Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! and Your Pet!

In homes all across the country, Christmas trees are going up! Whether your family opts for the natural cedar variety, or a more colorful, long living synthetic Christmas tree, to a cat a tree is a tree. Dangling ornaments, climbability, lights – how could a cat resist! So what can you do this year to deter Mr. Whiskers from challenging his acrobat abilities at your expense?

Keeping Your Cat Off The Christmas Tree

  • Citrus – Did you know cats hate the smell of citrus? Try keeping orange peels under your tree, or even hanging those festive oranges studded with cloves from the tree!
  • Placement – Try to position your tree away from furniture, shelves, or windowsills. Anything a curious kitty could use as a springboard to launch onto a tree.
  • Place Ornaments Higher – Don’t tempt your kitty with low hanging ornaments. Keep the dangly decor for the upper part of the tree, not accessible from the ground level.
  • Tabasco – Even if your cats not into climbing, they love to try and chew those lower branches! Spritz the lower half of the tree with Tabasco water. One nibble and they’ll learn it’s nothing they’re interested in! You can also try purchasing a product called Bitter Apple.

Other Pet Precautions To Take

  • Choose your decorations wisely – Tinsel, artificial snow, ribbons, and other such long stringy items can be hazardous to your pet. Avoid these all together. Also, avoid items with food like popcorn, cranberries, or chocolate!
  • Secure the Base – If a defiant pet does get on the tree, you don’t want it to fall over! Ensure that you follow the proper precautions for your specific tree style and size. It shouldn’t be wobbly!
  • Mind the cords – Make sure that Christmas tree light cords are run behind furniture, kept up, or run through PVC pipe to prevent your pet from chewing on these new wires.
  • Keep them away from the base – If you have a live tree, it will be important for it to have water. Make sure your pet does not have access to this water, it may be toxic to them!

photo credit: Daniel Dudek Elsa loves Christmas via photopin (license)

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