Do I Need To Cat-Proof My Christmas Tree?

Tree safety 101 🎄😺🔥

cat in a Christmas tree with ornaments

If you’ve ever seen “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” — like really, who hasn’t? — then you know that cats and Christmas trees don’t always mix.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t. You just have to be strategic about it.

(And maybe even invest in some shatterproof ornaments).

“If you plan to have a cat and a Christmas tree at the same time, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that ornaments may be broken, branches may be bent, and your beautiful tree may turn into a disheveled mess,” Dr. Paul Cunningham, senior emergency clinician at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Michigan, told The Dodo.

And while your cat will add a little chaotic magic to your tree, you should still make sure it’s as safe as possible.

Here’s what Dr. Cunningham suggests you do to cat-proof your tree:

Make sure the tree is secure.

According to Dr. Cunningham, the first thing you should do is ensure the tree is stable and secured in its stand to prevent tipping — especially if you have an adventurous climbing cat.


Keep live tree water basins covered. 

This will help prevent messes and make sure your cat isn’t drinking from the tree water, which can actually be toxic for cats


Secure electrical cables or plugs. 

Rather than having a mess of cables and plugs, keep them out of reach — and covered — so that they’re less prone to being chewed on or causing electrocution.


Secure your ornaments.

Use twist ties to secure ornaments to your tree rather than loose wire hangers. “Opting for plastic rather than glass ornaments is an easy way to prevent accidents,” Dr. Cunningham added.


Deter your cat from climbing the tree.

According to Dr. Cunningham, there are some options out there for you to use to help deter your cat from going on an adventure in your tree. “You can purchase items such as pronged mats, mesh screens for the underside of your tree, or even household items as simple as tinfoil sheets that will discourage your cat from climbing the tree,” Dr. Cunningham said.

“One of my own personal favorite deterrents is the SSSCAT motion sensored air canister from PetSafe,” Dr. Cunningham said. “It uses an unscented jet of air to keep pets away from any desired area in the home.”

Give your cat other places to hang out.

“If your cat doesn’t already have a cat tower/tree or hiding space in the home, your Christmas tree is more likely to become the new treehouse,” Dr. Cunningham said. “Consider introducing new enrichment items and positive reinforcements to keep kitty away from the Christmas tree.”

By following these simple steps, your cat and your Christmas tree should be able to celebrate the season in almost perfect harmony.

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