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How To Keep Your Cat Safe Around Your Christmas Tree

If you’re like many cat parents, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to put up a Christmas tree this year. Lights, ornaments, and the tree itself can pose many safety hazards for curious cats. That said, it is possible to cat-proof the tree and keep your festive feline safe.

Are Real Christmas Trees Toxic To Cats?
All popular species of Christmas trees are all generally safe for cats to spend time around, as long as your cat does not consume any of the components. Your cat may get tree sap stuck to their fur, which they will later ingest when they clean themselves. Some cats also chew on the needles. While they are not highly toxic to cats, sap and needles can irritate the lining of your cat’s stomach, leading to vomiting. Sharp needles can cause internal damage if swallowed.
What’s more, your cat may try to drink the water from the pot at the base of the tree. Christmas trees are typically treated with pesticides and fertilizers, and some people also add aspirin to the water. These ingredients can be toxic if your cat drinks ingests enough of them.

Which Christmas Trees Are Safer For Cats?
Certain species of Christmas trees are more cat-friendly than others. Fraser fir, Noble fir, and Nordmann fir trees all retain more of their needles, even by the time they dry out, and their needles are not as sharp as others.
If you’re unsure how your cat will behave around a real Christmas tree, it might be best to choose a fake plastic tree. That way, there will be no risk of your cat ingesting pine needles, sap, or tree water.
Any tree can injure your cat if it falls over. You can prevent tipping by using a heavy base, choosing a small tree, and/or anchoring the tree to a wall or ceiling with fishing line.
Also, be mindful of decorations that your cat could mistake for twinkly toys. Consider opting for shatterproof ornaments, or use sturdy hangers to keep glass balls from falling. Tree clips designed for lights are great for securing delicate ornaments.
String lights can electrocute your cat if they chew the cord. You can use bitter no-chew training spray on electrical wires and anything else that your cat might be tempted to chew. Always turn off the tree lights when your cat is unattended around the tree, or opt for battery-powered lights instead. Naturally, real candles are a no-go when it comes to curious cats.

How to Keep Your Cat Away from the Christmas Tree
Having a cat doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot have a Christmas tree. Some cats will leave it alone if they’re offered an appropriate, elevated perch. If your Christmas tree is front of a window, your cat may simply want to look outside. A tall cat tree or window perch offers a more comfy spot for your cat to bird-watch.
For some cats, though, it’s the ornaments and decorations that attract them to the tree. You can use humane deterrents to keep your cat away. Cats do not like the way aluminum foil crinkles when they step on it, so it can be a great tool for keeping them away from off-limit surfaces. You wrap the base of the tree with foil to prevent climbing.
Double-sided tape is also unpleasant to cats, as they hate the way it sticks to their paws. Cats also dislike the strong scent of citrus fruits and citronella. You can scatter orange or lemon peels, or spray essential oils on and around the tree.
Of course, a foil-wrapped Christmas tree decorated with double-sided tape and orange peels might not sound very festive. Fortunately, most cats will leave the tree alone after a few days, even when the deterrents are removed.