Christmas trees date all the way back to the Middle Ages, which means cats have been battling them since the 1400s. Something about the luscious branches, the sparkling lights, and the dangling ornaments make them truly irresistible to the felines in our lives. This cats vs. Christmas tree survival guide will help you figure out a way for your cat and your tree to live together in peace. Videos of cats toppling Christmas trees are only fun to watch on screen!

Secure Your Tree

Cats are natural climbers, and the lure of a new climbing surface might be too much for them to resist. If you don’t want your tree to fall over, be sure to anchor it to the wall, set it up in a corner, and secure it into a strong base. You might not be able to keep your cat out of your tree, but you can at least make an effort to keep the tree in one place. Try not to set up the tree next to anything breakable just in case your cat finds a way around your anchor. Be sure to place it far away from some of your cat’s known climbing spots.

Find Cat-Safe Ornaments

If you’ve ever played with a cat fishing rod or other hanging toy, you know that cats love to hit, bat, and destroy suspended objects. This means that your cat will count all your ornaments as fair game when it comes time to play. Investing in cat-safe ornaments (aka those that don’t break easily) can save you a lot of strife this holiday season. Try to hang your most fragile ornaments on the top half of the tree to make them less tempting for your cats. You should also avoid hanging tinsel.  Single strands of tinsel can be ingested and cause a linear foreign body that may require surgery.  

Cats vs. (Real) Christmas Trees

There are certain parts of a real Christmas tree that can be toxic for a cat. If your cat eats the needles or drinks the water in the stand, he could become ill. If you notice any of the following symptoms, call your vet right away:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Refusal to eat
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Drooling
  • Breathing issues

You can still have a live tree if you have a cat, you just have to take a few extra precautions. Vacuum up the fallen needles regularly. Be sure to frequently change the water in the base, and invest in a quality tree skirt that will make it hard for your cat to get to the water. If you don’t want to have to think so much about your tree, you might want to get an artificial one. 

Set Up a Cat Barrier

There are deterrent sprays you can use around your tree to dissuade your cat from getting too close. You can also use gates to set up barriers. There are also products like this one that use motion-activated technology to deter your cat from certain parts of your home. 

Choose one of these options to help you survive the ongoing cat vs. Christmas tree struggle!At Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we want to help the pet lovers in our lives care for their furry friends throughout the year. From safety tips to exceptional veterinary care, we are here to help you and your dog or cat enjoy the best things in life together. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (248) 363-1508.