Every year our cats wage a war on Christmas - everything that twinkles immediately becomes the most desirable cat toy. From climbing to batting at ornaments, garland destruction and toppled down trees, we've seen it all. Here are 10 practical suggestions to cat proof your Christmas tree that finally worked for us!
1. Location, Location, Location
The first step toward cat proofing your Christmas tree is picking the right location. Avoid placing the tree near armchairs, couches, shelves or end tables. All of these can and will be used as launch pads by your cat, you can bet on it. Pick a spot that is more isolated, so your cat is not able to attack ornaments by lounging on her favorite easy chair. Lack of furniture near the tree will make it harder for your cat to jump on it and bat at the ornaments.
2. Solid Foundation
We've had our Christmas tree knocked over a couple of times by a cat set on climbing up on it. If your cat is a climber (and most of them are), make sure that the base of the tree is heavy enough to outweigh your cat. If you have a fake tree, the plastic base just won't do - your cat can tip the whole thing over in a second. Try tying something heavier to the base so the tree is more stable. That way even if the cat decides to climb on it, it will stay in place and not crash along with all the ornaments.
3. Cat Proof Christmas Ornaments
When you have cats you have to compromise on certain things and Christmas ornaments is definitely at the top of the list. Glass is a no-go for obvious reasons. We also try to avoid glitter and tinsel - the cats just can't resist this stuff! However, there are plenty of cat proof Christmas ornaments to choose from. Plastic or wood work best. And for a sweet nod to your mischievous pet, you can pick these adorable wooden Christmas cat ornaments - totally adorable, unique and cat proofed!
4. Keeping The High Ground
If you do want to display breakable ornaments, place them near the top of the tree. Same goes for garlands and tinsel. Keep the bottom of the tree sparsely decorated, thus removing the temptation at your cat's eye level.
5. Provide Alternatives
Does your cat keep eating the fake Christmas tree? Is she using it as a scratching post? You can provide alternatives for these Christmas-destroying habits easily! Get a pot of cat grass so your cat is able to snack on real grass as she pleases. Place her scratching post in an easy-to-reach location and make sure it's in good shape. If her scratching post is well-loved, you can refresh it by wrapping new twine or rope around it.
6. Save The Presents For Last
Many cats love paper. Kneading paper, that is, until the Christmas presents look as if they've been through a shredder. You may be tempted to leave your beautifully wrapped presents under the tree early on. However, there will be no stopping your cat from sleeping on them and kneading them constantly. Preserve your bows and gift wrap by placing the presents under the tree on or right before Christmas Eve.
7. Bushy Trees As A Natural Obstacle
Whether you have an artificial Christmas tree or a natural one, the bushier it is the better. Our fake Christmas tree has survived 5 Christmases with two cats and it's definitely on its last leg - its branches are hanging low and the cats can now easily drag them down and jump on them. Bushier trees are like cat repellents, because they make it harder to reach ornaments and climb on.
8. Sacrifice Some Of The Ornaments
Sometimes turning a cheap ornament into a cat toy can provide hours of entertainment and keep kitty away from the tree. We found these light plastic stars that our cat loves. Every year I throw a couple at her and she immediately starts batting them, pouncing on them and hunting them under the rug. Novelty is everything when it comes to feline entertainment, so make sure you set aside a fun new Christmas toy for your cat.
9. Skip The Tree Skirt
Most cats love rugs and carpets. They like sleeping on them, stashing toys under them and pouncing on them. Cat proof your Christmas tree by skipping the tree skirt. If you use one, chances are your cat will want to sleep under the tree all the time (the purr-fect hiding spot, right) and so all the ornaments will be easy to reach and in plain sight.
10. Be Mindful Of The Surroundings
Accidents are bound to happen. After all, these are the stories that make cat ownership so much fun! It's always good to hope for the best and expect the worst when it comes to cats and Christmas trees! Make sure there are no candles near the Christmas tree. Place it further away from fireplaces and other hazardous household objects. Move breakable home decorations in a different location, away from the tree.
~Wishing you very meowy holidays! Shop Christmas gifts for cat lovers at purrsandwhiskers.com!