Now that the holiday season is upon us, it’s time to deck the halls, hang the stockings, and decorate the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, if you’re a cat owner, it’s also time to exercise caution, particularly when it comes to putting up the tree. Between shedding pine needles and eye-catching ornaments, Christmas trees can be cat magnets, enticing them with dangers aplenty. To avoid a trip to the animal hospital this holiday season, here’s a helpful guide to cat-proofing your Christmas tree.
Your Guide to Cat-Proofing the Christmas Tree
Safely Anchor the Tree
When you have cats around, the last thing you want is your Christmas tree toppling down and sending your kitty straight to the animal hospital. To avoid this, you’ll want to safely anchor the tree so that it stands up sturdily. Start by determining the best place to put up the tree — opt for an area that can be closed off, if possible. You’ll also want to keep it a safe distance from furniture that your cat could use to jump onto the tree. Once you’ve found its spot, place the tree in a heavyweight stand that can support its size. Find the nearest wall and secure the tree to it using fishing line and an eye bolt or a ceiling hook, if you have one.
Deter Your Cat From the Branches
One of the inherent risks of having a Christmas tree near your cats is that they’ll likely be tempted to nibble on the branches, thinking they’re food. Live pine needles can be fatal if your cats swallow them, as they’re coated in harmful preservatives and fire retardants. They can also puncture their intestines, causing internal damage or even death. To discourage this behavior, you can purchase an anti-chew substance to spray on the branches. This spray has a bitter taste that will deter your cats should they start chewing at the needles.
Be Strategic With Ornaments
Very little is as enticing to a cat as a shiny, swaying ornament. To prevent your cat from swatting at your decorations, injuring their paws, or even swallowing ornament pieces, be sure to purchase the non-breakable variety. Avoid hanging tinsel, as this can cause intestinal blockage if swallowed. Don’t hang ornaments on the lowest branches either, as these will be at eye level with your cat and too easily accessible. Instead, hang your ornaments higher up where they’ll be out of reach, and use twist ties instead of metal ornament hooks to prevent injury.
Regardless of how careful you are this holiday season, accidents sometimes happen. Fortunately, when they do, Perry Animal Hospital is here to help. Providing exceptional medical care to small pets throughout Houston County, GA, this trusted animal hospital offers everything from dog and cat vaccinations to comprehensive pet exams and pet boarding services. For your convenience, they accept CareCredit®, so you can manage your pet’s healthcare expenses with ease. To book an appointment with a veterinarian, give them a call today at (478) 224-7387 or visit their website for more information about their animal hospital.