Cats And Christmas Trees- How To Prevent A Holiday DisasterReading Time: 3 minutes
It can seem like cats and Christmas trees go together like oil and water, they just simply do not mix. Well have no fear, we have some great tips on how to keep your curious feline safe this holiday season. The venerable Christmas tree, adorned with all its trimmings, poses its own set of dangers to cats, and the reverse is also true. Luckily, there are ways to help ensure that your cat and your Christmas tree are not a threat to each other. Let’s focus first on keeping your kitty at a safe distance from the tree, mainly for his own protection but also so you can enjoy your holiday without being woken by a big crash in the night.
Cats And Christmas Trees- Dangers
A Christmas tree can look like the ultimate toy to a cat, something to climb on that’s covered in shiny things to play with, break, and eat—not to mention a water bowl, toilet, and scratching post in one! Unfortunately, this dangerous situation is probably not what you had in mind when you set up your tree. Cats are notorious for breaking ornaments, knocking over trees, or getting hurt or sick around Christmas tree season.
Despite their beauty and tradition, Christmas trees pose a lot of dangers to cats. Tree water that’s treated with additives can make cats sick. These additives usually have fertilizer, aspirin, and other ingredients harmful to cats. And even if the water is not fertilized, it can accumulate bacteria that your cat shouldn’t drink. Cats can get hurt when they step on or eat broken ornaments or pine needles. Eating tinsel or chewing cords can easily kill a cat. Fake snow, mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are all toxic to cats in some degree, sometimes deadly.
Cats that find candles interesting can hurt themselves or cause a fire. So how can you enjoy your holiday tree while keeping your cat and home safe? If you take a few precautions you may be able to have it all—a Christmas tree and a healthy cat. Make sure that you secure the tree firmly in its holder. For extra stability, you can fasten the tree to the top of the wall. One way to do this is to tie one end of a cord around the tree trunk and attach the other end to a hook or picture hanger in the wall.
Cats And Christmas Trees- Decorating
In general, when decorating your Christmas tree, go for a more subdued look. Above all, don’t even think about tinsel. Tinsel, if ingested, can damage your cat’s intestines. It’s extremely dangerous, even life-threatening. And shimmering, fluttering tinsel may as well have a neon sign attached to it that says “cats—come check me out.” To your kitty, strings of silvery tinsel draped over the tree are an irresistible toy. One that could land him and you at the emergency veterinary clinic on Christmas Eve.
Keep the bottom of the tree fairly empty. Low-hanging ornaments are likely to end up on the ground. Try to stick with shatterproof ornaments, or at least restrict breakable items to the top of the tree. Don’t use sharp wire to fasten the ornaments to the branches. Instead, use twist ties; if you use green ones, they’ll be invisible.
Cats And Christmas Trees- Safety Tips
Cover the water in the tree’s base so that your cat cannot drink it. Sap from the tree, fertilizers, and any other chemicals that extend the life of the needles, are poisonous. Spray kitty repellent on the entire length of Christmas light wires. Along the floor, run all wires through plastic conduits, which you can pick up at nearly any office supply or hardware store. Turn the Christmas lights on only when at least one responsible adult is at home. Be meticulous about cleaning up needles and other things that fall from the tree. Note that all of the above precautions make the Christmas tree area safer for children and other pets, also.
Pre-cat, you may have shunned the idea of a “fake” Christmas tree. But cats alter the equation. With an artificial tree, you don’t have to worry about needles, water, or sap. Plus, you can reuse the same tree year after year and improve your ecological karma. However, note that artificial trees are not a complete fix. Your kitty may still be attracted to the needles, perhaps even more so if they are shiny and move in the breeze. There will still be decorations to worry about, and unstable artificial trees can still fall down, causing injury to your cat.
Cats And Christmas Trees- Final Thoughts
As we mentioned earlier, a Christmas tree can look like the ultimate toy to a cat. Despite their beauty and tradition, these trees pose a lot of dangers to cats. If you are looking for more information on this, please check out our Holiday Tips For Pet Owners, which also offers great advice every pet lover should read before the Christmas season. Nothing would ruin a holiday more than harming our kitty friends or causing damage your home. For a safe and happy holiday pet owners must keep their furry children in mind when planning for the season. We at CertaPet, would like to wish a happy holidays to all pet owners out there, and may your cat and Christmas tree coexist in perfect harmony.
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