I was recently talking to a friend about a holiday decoration that I find absolutely appalling, pointless, annoying, and a pain to clean up.

"Cats like it," she reasoned. Fair point. It’s funny to watch them wrestle with it, as it’s funny to watch cats wrestle just about anything.

That’s when a Haverhill man named Bill interjected. He’d been listening to our conversation and informed us that not only is it annoying and hard to clean up, but it’s also quite dangerous to pets.

Cats, in particular.

The shiny but deadly culprit: tinsel.

Bill explained that he stopped buying tinsel years ago when one of his cats got a hold of some and wound up spending much of the holidays at the vet. His pet even needed surgery to remove the seemingly harmless new toy and check for any further damage.

Turns out, tinsel may be one of the deadliest enemies for our feline friends. According to PetMD, tinsel poses a threat as it does not break down in the digestive process, meaning it gets stuck, thus necessitating an immediate procedure to rescue the animal.

In some cases, the tinsel will even cause a cat to choke and cough.

And it’s not just cats: dogs are also prone to some unwanted “tinsillitis.”

What to Do if Your Pet Swallows Tinsel

In many cases, your pet will find a way to, you know, get it out. But if around the holidays you observe your animal vomiting, refusing to eat, or displaying any other signs of digestive discomfort, it’s time to call a vet.

The best way to avoid the problem? Easy: cancel the tinsel (psst – nobody likes it, anyway).

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