Flashing lights, ornaments dangling on strings, and a natural climbing structure just arrived in your living room. And your cat seems…interested. Rightly so.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
A few simple steps can help keep your cat out of the Christmas tree and away from the ornaments. He’ll be less stressed, and you’ll sleep through the night.
Step 1: Make the tree less interesting
We would never tell you not to go full out on your holiday decorating. But it can’t hurt to wait a moment before stringing the lights.
Bring the tree inside and set it in its place in your home (see step 2), making sure it’s super sturdy and possibly even fastened to a secure hold. Then let it be for a few days. Let your cat explore it, check it out, rub against it, and find out that it’s not that exciting of a tree, despite it being outside, inside (which is truly thrilling to indoor cats).
Without the novelty, the tree is less tempting. So give your cat and the tree some space to get to know each other. Then set about filling the branches with clothespin reindeers and paper snowmen.
Step 2: Perfect the placement
The perfect placement for your tree totally depends on your home. But it’s not next to that knick-knack shelf your cat always climbs on. Not adjacent to the windowsill. And not in your cat’s designated alone space. Why create even more temptation with easy access?
Step 3: Relocate your cat’s holiday hangout
Even with the help of the getting-acquainted phase and your strategic tree placement, your cat might still want to climb, nibble on and otherwise terrorize your holiday decoration centerpiece. Before you shout, “Do I have to separate you two?” for a third time, just do it.
Create a space for your cat away from the chaos of the living room (or whichever room you choose for your tree).
Set it up with all of his necessities, like the litter box, food source and climbing toys. Then be sure you can close the room off when you’re out of the house without causing him too much stress.
Even though we’re talking about it last, safety is always first when it comes to the pets in our family. Christmas trees can provide some hazards for cats.
Things to avoid:
• Open water dish under the tree (Cover to prevent drinking.)
• Tinsel and shiny garland
• Ribbon and bow-wrapped gifts under the tree
• Allowing needle and cord nibbling (Both are dangerous. Consider kitty repellent.)
• Low-hanging ornaments
• Exposed cords
Comfort is also a big part of managing your cat’s stressors during the holiday season. Try to stick to your cuddling and playing routine through the season.
If your pets demand a bit extra to help them cope with all the bustle, consider Calming chews for early gifting.
While you’re waiting for your holiday break to hurry up and get here already, check out these excellent photos of guilty cats discovered in their owners’ Christmas trees.