If you have had your cat(s) for a while, you may have already found your own solutions for keeping both your tree and your cat safe from the hazards of frolic and play. New owners, however, may find out that bringing home a Christmas tree (or any plant during the year) is considered fair game for most cats.
From deciding what tree to buy to setting it up and decorating, here are some useful tips to help keep your cats and tree from hurting each other. The safest solution is an artificial tree, especially if your cat is notorious for eating what it shouldn’t. These tips are for those who opt for the real thing.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT BASE
Once that tree falls over, it is a danger for your kitty and a mess to pick up. If you can keep the tree upright, you have won most the battle. You have two options. The first is to spend a little cash on a sturdier tree stand. Popular Mechanics has a great 2018 Top Ten Tree Stands list. The list is based on multiple factors like ease of use, the amount of water it can hold, and of course, sturdiness. The best one for cats is probably the Goliath. The second option is to get a smaller tree with fuller branches at the base.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Christmas trees are not just where the presents go, it is also the focal point of your holiday décor and that means there are only a few places where it will look just right. This means you may have to look around to make sure you are not tempting your cat with nearby launch pads to jump onto the tree. A couch or table next to the tree is an invitation for cats to pounce from a perch.
HOLD YOUR HORSES (ORNAMENTS)
For some cats, if you wait a few days before you put up your ornaments, they can become bored with the tree. Give them a chance to get used to the tree and investigate it before you put up all those tempting decorations.
LOW-HANGING FRUIT (AGAIN ORNAMENTS)
A cat’s perspective is going to be below the tree. If you can keep the most tempting ornaments from the bottom, it can prevent the cats from becoming interested. The shinier the ornaments below, the more tempting the cat will be to explore all the way up the tree.
AGENT ORANGE (PEEL)
Cats naturally hate the scent of oranges, so keep orange peels under the tree to repel your cat. If it’s a plastic tree, a small amount of Citronella oil shaken into a bottle of water and misted on to the tree makes it smell unpleasant to the cat but fresh and citrus-like to you. You can apply the scent around the base.
But don’t be discouraged when decorating your home for the holidays, because there are ways to ensure a safe Christmas tree for cats. And there are plenty of decorations you can use to cheer up your home that won’t break and won’t pose pet safety hazards for your beloved feline.
Have a safe holiday season from everyone at Gresham Animal Hospital!
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.