For some, having a Christmas tree with cats is much like having the Indy 500 enter your living space. Or maybe like giving a toddler a cupcake. Between the fresh pine scent, the sparkly lights, the climbing possibilities, and the endless shiny baubles, one might even liken the Christmas tree to a cat-version of Disneyland. However, many cat owners forego the hassle. The possibility of sheer destruction coupled with the myriad choking hazards make this annual celebration too much of a hassle. But with a few tweaks here and there, you can easily cat-ify your tree and celebrate in style. You too can celebrate Christmas.
Let’s Keep Things Upright, Shall We?
First things first, how do you keep your Christmas tree from a quick demise when your cat treats it like a climbing wall? Start by attaching a fishing line to connect the top of your tree to the ceiling. This will prevent the tree from tipping over every time your cat clambers to the top. Consider hanging a nice plant for the remainder of the year, if you’re unsure about drilling a hole in your ceiling. Set the tree far away from any potential ‘launching pads,’ like your sofa or table. Secure the base of the tree with a stable stand, and keep your tree hydrated in order to promote fewer needles dropping.
While the fresh scent of pine is tempting, before you buy your tree know that most real trees have sharp needles that are harsh on your fuzzy bub’s paws and skin. Additionally, pine needles can be mildly toxic to animals, and dangerous if ingested. Whether you choose a real or artificial tree, remember to go for a nondescript, traditional-looking tree. Glitter and sparkles attract your feline’s attention, increasing the likelihood that they will insist on investigating every aspect of your tree.
Decorate With Care
Consider keeping kitty in a separate room while decorating. If you want them to be a part of the family ritual however (totally understandable), be sure to clear away all small plastic packaging that could easily cause them harm. Instead of hanging lights on the edge of branches, hang them deeper inside of the tree, so as to avoid any entanglement of paws, chewing of wires, and other catastrophes. Take care to only use shatter-proof decorations. Shattered anything will be a serious danger hazard to your beloved’s paw pads, skin and digestive system. Alternatives to traditional decorations include catnip candy cane stockings and holiday wool felt cat toys.
If You Remember Anything This Holiday Season
While it can be tempting to decorate your home with all of the trimmings, remember that many holiday plants are very toxic for your fur baby. Be wary of adding additives to your water, as kitty will want to use this as a water bowl. One solution is to cover the water with a tree skirt. While plants are beautiful additions, they can be deadly if ingested. Keep cats away from all poinsettia, potpourri, mistletoe, artificial snow, and amaryllis, as they are all poisonous. In addition, string and ribbon can be easily ingested by kitty, and they are deathly for their digestive tract. If you decorate this season, keep kitty in mind, and overall – have fun!
Written by Claudia M.