Cats and Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is a longtime southern American tradition that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mardi Gras, often called Fat Tuesday, is a celebration the day before Ash Wednesday. While it was originally celebrated as a Christian holiday, it has since evolved and become a celebration enjoyed by everyone who loves costumes, brightly colored beads, and alcohol.
Mardi Gras can be a really fun time for humans. It is celebrated with live music, dancing and parading in the streets; brightly colored costumes, and beads of red, purple, and gold; festive cocktails, and delicious food. For many people, going to NOLA for Mardi Gras is a bucket list experience.
But how can you safely celebrate Mardi Gras when you’re a cat owner? Are there any traditions or parts of the celebration that are cat-safe and cat-friendly? We’ve compiled some tips on how to safely celebrate Fat Tuesday when you have a little furbaby around.
It’s very important to ensure that while you are having a good time, your cat is safe and free of stress and anxiety. Many cats can have extreme aversions to loud noises, music, and people. Sometimes all the activity can be pretty overwhelming for cats that have a calmer and more reserved temperament. If you’re going to be throwing a Mardi Gras party in your home around your kitties, be sure to follow these tips to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.
Make Sure Your Home Is Cat-Safe
First and foremost, if you are going to be throwing a Mardi Gras celebration in your home, it’s important to make sure your party is cat-safe. Cats are naturally curious creatures, so it’s instinctual for them to inspect and want to get into any foreign object that may be brought into their space. So if you are bringing decorations into the home, make sure they are not left where your cat can get into them and ingest anything that may be harmful.
Much like at Christmas, Mardi Gras uses brightly colored decorations such as tinsel. Tinsel is extremely dangerous for cats. It’s bright and flashy nature make it so they will be inclined to bite, chew, or eat it. Tinsel can not be properly digested by cats, which means it can cause dangerous blockages or other internal issues that may be very dangerous to your cat’s health. Any decoration that is sparkly or full of synthetic materials should be kept far out of your cat’s reach.
Additionally, if you are having food and cocktails at your party, it’s important to make sure these are out of your cat’s reach as well. Many human foods are very toxic to cats. Onions and garlic are especially dangerous for cats to ingest, and they are common ingredients that can be found in pretty much everything. From soups, dips, dressings, breads, and snacks, it’s very common to see onions and garlic on the ingredient list.
Alcohol is also very dangerous for cats to consume, so if you are planning on having alcohol around your house, make sure there aren’t any open cups left around for your cat to unwittingly get into.
Prep All Guests
When throwing a party, most people will invite a lot of guests to come over, and sometimes those guests bring other guests. It’s safe to assume most of your friends will know that you have a cat and to be careful around them, but - just to be sure - it’s important to prep all of your guests before they arrive.
If you have any specific rules about interacting with your cat, it’s best to let them know ahead of time. If your cat doesn’t like to be touched or handled by strangers, letting everyone know before they begin drinking is the best course of action. We’ve all been there. Once you get a few drinks down and you see a cat, it’s hard not to yell “IT’S A CAT!” and go over and be it’s best friend. While your guests may have good intentions, it might stress out your cat. Educating everyone in advance will ensure everyone is comfortable.
Keep Your Cat In Another Room
If you know that your cat will have anxiety being around a lot of strangers and loud noise, or you just want to make sure that none of your guests will bother your furbaby, it may be best to keep them in another room while you are having your party.
Choose one quiet and calm room to keep your cat in while the party is going on. Bring in their litterbox, some food, water, and their bed or a blanket that smells like you so they have a soft place to feel comfortable. Keeping your cat completely separate from the party may be the best option for everyone. Just be sure to let all of your guests know the cat’s room is off limits!
Additionally, if you are keeping them in another room, you may want to consider putting on some white noise. A lot of cats are sound-sensitive and will be extremely stressed out the whole time. Putting on a fan, the television, or some soft music in the room can help them to stay relaxed.
Pet CBD or Anti-Anxiety Medication
If you know your cat has extreme anxiety, it may be the best option to give them some safe and vet-approved CBD or anxiety medication. Pet CBD has proven to be a safe and more natural way to control pet anxiety, but it’s always best to talk to your trusted vet before giving any new substances to your cat. It’s a good alternative to prescribed medications for some pet owners who want to take a more holistic route.
If your cat has a chronic anxiety condition or gets significantly stressed out during loud situations or situations with a lot of people, talking to your vet about anti-anxiety medication may be necessary for their health and wellbeing. Be sure to deliver all medications correctly and responsibly.
Following these tips will help keep your furbabies safe and healthy, ensuring both you and your feline family enjoy Fat Tuesday to the fullest. Happy celebrating!
Photo by Chunlea Ju via Unsplash