For cat owners, the decision of whether or not to put up a Christmas tree can require a bit more thought. After all, cats will be cats. And, a giant indoor tree that sparkles and shines, well that’s just one giant cat toy! To many cats, a Christmas tree covered in ornaments is just something to climb, play with, eat, break, scratch, or turn into an indoor toilet, all rolled into one. It can actually turn into quite the dangerous situation under the right (or wrong) circumstances.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to keep your curious little kitty from destroying your lovely, festive symbol of cheer and keep your feline friend safe all throughout the season. So, let’s take a look at some holiday safety tips.
Christmas Tree Dangers
While Christmas trees are beautiful, they can also pose many dangers for a curious pet. For many cats, Christmas trees are an overwhelming invitation for destruction. They like to climb them, break ornaments, chew tree light wires, and even knock them over completely. But, all of this rambunctious energy could end up getting your cat hurt, sick or worse. Some of these dangers include:
- Tree Water – If you have a live tree, sometimes the water it sits in is treated with additives that when consumed can make your cat sick. Of course, even if your tree water isn’t treated, it can still accumulate bacteria that’s also harmful, so make sure kitty doesn’t think this is just another drinking bowl. If you must have a live tree sitting in water, cover the water stand with a tree skirt so your cat can’t get to it.
- Ornaments – Avoid putting ornaments on low-hanging branches. Work them more inward, and limit the use of glass or easily breakable ones. And, for all of those precious heirloom ornaments, keep them safe and secured near the top of your tree.
- Sharp Objects – Make sure your kitty doesn’t hurt themselves stepping on broken ornaments or dried up pine needles.
- Tinsel – If you have a pet, it’s best to avoid the tinsel altogether, as it can wreak havoc on their digestive systems if consumed and even be deadly! To your pet, it’s just any other string to play with, but in reality, it’s an emergency visit to your vet.
- Candles – Lots of cats are naturally drawn to the dancing light of candles, so keep them safe and far out of reach! A cat can easily knock a candle over, hurt themselves or even start a fire.
- Toxins – As you decorate, watch out for surprising toxins that come from things like mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and even fake snow. These are all no-no’s that cats (and dogs) may be tempted to play with or bite into, but they can also be deadly.
- Shock – Be sure to protect you cat from electric shock as well. Electrical cords should be kept safely covered with plastic or other appropriate tubes so that they can’t chew through them. Remember, a tree light cord looks a lot like a stringy toy to your cat!
If you’re going to put up a Christmas tree to celebrate the season, keep these tips and precautions in mind so that you and all of your loved ones, four-legged included, can enjoy a safe, happy and healthy holiday together.