Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Safety Tips for Cats: Christmas Decorations

Photo credit: Trish Hamme.

Christmas is a joyous time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Yet, like many other holidays, Christmas holds potential dangers for our furry friends.  Please read on to find out about the potential risks as well as how to best protect your kitty during this time of year.

Christmas Tree: Christmas tress pose many potential dangers for kitties  The best way to keep your kitty safe from the Christmas tree is to put the tree in a room your cat cannot access.  Alternatively, you could put your tree into a room with a door on it so that you can close the door when you're not home.  Unfortunately, these solutions are not always practical, so it's best to make your Christmas tree as safe as you can for your cat.

Real pine trees are toxic to cats, and if swallowed, pine needles can puncture a kitty's internal organs.  Fake trees are definitely safer for cats, but if you must have a real tree in your home, please ensure that the tree's water supply is sufficient so that the tree won't dry up and drop needles onto the floor.  Check for needles around your tree daily, and sweep or vacuum up any that have fallen onto the floor.  The tree's water supply will also be poisonous to your cat, so ensure that he or she cannot drink it.

Whether you have a real or fake tree, make sure the tree's base is sturdy so that the tree isn't able to be knocked over easily.  Pet Wave suggests that many tree stands are not sufficient for the weight and height of their trees.  The site suggests that you invest in a larger, sturdier stand and duct tape it to a non-carpeted floor to prevent your kitty from toppling the tree over if he or she decides to climb inside it.  If you have a carpeted floor, you can use twine to anchor your tree to a hook in your wall, but make sure the twine doesn't pose a risk to your feline in itself.  You may want to place your tree away from any furniture or shelves as well so your kitty can't jump onto your tree from them.

Ornaments: Make sure all ornaments are securely fastened to the tree, especially the ones on the bottom that your cat can easily reach.  It's best not to put any fragile ornaments on the bottom of your tree in case your kitty bats at them and knocks them off.  Your furry friend could easily cut his or her paws on broken glass ornaments that he or she batted off the tree.

Tinsel: Please avoid putting tinsel on your tree.  Tinsel is very pretty, but if your cat swallows it, it can cause intestinal blockages, which may be fatal or require expensive emergency surgery.

Angel Hair, Flocking, and Artificial Snow: Angel hair, artificial snow, and flocking are also toxic to kitties, and if they are ingested in large quantities, they can cause intestinal blockages.  It's best to try to find alternative decorations for your home.

Decorative Lights: Electrical cord chewing can lead to mouth burns, electrical shock, and electrocution for your cat.  To help protect your furry friend, spray your Christmas light cords and extension cords with a deterrent, such as Bitter Apple.  It is also important to always unplug your tree lights before leaving the house as well.

Candles: Keep lit candles out of your cat's reach so that he or she doesn't accidentally bum him or herself or knock them over, causing a fire.  Remember to blow out your candles before going to sleep or leaving the house so no accidents occur while your kitty is unsupervised.  You could also consider using flameless candles as decorations instead.

Gift Wrapping: Because ribbons can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed, I would recommend not using them on gifts in your home.  Gift bows, like the one pictured, are safer for kitties.

To keep your presents and feline completely safe, you may want to consider not putting the gifts under the tree until right before your Christmas celebration.

By utilizing these tips, you can help keep your cat safe during the holidays.


  1. Those are lots of great tips to keep our kitties nice and safe. We want to be careful. You have a wonderful Friday.

  2. Great tips! Don't want to hear about any of our friends getting hurt.

  3. This is great advice. I'm very lucky in that Truffles enjoys laying under the tree but doesn't touch anything. My childhood cat Patch, however, once ate tinsel and my mother had to monitor his litter box deposits until it came out!

  4. Thank you for sharing this important and timely advice! Our mom is uber paranoid about us getting into Christmas decorations which is why we don't have a tree up for the third year in a row! And our mom loves Christmas! Better safe than sorry, she says, with as many of us here. Be safe everyone! Purrs...

  5. My human always keeps these things in mind for the years she decorates for the holidays.

  6. guys...thiz bee a grate ree minder...thanx for postin.....R cuzin perky..... looooong ago...... got into tinsel.... :(

    heerz two a halibut herring N haddock kinda week oh end ♥

  7. Excellent tips! We can't have any bows on packages here because I'd eat them all.

  8. Timely tips! We never have tinsel on the tree and the mom rarely puts bows on presents because I always steal them off. ~Wally

  9. Most excellent post! It is always good to remind all of us of those dangers seen or unseen during the holidays.

    Happy weekend, furriends.

  10. We use those fiber-optic trees, table top, and after a bit the kitties ere find them boring, MOL!
    If meowmy puts a garland on them or plastic baubles...well, Not Me visits frequently.

    Our den is too small fur a regular tree...

  11. Great post. Very important things a pet owner has to consider at this time of year.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  12. Wonderful and timely! And even we Jewish kitties can use caution around candles at this time of year!

  13. nice tips. will do with my cat also will use this Christmas Holidays Quotes

  14. thanks for this tips. i will start following this from today :D happy birthday wishes 2018

  15. Dank für diese Tipps. Ich werde anfangen, diesem von heute an zu folgen. Geburtstagswünsche 2019