“Jingle paws, jingle paws, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to hide in a Christmas tree all day”- Whiskers
For some reason cats find Christmas trees irresistible and alluring – it must be the shiny decorations and bright lights. Whatever the case may be, our furry felines can’t seem to keep their paws (or claws) off the ornaments or branches. It’s as if decorative Christmas trees are delightful jungle gyms for cats.
It’s all fun and games, until you find yourself constantly picking up bits and pieces of tree ruffles and decorations scattered all around the house in a Hansel-and-Gretel-breadcrumbs fashion. And eventually, the entire tree collapses. Now all you can do is damage control to prevent the (little furry, and unsuspecting) kitty Grinch from stealing Christmas with his playful paws 😉.
Here’s how you can cat-proof your Christmas tree:
Tips when setting up the tree
Patience is a virtue. You might be used to hanging the ornaments as soon as you bring the tree home, but it helps to give little ol’ Whiskers a chance to lose interest with the tree first. Allow a day or three for kitty to adjust to the strange, new addition to your living room ‘furniture’.
It’s all about that base. As Tigger will most likely try to pounce and climb the tree, be sure to set it up so it won’t easily topple over. Securing it to a wall with some wire can protect it from your kitty’s curious claws.
Keep the tree away from ‘launching platforms’ (e.g., furniture) that your cat uses, to reduce the temptation and chances of an airborne pounce onto your tree. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s just whimsical Whiskers!
Wrap the tree trunk in foil. The foil together with some citrus scents will steer your kitty in a different direction far away from the festive landmark.
Tips when decorating the tree
- Reach for the top. Make sure to hang your Christmas ornaments on the top branches. This will keep it out of kitty’s mischievous paws and out of reach from tiny humans as well. Avoid hanging the boggles on the ends of branches making them easy targets for your curious feline.
- Handle lights with caution. Place lights more at the centre of the tree and hide wires away. Kit-cat might be tempted to chew on the wires, so make sure to use a cord protector on the part which plugs into the wall socket. Remember to switch the lights off when you’re not at home to eliminate the potential of it being a temptation trigger in your absence.
- Make a knot. Your cat can be injured by the little metal hooks typically used to hang ornaments, so instead, try tying the ornaments to the tree. Make a tight knot to ensure that your cat can’t remove the sparkly decorations from the tree.
- Skip the tinsel. Although your tree might look fabulous, it’s a serious safety hazard for your cat. They often can’t resist chewing on the sparkly strings, which could pose a risk of choking or swallowing. Go for other types of cat-friendly decor instead, such as paper strings, which are less tempting to kitties than tinsel.
- Avoid other holiday hazards. Don’t risk using decorations that your kitty could choke on, or fake snow (which may contain harmful chemicals). Also, stay clear of using potentially poisonous plants for decorations. Click here to find out which plants are toxic to cats.
‘IM-PAW-TENT’ TIP: Rather stick to a fake tree. Even though real ones might be magical, they can easily end up being tragical. If kitty happens to nibble on a pine needle, it could be fatal and lead to expensive vet bills.
Remember to get pet insurance before the Festive Season! It takes less than 5 minutes to quote and buy online 😉. Click here to get a quote right meow!