If you’re a cat caretaker, you know all too well that felines believe they own the house and rule over everyone in it. So, it makes perfect sense that they would treat Christmas trees like their own personal scratching posts. Unfortunately, kitties and Christmas trees don’t mix. Your cat can potentially get injured if he or she climbs the tree and it falls over, or if ornaments break and your cat steps on the shards. Follow these tips to keep your kitties safe this holiday season.
Prevent access to tree water.
Some cats seem to enjoy pine-flavored water. Unfortunately, the tree can contaminate its water with pesticides, fertilizers, and other toxic substances. Prevent your kitty from drinking it by keeping the access points covered with aluminum foil.
Keep tinsel and lights out of reach.
Cats can suffer serious tummy trouble if they eat tinsel. They may even require emergency surgery to remove the tinsel. It’s best to avoid using it entirely, as tinsel tends to get everywhere. If you must use it, only decorate the top part of the tree with it (and avoid even that if your cat is a climber). The same goes for Christmas tree lights. Keep the light strings well above the floor and inspect them regularly for signs of chewing.
Use cat-safe ornaments.
Some cats enjoy playing with ornaments. It’s best to keep all potentially breakable ornaments in the middle or top part of the tree. For your cat’s enjoyment, you can place plush or otherwise non-breakable ornaments near the bottom.
Reduce the risk of tree climbing.
If your cat is an avid climber, you can inhibit this activity by introducing an unpleasant texture around the base of the tree. Most cats generally don’t enjoy the feel of aluminum foil, so consider spreading sheets of it around the tree skirt. Another way to discourage your kitties is to place orange peels around the base of the tree or look for a commercial cat repellent in your pet store.
If your cat does get involved in an unfortunate incident with a Christmas tree this year, our veterinary team can promptly evaluate and treat any injuries. Horizon Animal Hospital treats your pets like family! Contact us in Scottsdale at (480) 800-4559.