For curious cats, your Christmas tree is full of opportunities for exploration. Twinkly lights, lush foliage, and sparkly decorations are all calling out to be examined. Unfortunately, felines may find themselves getting hurt–for instance, if delicate paw pads are cut by the shards of a broken Christmas bauble. Here’s how to cat-proof your tree and avoid a trip to the pet hospital this holiday season.
What Dangers Your Christmas Tree Poses
Norfolk, house, and Australian pines are all toxic to felines, while fir tree oils can irritate the mouth if your pet chews on the needles. Forego a real tree and opt for plastic instead. Since they don’t have a tree trunk for scratching and climbing, these are also less interesting and hazardous to cats.
Make sure your tree is well secured to a sturdy base to decrease the odds of it toppling over after a cat attack. Position it away from sofas, chairs or other furniture your little lion could use as a launching pad to pounce.
How to Decorate With Cats in Mind
The decorations on your tree are another issue. Hang breakables like glass baubles on higher branches, out of reach. Keep the cords of electric decorations, like light strings or model trains, contained so cats can’t chew on them, risking electric shocks–this is especially relevant if you’ve recently brought a curious kitten home from the pet hospital.
Finally, never use tinsel when there is a cat in the house. The material itself isn’t poisonous, but it’s highly attractive to playful pets. If swallowed, it can lead to life-threatening blockage in the digestive system, which only surgery at a pet hospital can fix. Spare your cat the pain and yourself the stress, and find other ways to decorate.
Alexandria Pike Animal Hospital of Southgate, KY, is dedicated to helping pet-owners raise happy and healthy animals that will go on to live long lives. In addition to providing the knowledge you need to care for your furry friend, they offer a comprehensive range of services from vaccinations and wellness testing, to spaying and neutering. To schedule an appointment, call the pet hospital directly at (859) 781-1800. You can find out what to expect as a new patient, as well as useful forms, via their website.