Many young cats and kittens (and even some older felines) love to climb trees and are naturally intrigued by anything new, bright and sparkly – so they’re probably going to be attracted to a Christmas tree covered in sparkly decorations in the corner of your living room. However, aside from the obvious issue of your tree and decorations ending up on the floor, it can pose health hazards for your pet, which are important to be aware of and consider.
Christmas trees themselves, whether real or artificial, can be a hazard if your cat has a tendency to climb things they shouldn’t. The oils produced by some real Christmas trees are also mildly toxic if consumed, causing minor irritation to a pet’s mouth and stomach. Also, be wary of using any fertilizers or plant food on your tree if it’s potted, as many are toxic to cats and can seep into watering trays. Don’t forget that containers with soil might also get used as litter trays! Additionally, there is a very small risk that sharp pine needles can cause internal damage if swallowed, or can get into eyes or ears – but cases are extremely rare. If you are concerned about this, and want to have a real Christmas tree, you could consider purchasing one of the non-drop variety.
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare your home for Christmas…
- Tinsel and decorations can be dangerous if swallowed.
- Curious cats trying to climb Christmas trees are at risk of injury.
- Snow globes can be extremely dangerous as they can contain antifreeze.
- Poinsettia and berries are among the festive plants, which pose a risk.
- Some foods and alcohol are also poisonous to our feline friends.
- Christmas trees and decorations hazardous to cats.
- Secure your decorations to the tree as tightly as possible so that they are not easily knocked off with a cheeky tap of the paw.
- Invest in a good quality, heavy base that will prevent your Christmas tree from toppling over, or place weights to secure it at the bottom.
- Consider tethering your tree to the wall or ceiling.
- Hang decorations higher up the tree, out of the reach of playful paws
- Do not place any presents for your cat containing catnip under the tree – it will only entice them in.
- Set up a play area with some new, interesting items close to the tree to detract their attention.
- If your cat is of a playful, mischievous nature then it is a good idea to consider shutting them out of the room in which the Christmas tree is in altogether when you are not around.