Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree
After all the time and effort dedicated to decorating a beautiful Christmas tree, the last thing you want is for it to topple over thanks to your feline friend! Or even worse, have your beloved companion get injured or sick because they ate or touched something on the tree that they shouldn’t have. As with any other decoration you incorporate into your home for the holidays, it’s important to do your research before putting up a Christmas tree to ensure your furry friend remains happy and healthy!
Find the Right Tree
First things first, if you’re a pet parent to a feline fur baby, it’s important to select the most appropriate type of tree to keep them safe. While many people enjoy visiting the tree farm and cutting down their own Christmas tree each year, an artificial tree is often the safer option for a cat-friendly household. Not only can pine needles cause irritation or a blockage if ingested by your cat, but they could also hurt them if they try to jump on the tree or swat at an ornament!
Consider purchasing a tree that’s on the smaller side, as the taller a tree is the more chance it has of falling over if hit by your cat! Regardless of the size of tree that you purchase, it's a good idea to secure it to the wall or ceiling and use a base that is sturdy and wide.
Hold off on Decorating
Once you have selected and put up your Christmas tree, consider holding off on decorating it for a few days. This will give your cat an opportunity to investigate and get used to the tree before you put any ornaments on it, helping to keep them (and your decorations!) safe.
Choose Safe Decorations
Many of our feline friends will be tempted to swat at ornaments hanging on the tree, especially if they are shiny or sparkly! Avoid any glass or delicate ornaments and consider purchasing shatterproof ones for your tree. This way even if your cat does knock them off, there’s less of a chance that they’ll shatter and leave sharp pieces on the floor. Tinsel should also be avoided, as cats will often try to eat it and it can be harmful to them if ingested.
When hanging the ornaments, it’s a good idea to either twist the hook securely around or tie the ornament to the branch, so that your cat doesn’t have the chance to cut themselves on the wire. Try to hang as many ornaments as you can near the top of the tree, as your cat should have a harder time reaching these than if they were hung at the bottom! This also applies if you’re planning on incorporating lights into your tree, as there is less of a chance your cat will chew through them if they’re at the top. Be sure to also unplug the lights when you’re sleeping or out of the house!
Find a Deterrent
Luckily, there are ways you can make your Christmas tree less appealing to your cat, such as a deterrent spray. The PetSafe SSSCAT automatic spray system features a harmless, odourless, and stainless motion activated spray designed to keep pets out of unwanted areas. Think carefully about where you set up your tree in your home, as placing it near mantles, shelves or other climbable furniture can make it even more tempting for your cat to jump on it!