My plan for
the Christmas tree...
is often at odds with
my cat's plan for
the Christmas Tree...
Sigh... I think you can see the problem...
I am not about to give up my Christmas Tree... and since I am (supposedly)
smarter than the cat, it falls to me to have my Christmas Tree and
make it cat-proof too.
wish I could just put up a big "STOP" sign that my cat would
respect and my problem would be solved. Alas, life with my cat is
not that simple :-).
I have developed a list of things that over the years have seemed
to work with both cats and kittens (most of the time)
tips avoid a problem... some eliminate a problem.
have your tree in a room from which you can bar the cat except when
you are there with it. A closed door is by far the best safety measure.
since this isn't always a practical solution, here are my top
tips for cat-proofing your Christmas Tree:
Pick an area where the tree can be enjoyed by the family without becoming a “climbing toy” for your cat.
Try to place the tree near an outlet so you don't have to run electrical cords long distances.
a very large base on the tree to help keep the cat from knocking
prevent your tree from falling over when an inquisitive kitty decides
to become a tree-climber, fasten the tree to a hook in the ceiling
with monofilament fishing line.
the opening to your tree stand. The chemicals added to the water
to help the tree live longer and tree resins are both toxic to
Sweep up pine needles immediately. A cat can eat one and it may cause vomiting or gastric irritation. There is even the possibility that the sharp point of a needle can pierce the throat or intestines.
a carpet of aluminum foil under the tree. Many cats hate to walk
a few empty soda cans in the lower branches of the tree. If your
cat starts to climb the tree, the sound of the cans falling to the
floor may startle the cat just enough to deter it from trying again.
hang breakable dangling ornaments on low branches. Any self-respecting
kitten or cat will think you have hung the dangling balls as
toys just for it to play with.
don't use any decorations that are small enough to swallow - especially
on those tempting lower branches.
Attach the ornaments to the branch securely using string or ribbon. Don't use hooks as these can be chewed or even swallowed, injuring the cat's mouth or throat.
not use tinsel on your tree! Every year, vets have to perform surgery
on cats who have ingested tinsel which has then become tangled in
the cat's digestive system.
love to play with twinkling Christmas lights. If you are not present,
turn the lights off or choose the non-twinkle option.
will chew on the electrical cord to the lights. Spray the cords
with "Bitter Apple" to further prevent the cat from biting
them. You can also use deodorant spray, as cat's dislike the taste
of it too.
the cords together leading from the wall plug to the tree and then
duct tape them to the floor or baseboards.
run the cords through PVC piping or the special corrugated flexible
piping available from furnishing and hardware stores
the light cord from the wall when not in use.
cats can be discouraged from climbing the tree by spraying the same
"Bitter Apple" around the base of the tree.
will also play and ingest the ribbons on presents. Wrap your gifts
without any ribbons, especially any long curly streamers.
of all wrapping as soon as possible after opening your gifts.
Check inside any empty boxes before throwing them out to make sure a curious cat or kitten has not chosen it as a terrific hiding place.
a safe and happy Christmas - and if all else fails, be philosophical
about your cat and the Christmas Tree. Be safe, not sorry.