Choose your tree with care – real trees can be more dangerous than artificial trees because pine needles, when chewed, can cause stomach upsets and cuts to paws and mouths. If you want a real tree, choose a small one, and a variety with low needle drop. Make sure that the base is solid, and cover the water in the tray to prevent your cat from drinking it. An artificial tree with inbuilt LED lights, soft greenery and a sturdy base is safer, as it will cause less damage to your cat and room if your tree takes a tumble.
Pick the purrfect place – Critically assess the location for your tree. Avoid areas with shelves, couches and furniture nearby - anything your cat can use as a launchpad to divebomb the tree. Placing it in the corner of the room can reduce your cat’s access and provide stability if the tree is rocked. Ideally, the room can be close off when you’re asleep or out.
Safe decorating tips – Leave the tree bare a few days before decorating, to let cats adjust to the new arrival. Avoid decorating the bottom of the tree. Place tinsel in the middle of the tree and tuck in the ends towards the trunk, and shinier ornaments at the top, out of harm’s way. Avoid glass ornaments in favour of ones that can’t shatter. Tuck all fairy light cables behind the tree, and if necessary tape the wires to the floor with electrical tape.
Making your tree safe for all the members of your family, including the furry ones, will make the holiday season a lot more enjoyable. Keep your tree upright and your cat out of it, and have a very Meowy Christmas!