Keep the cat away from the Christmas tree

Cats and Christmas trees are a match made in heaven. Curious cats can’t help but be enticed by the shiny tinsel and glittering ornaments. Not to mention Christmas trees make a perfectly good scratching or climbing post!

But unfortunately for our feline friends, Christmas trees really shouldn’t be messed with. They are full of hazards that need to be managed so your cat isn’t tempted to get their claws in where they shouldn’t!

Are real or fake Christmas trees safer for cats?

Both real and fake Christmas trees can be dangerous for cats. Christmas trees have pine needles which can do some serious damage if ingested and will certainly require an emergency trip to the vet. If we had to choose which is better, our advice would be to have a real Christmas tree rather than a plastic one, as the pine needles will likely be softer and may break down in your cat’s digestive tract if eaten. 

If you have a real tree, make sure the water at the base is inaccessible to her.

If you have a fake tree with lights, or lights plugged into your real tree, be sure to unplug electrical cords when you can’t be there to supervise them and check the cords regularly to make sure they haven’t chewed them.

How to stop your cat eating the Christmas tree

Cats are clever creatures, so they won’t be easily convinced that the Christmas tree isn’t worth exploring. Get crafty in making the tree as unappealing as possible. Our best tips include:

  • Remove the base branches and immediately remove any fallen pine needles.
  • Spray the tree with a citrus scent or place a few pieces of orange or lemon rind around the tree. Cats don’t like the smell of citrus!
  • Wrap the base trunk of the tree in crinkly layers of aluminium foil. Use double sided sticky tape anywhere they’re likely to use to climb or jump to get to the tree.
  • Try putting pine cones around the base of the tree. Some cats don’t like walking on this uneven, prickly surface.
  • Use baby gates around the tree to prevent them from accessing the tree. Tie some fairy lights around them if you want them to be more festive!

How to keep your cat from destroying the Christmas tree and decorations

Cats love to play, and Christmas trees give them plenty of ways to play! Here are few tips to keep your cat away from the tree and its decorations:

  • Distract them! Increase their enrichment and set up areas in other rooms with enticing things for them to do. You can shop cat enrichment ideas on our online shop.
  • Place ornaments and tinsel higher up on the branches – don’t decorate the bottom third of the tree.
  • Keep all their food, water and bedding in another room.

By following all these tips, hopefully your cat and your Christmas tree can live in harmony! If you really can’t keep her away, maybe consider increasing the amount of other glittery, fun toys they have  to play with!

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