Live Christmas trees mark the holiday season, bringing a festive feel to the home, but these evergreen beauties can pose a serious hazard to our feline friends. Most cats will be immediately drawn to a live tree, which you’ve clearly brought in just for them! It will have the smell of the outdoors and a trunk with bark that’s just asking to be scratched. This new “tower” offers an enticing climbing experience and once the tree is decorated, the shiny ornaments, lights and tinsel make it even more attractive.
You can picture what will happen next. The tree could topple over, decorations shattering and flying everywhere. And worse yet, kitty might start to chew through the electric light cords. Avoid this holiday fail by taking a creative approach to the traditional holiday tree.
Hang It Up!
Another way to give the look of a full-size tree is to hang a wall-mounted tree, one with lights or anything that is flat and will not encourage climbing. This could also be easy to DIY by simply attaching the lights to the wall in the shape of a tree.
Decal for the Wow!
Instead of spending your holiday season worrying about what your cat is doing to the tree, why not try a decorative wall decal that’s easy to install and remove once the holidays are over? There are lots of different styles available from traditional to modern. And no needles to vacuum!
5 Dangers of Christmas Trees
Christmas trees can be dangerous for cats? How, you ask? Let us count the ways.
- The tree can fall over when the cat climbs it.
- The cat can shock herself chewing through the electrical cords.
- Oils found in the trunk and needles of evergreen trees, especially fir trees, can be toxic. When consumed, they may upset the digestive system, causing excessive vomiting and drooling.
- Sharp pine needles can puncture your cat’s stomach or intestinal lining if swallowed.
- Live Christmas trees require water to keep them fresh throughout the holiday season. Cats may try to drink the tree water that can contain pesticides, fire retardants and preservatives as well as the oils from the tree, all of which are poisonous.
Give Kitty a Tree!
The best approach might be to simply let kitty have a Christmas tree of her own!
The designers at Square Paws invented the world’s first feline-friendly Christmas Tree, the Catmas Tree! This stylized evergreen provides cats with five levels for climbing in a tree-shaped structure that you assemble and decorate yourself. When disassembled, all the pieces nest together, making it easy to store the rest of the year.
What’s great about this design is that it provides cats with a semi-enclosed place to chill out, allowing them to peek out and see what’s going on while giving them some privacy. This can be very helpful during hectic holidays, which can be quite stressful for cats. If you’re the DIY type you can also purchase and download complete instructions for how to build your own Catmas Tree.
Instead of scratching tree bark, let kitty scratch this sturdy cardboard Christmas tree from Amazon.com.
This Christmas tree-shaped cat house from Target.com offers two levels for lounging and scratching with no decorations to worry about.
Another favorite feline-friendly holiday tree is from Karma Cat. This handmade felt cat cave in the shape of a Christmas tree gives cats a cozy getaway and comes decorated with colorful wool ball ornaments.
Make It a Table Topper!
In lieu of a full-size Christmas tree, treat your family to a stylish tabletop tree or grouping of trees that might be less likely to be disturbed by a cat.
Catify Your Ornaments!
If you do decide to go with a traditional tree or one of these alternatives, swap out those delicate glass balls, garlands, twinkling strings of lights and that shiny (and dangerous!) tinsel for festive holiday decorations that cats can actually play with. There are lots of cute holiday-themed cat toys available that would add to your festive décor and give kitty something to keep her entertained.