While videos on YouTube can be hilarious, your cat’s fascination with a Christmas tree may not end well. There’s more than breaking ornaments or knocking over trees, the real dangers to your cat’s health are less well-known. Here’s how to cat-proof your holiday tree.
Discourage curious cats with these strategies
- Skip the tinsel: Since tinsel can severely damage a cat’s digestive system, avoid using it.
- Use unpleasant textures: Discourage your cat from getting under the tree with textures they hate the feeling of walking on, such as aluminum foil, pine cones, sticky surfaces like double sided tape, or non-slip rugs with the bumps up.
- It’s not a water bowl: Christmas tree water may be treated with additives such as fertilizer and aspirin. It can also accumulate bacteria that your cat shouldn’t drink. If your tree is sitting in water, cover the water with a tree skirt.
- Protect from shock: Cats may chew on electrical cords. Keep cords covered with plastic or cardboard tubes, and unplug cords when not in use.
- Hang ’em high: Avoid hanging ornaments at your cat’s eye level and within reach, low on the tree. Keep your prized ornaments near the top and well secured.
- No dangerous holiday plants: Skip the holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias since these are poisonous to cats.
Enjoy your holiday tree while keeping your cat and home safe
- Deploy discipline: Keep a spray bottle handy to deter your cat when it gets too close to the tree.
- Use holiday distractions: Have a special toy or cat-condo that only comes out at holidays. With enough distractions, your cat won’t be interested in the tree.
- Spray safe repellent smells: Apply Vicks, citronella or bitter apple spray to an object (like pine cones or cotton balls). Orange peels or citrus potpourri around the base also work.
- Just get an artificial tree: The ultimate solution if your cat continues to eat fallen needles.
- Keep the tree upright: Buy a strong base or tie the tree to the ceiling or wall with eye-bolts and fishing line to keep it secure.