Like many people, I adore Christmas and everything connected with that particular holiday. I enjoy the cookies that my granny bakes, I look forward to every Christmas present, and I even organize a unique party every year. Sounds perfect? Well, you would be right… until I tell you that we live with three cats and a dog.
If you have a pet in the house, especially a cat, it will be clear to you that this small fact can change the experience of Christmas entirely. All of a sudden, the holiday is not just yours. Instead, you need to modify everything in your home – especially the tree and ornaments – to the needs and demands of these sweet monsters. Let’s see how to best pet-proof the holiday – particularly how you can help your cat to behave around Christmas decorations.
How to Share Christmas with Your Beloved Cat?
My sweet furry friends love Christmas as much as I do. Unfortunately, their love generally involves destruction. While Clementine climbs the Christmas tree, Josephine chews the cute and colourful boxes I use to pack holiday gifts.
As for Sofio, he removes red bells from the tree and then runs with Malena all over the house, enjoying a loud ringing. Does that sound familiar to you?
If you’re hesitant to stick your Christmas tree in a cage, you should find a way to keep it safe while celebrating and enjoying the holiday. The crucial thing is to let your cat spend lovely days without annoying you. Let’s see if it is possible.
I hate artificial trees. To feel the right spirit of Christmas, I need that fresh smell of fir needles in the house. Therefore, I have found a weird solution to keep my tree safe from my beauties, which conveniently works perfectly. My husband cuts off the lowest branches of our tree. That way, we have more space for presents, and our cats cannot tear down a tree so quickly.
However, if your cat likes chewing needles, you should pick out the artificial tree since they are mildly toxic to pets. Plus, sharp needles may scratch the skin of your kitten.
The tree left to the mercy of your cat must be no taller than 5 feet (1.5 m). Even though you prefer higher ones, you should come to terms with reality. You have more chances to keep the tree upright if it is not too tall. In other words, you have to adapt your wishes to the requirements of your cat.
Christmas lights and ornament
Sparkling or edible ornaments dangling from the Christmas tree will be a real challenge for your cat to resist. You should also avoid glass and delicate baubles whenever possible.
This way you will not be under stress during the holiday, and your kitty will not hurt itself if it were to break some of them.
… Thinking better of it, maybe the best choice is for ornaments made of wood, bones, or concrete!
OK, sorry. I will be serious now! It is a better and safer option to make decorations of paper, strips, and twig than from easily breakable materials. With bronze bells, silk ornaments, and Christmas wreaths, your house will look adorable without unforeseen accidents.
As for light cables, there truly is only one solution… Hide them among branches as high up as possible! Otherwise, you run the risk of chewed wires, cut cables, and broken lights.
Oh and one more thing! Never use gumdrops, candy canes, chocolate coins, or popcorn as ornaments. Otherwise, you’re just asking for your cat to begin nibbling them, inedible bit and wrapping included! This can be highly dangerous and unhealthy for your furry friend.
You should forget about the candles if you have a cat. If you cannot imagine the holiday without them, you should purchase artificial or flameless candles to avoid the potentially small problem of a burned down house during the holiday. I am sorry, but that’s the way it is.
I don’t know about your preferences, but I like having some fragrant flowers in the house during Christmas. However, I take care to avoid plants that may be potentially dangerous for my pets.
The best options for beautifying your home are red roses, Christmas cacti, and white orchids as my cats love to consume flowers. They are entirely safe for your furry friends and cheerful enough to make your holiday special.
At the same time, you should avoid potentially fatal lilies, mistletoe, and daffodils. Also, keep in mind that Holly Berries, poinsettia, and ivy may cause problems to your cat once ingested.
How to Protect Decorations from Your Cat
Bells – Put a little bell around the neck of your cat to keep a track of her movement. Even better, you can hang a few of them on the Christmas tree. Once you hear the bells ringing, you know that it is time to check your tree.
Paper garland – It is an excellent idea to give up on potentially harmful tinsel. Instead, decorate your house with paper garland, which shouldn’t obstruct the tummy of your cat if ingested.
Wire – To keep ornaments hanging on the tree, secure them to branches with pieces of wire. This is a much better option than taking care of broken balls.
Pinecones – Take a few pinecones and spray them with apple cider vinegar. When you place them under the Christmas tree, this should help ensure that your cat will avoid touching it. Cats hate the scent of apple cider vinegar.
Orange peels – In general, cats do not like a strong smell of orange peels. If you like that fragrance as I do, peel an orange or two and put the peels around the tree! This is an excellent and aromatic way to save your ornaments!
Cat-proofing spray – If you prefer having an artificial Christmas tree in your house, there is an easy way to keep your cat away from it. Spray the tree with a mix of citronella and water or use cat deterrent to keep it safe.
If you do not want to hang your Christmas tree from the ceiling or out on a terrace, you should find the best way to enjoy it together with your cat.
You can try to get your cat interested in decoy bells and ribbons which you can scatter all over the house. I am not sure that anything can really convince it to give up playing with the beautifully decorated Christmas tree, however, it is up to us to do our best, right?
Emily is an animal lover and a content writer at catcaveco.com. She has a passion for writing about pet care & health. Through her writing, she is spreading awareness on how people can live better happier lives with their pets. Till now she has adopted 3 stray cats & always encourages people to adopt animals from shelter homes.