From Emily in Paris to Grey’s Anatomy, Kate Walsh has graced our screens for many years and become a true household name. And though we know her as an actress, there’s another title she also holds true: cat mom. Walsh is a proud mom of ginger cat Pablo, who’s going strong at a whopping 18 years old.
In an interview with SheKnows, Walsh, a partner for Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter, talked all things pets and shared her expert advice for fellow cat owners this holiday season.
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“My cat Pablo turned 18 this year, and after nearly two decades of holidays together, we’ve gotten pretty good at finding ways to celebrate that work for both of us,” Walsh says. “These are some easy tricks for making sure my season stays festive while Pablo stays happy and healthy.”
Most of all, Walsh reiterates that having a cat shouldn’t mean totally excluding them from the party. “The pets are part of the family and so you don’t want to hide them,” she explains, “you want to integrate them into all the festivities.”
Though that may be true, Walsh understands the fear that cats and kittens could destroy everything in sight, from Christmas trees to special occasion china. “I usually try to keep breakable ornaments towards the top of the tree,” she says, adding that finding out what works has been “trial and error.” Among her successful trials was giving Pablo his very own “little stocking” filled with “cat toys, catnip little mice and crinkly toys so they can play with.”
“With Tidy Cat we’re trying to just also encourage letting them be integrated, but keeping the place your space tidy,” she adds, noting that for her that means readjusting the kitty litter out of the guest bathroom, her usual go-to spot. “Make sure it’s in a quiet, calm place,” she advises.
Adding to the list of things to look out for, Walsh shares that many Christmas symbols like poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe, and the water under live trees can be toxic to cats. “Keep it real high or put it away,” she says.
As for what to look out for when gifting a cat parent, keep what’s toxic for cats in mind too. “I wanted to say get fake everything, but you do want to be mindful of it,” she says. Most of all, Walsh encourages giving cats some gifts too. “Catnip toys, cat scratchers and puzzle feeders can go a long way.”
As for the social aspect of the holidays, Walsh encourages all cat parents to “let them do what they need to do.” She explains, “Don’t force them to be social, but equally you don’t want to lock them away either.”
With Pablo, she doesn’t seem to worried. With 18 years under his belt, Walsh says “he’s his own man” and knows he can do whatever he wants in big events. “He’ll retreat when he wants to retreat.”
As an ending piece of advice in our chat, Walsh offered a universal suggestion: “I really love to encourage people to give to their local shelters. There’s always the furry friends in need and even taking old toys that your cat may not be interested in anymore and dropping it off at a shelter. You can drop off things like lightweight litter, food, you can volunteer, so it’s not just like if you’re writing a check. I think it’s a nice way to give back.”
Keeping all our cats safe and merry this holiday season, we love to see it!
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