Ways to protect your Christmas tree from your cat
Christmas trees and cats tend to have a tumultuous relationship. Christmas trees provide a great hiding place for cats looking to observe their surroundings from an exciting new perspective and are covered in “cat toys” for them to play with. This can be a struggle for cat parents, so here are some tips to protect your Christmas tree from your cat, and to protect your cat from any injuries that could come from playing with your tree!
If you want to completely avoid potential trouble, the best course of action is to put up your Christmas tree in a room where the cat can’t access it. You could also cordon off the room where the tree is to prevent your cat from gaining access. If this isn’t possible, try to make sure the cat is supervised when around the tree to make sure your cat stays out of trouble.
Some Christmas tree tips to keep in mind with your cats:
- Tinsel, fake snow, and wires can be hazardous to cats, if eaten. Pine needles should also not be consumed by cats. Consider buying an artificial tree to avoid these hazards with your cat.
- When placing lights on your tree, try placing them towards the middle of the tree. This will make them look less tempting for your cat to bite. You can also use a cord protector at the end of the wire where it plugs into the wall.
- When decorating, try to do it in stages to help prevent your cat from becoming overwhelmed or over-excited. Putting up the tree on its own for a few days will allow your cat to investigate and, hopefully, get bored with the tree before you add any lights or ornaments.
- Place tinfoil around the base of the tree, under the tree skirt. This can cause an off-putting sound for your cat and may reduce temptation to hide under, or to climb your tree.
- Bitter lemon citrus spray is also a tool you can use to spray on your Christmas tree and deter any biting or chewing on the branches.
- When it’s time to put ornaments on your tree, make sure to use tie ornaments rather than metal hooks, which can cause injury to your cat.
- Try to put bigger, non-breakable ornaments on the bottom of the tree and use ornaments that aren’t flashy, such as wooden, felt or paper. These will hopefully be a less attractive “toy,” should your cat manage to get one off a branch.
Even during the busy holiday season, remember to continue to provide your cat with enrichment and playtime. While enjoying time with you, you can redirect their attention away from the Christmas tree.
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