How To Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree (Or At Least Try To): The festive season is here with all its glory, warmth, and love. While there are many things unique to Christmas, nothing says Christmas cheer better than a decorated Christmas tree. Decorative ornaments, candy canes, and glittering lights complete the look of a Christmas tree.
While it catches the attention of your visitors, there is someone else in your house who feels attracted to this Christmas emblem. Need a hint? It’s got four legs, whiskers, and a heck of an attitude. That’s right – your cat!
The neatly wrapped gifts and the glitzy lights lure your feline into swatting ornaments, chewing ribbons, and climbing the Christmas tree. Such expeditions mostly end in a tipped over tree and an injured cat. As a cat parent, that’s the last thing you’d want to happen.
IN A CAT’S EYE, ALL THINGS BELONG TO CATS!
What Entices Cats to Christmas Trees?
Cat-proofing your Christmas tree is only possible when you know what cats love about this festive decoration. Cats are not only creatures of habit, but they are also territorial. So, when they come across anything new, it becomes the center of cats’ attention and curiosity.
Cats are inquisitive by nature and love to explore new things. Tall Christmas trees provide climbing opportunities, scratching, and hiding places. These three reasons are strong enough to entice our feline friends.
Long before peacefully co-existing with humans, cats used to climb trees to watch over their territory and seek out their next meal. High places, such as trees, make them feel safe, secure, and in control. Cats are predators and prey both, and they enjoy the control.
Cat-Proofing is IMPORTANT!
Besides the safety concerns, it is important to keep your four-leggy away from the Christmas tree because of the risk of marking. It is a behavioral condition in which a cat communicates in different forms, including scratching, urine spraying, or even depositing feces.
Marking a Christmas tree helps a cat to establish a territory. The urge to mark an object develops when a cat feels insecure, stressed, or discover unfamiliar scents. Continued marking is a warning call to visit a veterinarian.
Tips to Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree
While changing your cat’s instincts is difficult, you can ensure the safety of your feline and your Christmas tree following some simple tips.
· Tie Your Tree
Unlike a wild tree, a Christmas tree does not have a firm ground. This makes it easier for cats to climb and knock down a Christmas tree. To prevent your tree from toppling, make sure to anchor it firmly to the wall or ceiling.
A heavy or sturdy base also prevents the tree from knocking down. You may place small eye bolts in the ceiling around your Christmas tree. Fasten it with an invisible fox, such as a fishing line for safety.
· Ornaments –the Prime Candidate for Swatting
While the dangling ornaments enhance the décor of your Christmas tree, they are hazardous for your feline. Kitties find tinsels and other home-made ornaments playthings. The decorative ornaments become their prime candidates for swatting and chewing.
If ingested, the ornaments may block the intestinal tract of your cat and may even cause poisoning. Make sure to keep the ornaments, both made of glass and plastic, out of your paw’s reach.
· Keep the Alluring Lights at Bay
Electrical lights glowing on a Christmas tree are alluring for cats. The crazy critters see the electrical cords connected to lights as chew-toy and may even try to chew one. Make sure to cover the electrical cords as they are hazardous for your kitty and even children.
The wires can electrocute the cats or may even cause burn injuries. The punctured batteries also pose a threat and can burn your pet’s mouth and esophagus.
· Don’t Let Your Cat Sip Tree Water
Celebrations for Christmas last for days. Many people add chemicals in the water bowl of a live Christmas tree to keep it fresh and green. However, these additives are toxic to pets. Your furry friend may fall sick drinking this water.
Make sure to cover the base with a tin foil or tree skirt to prevent your feline from drinking the water. You may even opt for an artificial tree that does not need watering. However, if you want to decorate your house with a live tree, using fresh, clean water every day is a good option.
· Your Food is Not Good for Your Cat
Cats use their chewing and tasting instincts to explore their surroundings. From gifts to ribbons, ornaments, and tinsels, nothing is out of a cat’s reach. Your feline loves to chew and check out everything. However, these decorative items block and perforate a cat’s intestinal tract.
Chocolates and candies wrapped in gifts are also harmful to your kitty. Cats have a strong sense of smell, and they can hunt food even if it’s wrapped in sheets. Avoid keeping food items under the tree.
· Limit Your Cat’s Access
One of the best ways to cat-proof your Christmas tree is to limit your feline’s access to the tree. You may use a barrier or natural remedies to keep your cat away from the tree. For instance, many cats have an aversion to certain textures, such as foil. You may use it as a barrier.
Also, you may use a repellant spray to separate your cat from the tree. Make sure to consult a veterinarian before using any sprays. Some of the odors that cats find unpleasant include bitter apple, citrus, menthol, and citronella.
· Provide them some Personal Space
The glitz and hubbubs of Christmas can overwhelm your cat. Also, they may feel anxious in the presence of so many visitors. During the festive season, make sure that your cat’s normal routine does not get disturbed. Feed them at their scheduled time and play with them.
Also, provide a personal room or space to your cat to retreat. It will make your cat feel relaxed and secured. Eventually, it will help to keep your pet stay calm and at ease. Hence, your feline may not feel the need to scratch, swat, or climb the Christmas tree.
Safety should be your first concern when decorating your house for Christmas. Some preventive measures can save you and your cat from a disastrous cat-Christmas tree mishap. We wish you and your feline a happy and safe Christmas.
How To Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree (Or At Least Try To) was first posted on ProjectPAWS.org on 11/8/2019/