Happy 15th Birthday Zoey and Cat Safety Tips for Easter

It’s happened again. Time has passed at a crazy pace, and in what seems like seconds later, my precious Zoey is now 15 years old. It’s been an interesting year with my girl since her birthday last year, as it marks the first time sharing the day without her true love, Zee, our sweet boy we had to say goodbye to on March 18, 2022. They had a unique bond – not only did they share a home with a family they created, but they were snuggle buddies and nearly inseparable.

Mia and Zoey with Zee, about a month before we had to say goodbye.

Zoey copes the best she can, but the dynamic has changed. While she naps most of the day now, when she’s awake, she’s insatiable in craving attention from Dan and me, letting us know with her trademark yowl that can still break the sound barrier with its intensity. She wants to be held now, something she used to avoid at all costs, and a warm lap and a comforting voice are all that will get her to stop meowing.

This very recent photo of Zoey is her napping on the kitchen windowsill – one of her favorite places to find patches of sunlight.

We’ve learned to take breaks during the day to accommodate her, and I know in my heart these moments are precious and a gift to us. At night, when I sit on the couch, she is like Velcro, lying as close next to me as she can. These are the moments I especially treasure, as I’m done for the day and I know we can relax together for the rest of the night.

So, happy birthday dear girl. And it’s extra special this year because her birthday falls on Easter weekend. Take care everyone – if you celebrate Easter, please remember it’s a day that can be dangerous for our feline friends. Here are a few reminders on what’s not safe for your cat:

1. Easter baskets are a tempting playground of fun for a cat, but the shiny ribbons and cellophane grasses can all be dangerous. Ribbons and grasses, if ingested, could quickly become entangled in the cat’s intestine, causing it to twist and close off requiring surgery. Small toys are a hazard, too. If your cat decides to eat the toy, he could choke on it. If you can’t be around to supervise your cat when the basket is out, it’s best to put it away somewhere he can’t get to.

2. Those yummy chocolate bunnies and eggs we put into Easter baskets are also dangerous. Chocolate contains theobromine which is poisonous, as well as caffeine which kitty cannot metabolize. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate are the worst offenders as they contain the most amount of theobromine. According to Preventative Vet, really, any human sweets should not be fed to any pet, especially those marked as sugar-free as they contain the synthetic sweetener, xylitol, which is toxic to cats. Hot cross buns, also synonymous with Easter can contain raisins, currants, sultanas, and grapes, all toxic to cats. Your cat may experience vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dehydration, and issues with passing urine.

3. Easter eggs can also be dangerous. Rotting, raw, or undercooked eggs can cause serious problems for pets, including salmonella. And those dyes used to color Easter eggs could be harmful if your cat consumes too much of the dye by licking the eggs. Avoid the risk by using natural food colorings like beetroot, spinach, and other vegetable juices.

4. Lily plants are a beloved tradition for Easter but they are extremely toxic and are POTENTIALLY FATAL if ingested by cats. Any part of the plant, including the pollen, flower, stems, and leaves are poisonous. These plants belong to the Lilium or Hemerocallis family, with examples being the Tiger, Day, Asiatic Hybrid, Easter, Japanese Show, Rubrum, Stargazer, Red, Western, and Wood lilies. If ingested, these lilies can cause kidney failure in cats, with sudden onset of lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting, and either increased or decreased thirst and urination with dehydration. Paperwhites, which are part of the lily/amaryllis family, also known as narcissus, daffodil, and jonquil can also disguise some frightening toxins that if ingested will make your cat very ill. Paperwhite toxins include lycorine, as well as other alkaloids, and the bulbs of this flower are its most poisonous part.  The best advice – decorate with faux flowers and don’t bring any of these plants into your house.

5. If your cat does get sick, DO NOT give him milk, food, salt, oil, hydrogen peroxide, or any other home remedies! Also, never induce vomiting without talking to your veterinarian as it may be detrimental or contraindicated to induce vomiting. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned (symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures), seek veterinary help immediately, as the prognosis is always better when toxicity is reported quickly. If they are not immediately available for advice, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. To aid in identifying potentially dangerous items, the Pet Poison Helpline website also has an A to Z list of what items are poisonous, the level of toxicity if ingested, and what the common symptoms to watch for are.

