October 23, 2021

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How to Cat-Proof Your Christmas tree

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While the holidays are just around the corner, you may want to make sure your pet is ready to join in on the festivities. Naturally, cats and kittens may be curious when it comes to your holiday décor. Also, no matter the age, breed, or size of your cat they may try to get into something they shouldn’t. Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about how to cat-proof your Christmas tree and tips for a pet-friendly holiday home.

How to cat-proof your Christmas tree this season

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Naturally, no Christmas tree is completely cat-proof, but there may be some ways to help your furry friend navigate around your home this season. Nold points out some things to remember when putting up the tree.

“The only cat-proof Christmas tree is no Christmas tree. If you have a Christmas tree, make sure it’s secure to help prevent it from tipping over if your cat should decide to climb or jump on it. You should also restrict your cat’s access to the tree’s water or fallen needles as much as possible, because both may cause vomiting and diarrhea.”

Also, another great option to consider is a faux tree. For example, this may help your cat avoid ingesting fallen tree needles, tree water, or tree oil. Further, it may be helpful to solidify the base of your tree or build a barrier to help keep your best friend from scaling the tree.

Holiday Hazards to avoid

A Christmas tree is not the only holiday décor you may have to be mindful of when you have pets in your home. Also, a variety of holiday items may be hazardous to your pet’s health. Nold weighs in on other pet hazards to be mindful of when decorating your home for the holidays.

Consider the following:

Mistletoe

Cats love to climb. While your cat is exploring, they may run into some holiday decorations. If your pet ingests mistletoe, please seek the medical care of your veterinarian.

Tinsel

Your furry friend may love to play with items, including tinsel. Naturally, be mindful of where you place any holiday decorations to avoid an accident with your cat. Also, tinsel should ideally not be used in households with cats, as it can cause intestinal obstruction.

Poinsettias

Indoor plants can provide help enrichment for your furry friend. Although poinsettias may not as be as hazardous as some other household items, it’s something to keep in mind for your best friend. Consider ditching the poinsettia this year and opt for a rubber plant instead. For an additional resource on indoor plants safe for cats, read this guide here.

Ornaments

Cats and kittens love to play with items that dangle or swing which may include your ornaments. Consider hanging fragile, small, or glass ornaments towards the top of the tree. For this reason, it may be best to use only cat-friendly ornaments, like those made out of plastic or wood. Lastly, if your cat likes to chew, make sure to tuck the cords of the lights out of reach. 

Tips for a pet-friendly holiday home

Cats and kittens may want to explore their home during the holidays. Although you may try to place decorations high, no spot is too high for your furry friend. Consider creating some space just for them to roam and explore.

Furniture to jump, play, and lounge

Cat trees, ladders, and perches are a great way to help give your furry friend space and give them the chance to stretch their legs and move around. Also, a variety of pet-friendly items can help keep them busy and entertained. Further, comfy items like pet beds and blankets can help give them the chance to rest, re-charge, and de-stress in their own space.

Pet enrichment and interactive toys

A variety of toys can help provide your cat with mental, physical, and emotional stimulation. For example, items like wands, mice, indoor plants, and puzzle feeders can help keep your curious furry friend busy. Further, a catio space can also help give them a dedicated pet space to see the outdoors from the comforts of inside your home.

Keep household items out of reach

The holidays are a busy time and it may be easy to leave items lying around the house. From everything to household cleaners, candy, chocolate, string, or wrapping paper, it may not take long for your furry friend to grab something unexpected. Consider storing away food items and keep small objects off the ground and counter to prevent a trip to the veterinarian.

How to cat-proof your Christmas tree may be difficult when you have furry friends

Although you may only have holiday decorations up a few times a year, it may be beneficial to pet-proof your home year-round. By watching over your cat, keeping objects off the ground and out of reach, and checking in with your veterinarian, your furry friend may have a safe and festive holiday season!

How do you cat-proof your holiday decorations? Tell us in the comments below.

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea for your pet, read Four Essential DIY Homemade Cat Toys to Give Your Feline Friend

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