St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday filled with cabbage and corned beef, soda bread, shamrocks, and green beer. It’s a traditional Irish holiday that’s grown to become a favorite for many people, including pet owners. But while we can enjoy ourselves with interesting beer colors, our cats can get into all sorts of trouble due to our holiday spirit.
Party guests, alcohol, and table scraps all pose a threat to cats. It’s important to consider their safety when planning your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Here’s a list of safety tips to keep in mind for your next shamrock-themed holiday.
The 5 Most Important St. Patrick’s Day Safety Tips for Cats
1. Alcohol Is for Humans Only
A holiday is often the perfect excuse to enjoy a few glasses of wine. St. Patrick’s Day is also the day that many people go all out with green-colored beers and other alcoholic drinks to celebrate. While alcohol can cause problems for us, it’s worse for cats. Even a tiny amount can result in a coma or potentially kill them.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink at all when you have cats around. You just need to take steps to keep your feline safe. Keep your glass in hand or under a watchful eye so you can prevent your cat from taking an interest in the contents.
Also, tidy up any bottles, cans, or empty glasses at the end of the day. Remember the corks too! Some cats enjoy batting corks around the floor and carrying them around.
2. Give Your Cat a Quiet Spot
Parties — even if it’s only a small, family-only event — can get rowdy, especially when more than a few drinks have been imbibed. If you invite guests too, the presence of strangers can be upsetting to many cats, particularly if they have more timid personalities.
Allocating a quiet space for your cat where no guests or screaming children are likely to disturb them is one of the best ways to make the holiday celebrations less stressful. They’ll be able to hide themselves away for the duration of the party and emerge once they know that it’s safe.
3. Keep Raw Dough Out of Reach
When it comes to traditional Irish treats for St. Patrick’s Day, soda bread is one of the easiest and quickest to make at home. It doesn’t take as long to make as normal yeast bread and isn’t as difficult, which makes it an awesome treat to make the day of.
While plain bread that’s fully cooked might not cause problems, raw dough can expand dangerously in your cat’s stomach if they eat it. Traditional soda bread also commonly contains raisins or currants. Both are toxic to cats and dogs.
4. Don’t Give Table Scraps to Your Cat
As tempting as it is to give your cat a few morsels from your dinner plate, it’s never a good idea. Holiday meals — like the family get-together that you host for St. Patrick’s Day — often contain ingredients that are best kept well away from your cat. These can be anything from the salt and fat content of your corned beef dish or the onions and garlic that you used during the meal prep.
Salt and Fat Content
Human food generally contains more salt and fat than cats can process properly. While both are used in cat food, it’s never used to excess or at the same amounts that we favor for our own meals.
A common feature of a St. Patrick’s Day meal is corned beef, which contains a large amount of salt and fat due to the way that it’s processed. While your cat might love the meaty taste, the contents can result in various health issues. Too much fat can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Salty foods can cause vomiting and diarrhea, along with more serious problems, such as seizures or comas.
Onions and Garlic
Many dishes common during St. Patrick’s Day use onions and garlic to add flavor and texture. You might add them to the shepherd’s pie or pot roast or perhaps use onion powder in the gravy. No matter what form the onions or garlic takes, it can cause your cat problems if they ingest too much. Your cat can suffer from anemia, weakness, and lethargy.
5. Stay Away From Shamrocks
Another common sight during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations is a shamrock. While this name can refer to many different plants, the main one for this holiday is Oxalis acetosella due to its similarity to the four-leaf clover. It’s a popular plant for giving as a gift or decorating your home during St. Patrick’s Day.
Some cats are notorious for munching on any plant that they see, including shamrocks. Unfortunately, shamrocks contain soluble calcium oxalates and are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. Ingesting this plant can cause tremors and excessive drooling. In the worst-case scenario, it can cause kidney failure.
What Is St. Patrick’s Day?
As the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was the leading force in converting the Irish to Christianity around 432 B.C.E. While he was born in Britain, he was taken to Ireland as a slave when he was 16. After escaping, he soon returned to establish churches, monasteries, and schools in Ireland until his death on March 17, 461 B.C.E.
St. Patrick is surrounded by lore. A favorite story is his explanation of the Trinity by using the shamrock — the reason that it’s such a recognized symbol for St. Patrick’s Day today. The holiday was introduced to the U.S.A. by Irish immigrants.
These days, the day is celebrated with feasts and a large amount of green. The shamrock is a common symbol, along with cabbage and corned beef dishes and green beer.
St. Patrick’s Day might not be a traditional American holiday, but it quickly grew in favor after Irish immigrants introduced the celebration to the U.S.A. and other places around the world. These days, it’s celebrated to remember the patron saint of Ireland. People also use the opportunity to partake in traditional treats, like soda bread, and enjoy green beer.
With these safety tips, we hope that you can include your cat in your Irish holiday celebrations.
- See also: 6 St. Patrick’s Day Safety Tips for Dogs
Featured Image Credit: Isabel Ludick