Please don’t do this (Picture: Getty)

Christmas can be a stressful time for cats, especially if they are particularly nervous.

They can easily become unsettled if they go from being in a usually quiet environment to having lots of unfamiliar people around. A house with so many unusual smells and sounds can be upsetting for them and some cats may even become disorientated by moving furniture and excessive cleaning that happens around Christmas time.

Sometimes cats won’t show they are stressed – but other times they may do so by embarking upon unusual behaviours, such as over-grooming or peeing on carpets.

If this happens, it’s important to take your cat to the vet to check there are no underlying issues, but also so that you can get information on how to soothe them, such as buying a diffuser for the rooms they most commonly use to calm them down.

Other things you can do include offering your kitties a hiding place somewhere quiet, giving them an additional litter tray and allowing them to spend time in a special quiet room just for them.

And you know what else you should avoid this Christmas, that will no doubt stress your cat out? Dressing them up.

Costumes restrict cats’ natural movements (Picture: Getty)

Yes, they look cute. Yes, Christmas outfits for cats are fun to buy. Yes, they get tonnes of likes on Instagram. But it’s just not worth heightening your feline’s anxiety levels.

Cats Protection strongly advises against dressing your cats up in any form of clothing or accessories, whether that means putting them in a fancy dress outfit, a Santa hat or just popping some antlers on their heads.

This is because accessories can be super stressful for your cats and they can restrict your cat’s movement, making them less able to express their normal cat behaviour, such as grooming or stretching.

As well as this, fancy dress outfits can be risky for your pet, as they can easily get caught and result in injury to your cat.

Tinsel, ribbon or gift ribbon are all potential hazards and should be avoided – and on top of this, they are all easily ingestible and could cause harm if swallowed or if caught around your cat’s neck and limbs.

He doesn’t look happy, does he? (Picture: Getty)

You shouldn’t dress your cat in any clothing without your vet’s say so.

The only clothing you should be placing on your cat should be medically approved – such as buying T-shirts from your vets, which they may have recommended your cat wear to stop them licking a wound so that it can heal.

But these sorts of clothing have been specially made for cats, and therefore will not be dangerous for them.

It’s really not worth stressing your cat out and ruining their Christmas for the sake of a few Instagram photos.

Remember that the festive period is already stressful enough for them as it is, and they deserve to have as anxiety-free a time as possible.

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