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3 Easy Ways To Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy This Holiday Season

Your cat should enjoy the holidays as much as you do.

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Our feline friends provide comfort all year long, and during the holidays, there’s nothing cozier than curling up with your cat by the Christmas tree. But the season can also also cause some potential difficulties when it comes to cat health. From aches and pains caused by aging to potentially destructive curiosity to shyness exacerbated by having guests over, there are a number of issues that you might notice in your cat this winter. Thankfully, we’ve gathered three quick and easy solutions for these common problems to help ensure that you and your cat have the safest, most relaxing holiday possible.

If Your Cat Has Joint Pain: Try Turmeric

Your poor kitty is getting older and is showing signs of joint pain, especially as the temperature has dropped: He walks stiffly after a nap or hesitates before jumping up or climbing the stairs. Ease his discomfort by supplementing his food with turmeric. Just sprinkle the vet-recommended dosage of ⅛ teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight over food daily or mix some with a spoonful of yogurt for your cat to lick up. The spice’s anti-inflammatory properties relieve joint stiffness so he can get through the winter pain-free.

If Your Cat Likes Candles: Try Peppermint

You love lighting Advent candles — they help set a calming tone for the holidays. But lately you’ve noticed your cat sniffing around them and you worry he’ll knock them over or burn himself. A little peppermint extract can help. Simply place a few drops of the extract on the base of the candleholder (or on a pretty doily that you slide underneath the candleholder). Since cats hate the strong scent of peppermint, once your curious kitty gets a whiff, he’ll steer clear of the candle. Bonus? The peppermint extract will add a nice natural fragrance to your home.

If Your Cat is Shy: Try a DIY ‘Cat Cave’

With holiday guests coming to visit, Whiskers has been displaced from her usual spot on the sofa. Make a new cozy place for her to curl up in using an old crate. To do: Grab an old wine or vegetable crate (free at grocery or liquor stores), then apply hot glue to pieces of holiday-colored sisal and wrap them around various slats (this gives her a place to scratch). Next, hot-glue a few slats from another crate over the top (the cover will help her feel secure in her new bed) and place a blanket inside with a favorite toy.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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