Probably everyone who owns a cat has lamented their treatment of the Christmas tree each year at the holidays. Cats love to attack things that move and are shiny, and the Christmas tree is just full of things to bother and play with. Cats also love to climb things, and the Christmas tree just begs to be scaled.
Many cat owners give up on having a Christmas tree while their cats are young, but you might not have to join them. There are some ways that you can make the Christmas tree catproof and ensure that your cat will not get sick from eating ornaments or décor that they find on the tree. If you are ready to get back to enjoying the holiday season with a beautiful Christmas tree, you need to keep reading!
Choose the Right Location
This is probably one of the best ways to keep your tree safe from invading cats. Make sure that your tree is not in a location near something like a window ledge or a stairwell, or any place that makes for a nice jumping platform for a cat. Cats love to climb above things, and jump at them, and your Christmas tree can be located right where it is most likely to suffer this fate.
Make sure that you place your tree someplace where launching zones are not adjacent to it for the best results during the holiday season. This will not eliminate all the attacks on your tree, but it can keep your tree from being knocked over by zealous hunters prowling your home. Accessibility is a big part of why cats have so much fun attacking the Christmas tree, and you can make the process of engaging with the tree much less rewarding if you put it where access is a bit of work.
Add Some Foil
Putting foil around the base of your tree and underneath it as well can help keep cats away from the bottom of the tree. Cats hate foil, and they will likely stay far away from the tree if there is foil all around it. This is one of the easiest ways to keep them from drinking the water out of the tree stand as well, which can lead to toxicity depending upon what your tree was treated with before it was sold to you.
Use Citrus Spray
Cats do not typically like the smell of citrus, so citrus sachets or room sprays can make the Christmas tree space a no-go zone for your pets. Remember to refresh as needed and be sure that you are not using any kind of spray that contains too much grapefruit. Room sprays might also have toxic substances in them, so select your room spray deterrent carefully with the safety of your fur kids in mind.
Cut Back on Shiny and Dangly Items
While it can be tempting to hand tinsel and all kinds of shiny and dangly things from your tree, these are the things that are most likely to attract your cat’s interest. Tinsel can also cause serious health issues if it is ingested by your cats. Keeping your tree a bit more neutral is easy, and you can still have fun decorating it with items that do not sway or sparkle and make your cat want to check them out.
Avoid Flocked Trees
There is something about the contrast between the snowy whiteness of a flocked tree and the ornaments hanging on it that seems to attract cats. You will have better luck avoiding this kind of tree since your cat will be much less likely to notice the ornaments hanging on a green tree. This is also a good idea due to concern about your cat ingesting the fake snow material that will inevitably fall off your flocked tree from time to time.
Attach Lights with Care
Make sure that your tree lights are securely looped onto each branch. You do not want your cat to chew on the cords or get tangled in the lights as they are climbing and knock down the whole tree. Many house fires are started each year around Christmastime due to cats getting into the wiring that is associated with the lights on your Christmas tree. You can even forgo the string lighting and just put a light on the floor near the tree that makes it looks beautiful and noticeable.
Avoid Real Candle and Food Items on the Tree
Your cat will be very attracted to real flames from candles, and they will probably also want to eat popcorn strings. The less real food and actual lighting you have on your tree, the better off you will be. Your tree will be much less attractive to cats if there is nothing edible and nothing flickering perched on its branches.
Cat Proofing Your Christmas Tree Can be Easy
While these tips and tricks might not prevent the need to scare your cat away from the Christmas tree now and again, they will help make the Christmas tree much less intriguing. There are many things about the Christmas tree that are perfect for drawing cats in, but you can make your tree much less attractive to them than you might think.
The more diligent you are about having a practical Christmas tree, the less likely you will be to have issues with your cat knocking your tree over or playing in it. This is one of the main causes of stress for cat owners around the holidays, but these tips and tricks will make your Christmas tree much more likely to survive the season without issue. It is worth it to try these suggestions to see if your cat will leave your tree alone so that you can enjoy a Christmas season complete with a Christmas tree.
If you have any other questions about caring for your cat give Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic a call at (574) 277-6533 today!
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.