Once upon a time, there was a cat. Any cat, it doesn’t matter which one, they’re all the same deep down: Christmas-ruining, joy-stealing, furry maniacs. Anyway, the cat met a Christmas tree, that they loved very much… but they didn’t exactly live happily ever after.
In fact, it appeared that the cat had one goal in mind: Retrieve and destroy everything that remotely resembled Christmas.
It was a tough job, but someone had to do it! (Apparently.)
But what is it about the Christmas tree, and all the rest of those sparkling, festive decorations that turn cats into such little monsters? And what can you do – if anything – to stop it?
Why don’t we take a closer look and find out if we can tame your non-festive feline… for the 12 days of Christmas, at least?
Spoiler alert: we already have a full guide on How to Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree, so more on the Christmas tree obsession can be found there. In this love story, aka fairytale, we will cover everything else (and a bit on Christmas trees as well). Stay tuned!
- Why is My Cat Obsessed with Christmas Decorations?
- Is It So Bad to Let My Cat Play with the Christmas Tree?
- Is There Such a Thing as a Cat Proof Christmas Tree?
- How to Cat Proof a Christmas Tree and Decorations
- Kittens and Christmas
Why is My Cat Obsessed with Christmas Decorations?
First and foremost, I’d just like to assure you of one thing: It’s not just YOUR cat. Almost all cats are obsessed with Christmas trees and decorations. I’ve had five feline fur balls throughout my life, and all of them have destroyed my Christmas tree at least once.
Cats are obsessed with Christmas trees because they are natural climbers. The cat, not the tree. Obviously.
Out in the ‘wild’, those furry felines would be out climbing trees all-day and all-night, but because they’re domesticated, indoor pets now, Christmas trees give them a taste of what they love.
As well as Christmas trees, cats and kittens are obsessed with decorations because they often sparkle and reflect light, and the shiny objects move around.
Do you know what that reminds me of?
Half of the toys my cat has in her toy collection! Is it any wonder she wants to play with the festive decorations hanging around my home?!
Is It So Bad to Let My Cat Play with the Christmas Tree?
There are several reasons why real Christmas trees (and some fake ones) and cats definitely don’t mix well. Here are some of the most important:
First, those sharp, little pine needles that drop to the ground might get stuck in your feline friend’s paws. If they decide to lick or chew the tree, or the needles on the ground, they could ingest one — and this can pose all manner of issues.
The needles could puncture something in your cat’s digestive system. They might also get stuck and cause the start of a blockage, a threat that increases the more needles your kitty ingests. Infection is also a risk. That pine needle isn’t meant to be eaten by your cat!
Toxic Christmas Tree Oils
Some Christmas trees secrete an oily and toxic substance that can (and probably will) cause stomach upsets, oral irritation, and a host of other problems. It isn’t likely to cause serious health issues if your cat munches one or two of them, but the more they eat, the bigger the risk.
If you’re signed up for Petcube’s Emergency Fund, toxic ingestion is just one of the things that your precious pet will be covered for. In fact, up to 6 pets in your household will be covered by your plan, to the value of $3,000 annually — all for as little as $1 per day. With fast coverage payments and no restrictions, it might just be the winning alternative to pet insurance you’ve been looking for!
How many of the baubles on your tree are made of glass or similar materials that could cause real and rather serious injuries if a pet or family member were to stand on them?
It’s dangerous to let cats and other pets play with Christmas trees — for you, the pet owner, as much as them, the pet.
If your cat is anything like my cat, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll want to have a go at chewing through the electrical wires that power the Christmas tree lights. It’s a massive safety threat by itself and should be avoided at all costs.
If you have a cat and a Christmas tree with lights, give the cords and wires a once-over before you plug them in and turn them on. You know, just in case.
Is There Such a Thing as a Cat Proof Christmas Tree?
If you’re asking the internet this question, the answer is yes.
If you’re asking me this question, the answer is no. That’s why I have zero Christmas decorations anywhere in my house this year! The monster – I mean cat – would never allow it.
You can get trees that hang upside-down from the ceiling. I’ve seen a video on Facebook of two cats jumping from various items of furniture to climb and attack it.
You can get half Christmas trees that are mounted to the wall, but that’s no different from a real, fully formed Christmas tree to a cat.
You can even get Christmas trees that have a taller trunk that has been stripped of its branches. Cats will still climb that, though. They’ll just see it as another daily – and FUN – challenge!
I have found something rather amazing on the internet, though…
Christmas Tree Cat Beds
If they’re going to claim the tree as their own, why not get your cat(s) their very own cat bed, shaped like a Christmas tree? There are plenty of designs and styles to pick from, including tall pine tree-shaped cat beds to shorter, fluffier, fatter versions.
How to Cat Proof a Christmas Tree and Decorations
To start with, you’ll want to avoid anything that looks even remotely like a cat toy. This means no tinsel on the tree or hanging from the mantelpiece, no hanging decorations that your feline friend can bat and claw at, and absolutely no snow globes. The fluid inside is deadly-toxic to cats.
Some people suggest hanging all Christmas ornaments and decorations higher up on the tree, but others would argue that it doesn’t really make a lot of difference. Cats will still climb to get to them, especially if you’re not around. An interactive pet camera will allow you to see exactly what your furry friends are up to while you’re away… and I bet you won’t be impressed with what you see! (The internet will likely have a good laugh, though!)
If your tree has lights, make sure the wires are properly secured, and your cat can’t get access to them. If you’re out of the house, unplug the lights at the mains. You might face a fire, an electrocuted kitty, or worse, otherwise.
Gates, indoor fences and barriers, and even spray deterrents can be used to try and separate beasts from festivities, but a stubborn and determined feline is not likely to be put off by them.
As a last resort, you may wish to consider shutting your furry friend out of the Christmas room entirely. If you can’t keep them away from the Christmas tree, blocking their exit to that space is the last thing you can try.
Kittens and Christmas
Kittens are at greater risk of ingesting pine needles, consuming potentially toxic oils, and giving themselves an electric shock, especially if they are left unsupervised. They are often more inquisitive and curious than adult cats, which means they’ll get into more mischief.
It is not recommended to leave your kitten unsupervised in a room with Christmas decorations or a tree.
How to keep cats off the Christmas tree?
In short, you probably won’t be able to, unless you physically restrict their access. Have you ever tried stopping your cat from dog something they want to do? It’s quite an impossible task!
Is it bad if a cat’s eating a fake Christmas tree?
It’s not good! Although there is less of a chance of your cat ingesting toxic Christmas tree oils, there might be other potentially toxic chemicals on there, especially if it has been decorated, painted, covered with artificial snow, etc. Not only that, but the needles can also still cause damage to your cat’s internal organs.