litterbox visits change, it’s a solid sign that kitty could use some calm. In addition to quiet spaces, some love from their favorite human — you — is often welcome during the hectic holiday season.

3. Gift proactive cat health

Remember, the best holiday gift you can give your cat or the cat lover in your life is the chance to be proactive about their health. Leverage smart tech, like the Petivity™ Smart Litterbox System, to monitor your cat’s litterbox habits. Also, make sure to schedule your annual checkup for the new year to keep your veterinarian in the loop about your pet’s health.