A cat-proof Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is a symbol of light and joy. But to some furparents, this special tree can be a source of frustration and even pose a danger to pets, specially cats.

In “7 Tips for a Cat-Proof Christmas Tree,”  Litter Robot blog  shared tips on how to make and keep a Christmas tree cat-proof.

1. Choose an artificial tree.

Real trees pose real risks.

“Needles can cause injury if chewed or swallowed; and even if they do go down smoothly, your cat may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy due to the mild toxicity of such trees,” Litter Robot blog said.

You also need a water bowl underneath a real tree to keep it fresh until the holiday season is over. The problem with this however is that your cat might drink the water.  This water is not good for your furbaby.

“More than likely, your cat will treat this water bowl as just another place for a drink. Tree water is often treated with additives such as fertilizer, aspirin, and other harmful ingredients for cats. Even if it’s not treated, the water sitting stagnant invites a breeding ground for bacteria. If you must have a real tree, make sure the water bowl is covered with a skirt or lid,” Litter Robot stressed.

 Keep kittens and cats away from the Christmas tree by putting  natural, safe repellants  like a mixture of water and lemon, and avoiding shiny  ribbons that can cause damage to organs when ingested.  
2. Cover your base(s).

Please make sure the tree’s base is sturdy.

“The base should be solid and wide. Some people choose to duct tape a piece of plywood to the bottom of their tree stand. You might even consider fixing the base or the tree itself to the wall or ceiling, depending on its height—for instance, by tying a clear fishing line from the top of the tree to a nail in the ceiling above it,” Litter Robot said.

Also, make the base of the tree unappealing by putting objects with unpleasant textures on the tree skirt, including pine cones, aluminum foil, or double-sided tape. Doing so will keep the cats away.

3. Choose the safest location for the tree.

Choose a place  for your tree that the cats do not go to or seldom hang out.

“Have a room in the house that you don’t generally allow your pets in? You may want to set up your Christmas tree there. If you don’t, then place your tree in the corner of a room that isn’t very near shelves, furniture, or other potential jumping-off points for your cat. Just in case, keep the breakable décor out of range of a potential toppling,” Litter Robot said.

4. Use repellants. 

You can put repellants in the tree.

“Certain smells tend to repel cats. Work toward a cat-proof Christmas tree by treating the base of the tree and its lower branches with DIY repellent sprays.,” Litter Robot said.

Here are  natural remedies that are safe for cats and will keep them away:

Mix water with the peels and juice from a lime, lemon, and/or orange.

Put a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper in the water.

You can also toss a few citrus peels around the base of the tree. 

5.  Choose ornaments  wisely.

The Christmas tree's shiny ornaments pose the most danger to cats. 

"You may want to leave the tree bare for the first few days, letting your cat adjust to the new addition in the home," Litter Robot said. 

Once you have added ornaments to the tree, keep these tips in mind:

Put breakable ornaments and shiny baubles higher up on the tree where your cat  can not reach them or do not put such ornaments anymore. 

Avoid putting unwrapped candy canes, cinnamon sticks, and other edible decorations, especially those with salt, dough and chocolate.

Do not use ornaments with loose metal hooks; if one of these hooks falls off and is swallowed by your cat, it can cause serious injury. 

Use ornaments made of more wood, felt, and paper ornaments. They are not appealing to cats. Keep snow globe ornaments away from cats as they often contain antifreeze.  If they break, your cat may end up with a serious medical concern.

6. No to tinsel and mistletoe.

Those shiny tinsel and ribbon draped around the tree pose a danger to your cat when swallowed. 

“How? They build up into a tangled knot, get stuck in the stomach and intestines, and result in what veterinarians call a linear foreign body. So if you ever see tinsel or another string-like object hanging out of your cat’s mouth or butt, do not pull it. Instead, get to a veterinarian as soon as possible,” Litter Robot blog warned.

“Most pet parents are familiar with the risks posed by poinsettia  (which are somewhat overblown), but many don’t realize that mistletoe is actually a more dangerous holiday plant for your cat. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), mistletoe is toxic to cats and dogs. Consuming mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and low heart rate. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of holly, as consuming it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and depression,” Litter Robot  stressed.

7. Be careful when putting Christmas lights

 “If National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation taught us anything, it’s that cats and Christmas lights can be a truly dangerous mix. In reality, if your cat chews through an electric cord he’s more apt to receive a nasty shock than get totally fried—but this is still something you want to avoid. For a cat-proof Christmas tree, place your strands of lights higher up on the tree, tape any loose wires to the floor, and unplug all lights when you’re asleep or out of the house,” Litter Robot blog said.

 It is best to buy cord protectors if you have a cat who likes chewing cords.

You can also use  cord covers, or run the wires through a cardboard tube.

This is very important: If you notice your cat  is drooling or panting, check the lights and cords to make sure that he didn’t burn his mouth by chewing through the electrical current.

“Pets might also drool from chewing on poinsettia and other toxic plants,” Litter Robot blog said.

If you follow these tips, you and your cat will definitely have a merrier, anxiety-free and worry-free holiday season.

Merry Blessings- filled Christmas!


These herbs may not offer medicinal benefits, but they bring good flavor to any natural or homemade cat meal: 

• Basil
• Cilantro/coriander
• Dill
• Rosemary
• Thyme

Source: LitterRobot blog

Topics: cat , Christmas tree
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