6. Easter treats and goodies are not the only things potentially dangerous to your cat. With spring cleaning in full swing, disinfecting supplies are also a threat. Cleaners with powerful odors that promise results and make disinfectants effective are a red flag to danger: alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and chemical compounds that contain the word “phenol.” It’s easy to get distracted when we’re cleaning and all it takes is a split second for your curious cat to get into trouble. If you’re washing the floor, your cat could play with the water, knock it over, or walk on it – all quickly amounting to toxic chemicals touching your cat’s paw(s) which they could lick. If possible, it’s best to shut your cat out of the room while you are cleaning to prevent any incidents. If you can’t, try to keep your eye on him, and not your phone or something else.

7. When using cleaning products, read the labels carefully to check the ingredients and follow the usage instructions precisely. Be aware of the strength of the product, and how much you should dilute it. Using more than recommended is not better. The higher the accidental dose a pet gets, the more toxic.

8. When you are done with liquid cleaners, rinse out buckets and mops. When you are done with disinfecting wipes, throw them out right away. Make sure your household garbage bags and cans always have lids secured. Shut and secure the doors of cabinets or closets or rooms where you store cleaning products, equipment, and medications.

9. Keep pets out of the room when you are cleaning and do not leave disinfectants unattended. After you have used them, store them in a place that pets cannot reach. If you wet floors or counters with disinfectants and cleaners, keep pets away until they dry. Ideally, rinse floors with water.

10. Familiarize yourself with your cat’s veterinary hours, as the more you know the better off you’ll be if you have an emergency. Keep the vet’s phone number locked in your phone and posted on your refrigerator to quickly access it.

These tips really pertain to any day of the year, not just spring cleaning. Stay safe everyone and have a blessed Easter.

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  1. Leah says:

    Happy Birthday to Zoey! And thank you for the safety tips, I am reposting on fb.

  2. jmuhj says:

    Happy Big FIFTEENTH PURRthday, Zoey! and thank you, Deb, for the safety sips.

  3. Happy 15th Zoey!! Those tips are great and I agree that they are for all year!

  4. Brian Frum says:

    Happy Birthday sweet Zoey from all of us!

  5. meowmeowmans says:

    Happy 15th birthday, Zoey! XO

  6. Kitties Blue says:

    Happy birthday, Zoey! 🎂🎁🎈 We know your humans will spoil you today, which is just as it should be. Our Giulietta never recovered from the loss of her sister, Fiona. They are together again, and we miss them both very much. Happy Easter. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, angel Mauricio, Misty May, angel Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy, Sawyer, Kizmet, Audrey & Raleigh

  7. Edith Chase says:

    Happy Birthday Zoey!!!

  8. Happy Birthday beautiful Zoey. XO

  9. mary mcneil says:

    Happy purrthday beautiful Zoey !

  10. Happy Birthday to Zoey!

  11. George Beach says:

    Happy Birthday, Zoey!! Make sure mama gives you lots of treats!!

  12. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    we bee on free wi fi two day !!!

    sew stoppin bye with paste N coppee

    with easturr greetinz and NOE BURD

    happee fun day hippee hoppee 🙂 ♥♥

    anda happee bee lated birth day two ewe zoey !! hope yur day total
    lee rocked and ewe cauzed lotz oh trubull 🙂 ♥

  13. Zoolatry says:

    Happy Happy Day Beautiful Zoey ~ you are as beautiful as ever, so very much loved, and how wonderful to have your “purrs-day” on Easter … we’re sure the bunny will be hopping by with something extra special just for you.
    Stay well little one, a gentle hug from Ann and a soft meow from June

  14. Happy Birthday, beautiful Zoey, and Happy Easter ! Purrs

  15. Happy 15ht Birfday Zoey!!! You due not llok a day over 5!!! FORE REEL!
    An Hoppy Easter to efurryone there…..
    Wee nose Zee lookss down on all of youss’ with <3 LOVE <#
    ***nose rubss*** BellaDharma an (((hugss))) BellaSita Mum

  16. Happy Birthday, Zoey! <3