Safety tips from Petsecure about Cats and Christmas Trees.
1. Keeping your cat safe around the Christmas tree
Cats are fascinated with Christmas trees – both real and artificial. As little hunters who like high places, we are bringing the outdoors into their home. Awesome smells? Check. Something to climb? Check. Something to chew and scratch? Check. Little creatures to bat and attack? Check. The highest kitty condo ever? Check. Really, Christmas trees are the best present you can ever give your cat! Why are some cats so fascinated with Christmas trees? For one, it’s new and very large, so it needs to be explored. Second, it doesn’t matter if the tree is real or fake. Either way, it’s going to have an interesting smell that needs to be checked out. And finally, it looks like a cat perch.
If you plan to have a Christmas tree and own a cat, heed the following tips:
Anchor your tree
Cats like to climb, so secure your tree in whatever way possible so it doesn’t come crashing down when your cat jumps at it. If the tree is tall enough, use the ceiling to secure it or try using a wall for support. Don’t put your tree in an area where your cat already likes to climb. If you’re moving a kitty condo out of the way to make room for a Christmas tree, no one is being set up for success.
Cats like to bat at things with their paws and chew anything that looks interesting. Ornaments are fair game in your pet’s eyes, so avoid putting anything dangly at the bottom of the tree. Some cat owners may need to take it one step further and avoid placing any ornaments along the bottom quarter of the tree altogether. Tree decorations are made from metal, glass, wood, plastic, and various fabrics. Your cat won’t care what the material is when they’re swatting at it. Glass ornaments are fragile, and if broken could cut your cat's paws, or if ingested cause internal injuries.
Cover all cords
Cords that connect lights to the tree are tempting to play with if not placed correctly. Cords shouldn’t be noticeable. If the distance between the electrical outlet and the cord is stretched, consider using an extension cord so there is slack. This will allow it to be spread along the floor. Some cats, especially kittens, like to chew on electrical cords. Avoid severe burns and electrocution hazards by securing cords to the floor with painter’s tape or cable management kits.
Block off the water reservoir
Real trees smell great and are wonderful to have in the house during the holidays. However, a healthy tree needs to be watered. The trunk of a Christmas tree needs to be placed in a reservoir of water. It isn’t safe for your cat to drink because toxic chemicals used to keep the tree green will seep into the water. To keep your cat safe and your tree watered, cover the base to make it inaccessible. This could be a fun DIY project or something you can purchase online.