The holidays are the most festive time of the year for you and your family, until your cat decides that your carefully decorated tree is their play toy. Your feisty feline may look up at the Christmas tree and see a safe opportunity to climb high and hide in its branches; however, the safest spot for your cat is on the ground away from your tree. Additionally, there may be potentially hazardous and poisonous side effects your kitty may experience depending on what kind of tree you set up. Below we detail some steps you can practice to keep your cat out of the Christmas tree this holiday season.
Choose Your Christmas Tree Wisely
Cats are prone to nibble branches, which is dangerous due to the fact that feline stomachs aren’t adapted to digest needles or resin from pine or fir trees. Real trees also require water additives, which contains bacteria, to extend the tree’s freshness. When cats ingest many of these objects that are present in a real tree, they can pose serious health risks to your kitty’s digestive system. Instead of a real tree, consider buying a fake one that you can easily set up year after year. Additionally, if your cat ever attempts to sneak attack your fake tree, having a smaller tree reduces the likelihood of injury upon the chance that it falls over.
Set Up the Tree in Phases
Before decorating your tree with ornaments, wait a few days after setting up the tree to allow your cat to investigate it. During this phase, make sure that the tree has a solid base so that it doesn’t topple if your cat decides to pounce. When decorating the tree, here are some safety tips to practice to protect your cat’s health:
- Wrap the strand of lights around the middle of the tree so that it’s out of your cat’s reach. If you notice them regularly chewing on the electrical wires, consider taking your lights off the tree.
- Focus on only decorating the top half of the tree with ornaments. By placing ornaments high up out of your cat’s reach, they may become bored with the tree and cease to play with it.
- Tinsel is seriously hazardous to cats when ingested, so completely skip decorating your tree with tinsel!
- Since cats love to attack trees, be mindful not to place the tree near any launch zones.
Keeping Your Cat Off Your Christmas Tree
If your cat just isn’t getting the message and is regularly attacking your tree, before taking it down completely here are a few safety measures you can take as a last resort:
- Deter your cat away from the tree with unpleasant scents. Mix water, oranges, lemongrass, and citronella oil together and spray the base of your Christmas tree.
- Place roadblocks, pinecones work perfectly, around your tree so that your cat elects to stay at a safe distance.
- Wrap aluminum foil around the base of the tree. Cat’s hate the look, feel, and sound of aluminum foil, so this trick should deter their efforts adequately.
Remember to not punish your cat even if they’re still climbing and attacking your tree. Cats can be trained through praise, but not through punishment. If your cat calmly sniffs the tree and sleeps nearby, make sure to reward them with a treat for this pleasant behavior.
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