As a cat owner this festive season you may be asking “are Christmas trees poisonous to cats?” In this post you’ll discover everything you need to know about festive trees and potential dangers to cats.
Plus, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best real trees and keeping your kitty safe. Also, festive plants that are poisonous to cats, and much more.
Christmas is always a fun and exciting time, but if you’re a cat owner you may already know some of the pitfalls!
Enticing aromas from the kitchen are guaranteed to make your cat curious. Winding around your legs or jumping on counter tops are common pastimes!
In addition, these fun activities can wreak havoc when you’re cooking Christmas dinner! Keeping your cat distracted though can prove challenging.
Then of course, there’s the tree! What type is safest for your cat and less likely to cause disasters. Plus, are real Christmas trees poisonous to cats?
Are Christmas Trees Poisonous?
Christmas trees aren’t toxic to cats but pine needles could cause internal damage if ingested. While your cat is unlikely to eat them, pine needles can get stuck in paws.
Cats are fastidious at keeping clean, and will try and pull any embedded needle from a paw. Unfortunately, this could also mean swallowing a few.
Sadly, once Christmas trees are placed in warm centrally heated homes it’s not long before needles start to drop. In addition, your curious kitty may decide to launch herself at the tree!
Another thing to consider is cut trees are usually placed in water to keep fresh. While this is good, fire retardants and preservatives may also be added.
You’d need to place a cover over the container so your cat won’t be tempted to drink the water. It always amazes me why cats drink water from anywhere else in preference to their own water bowl!
Best Real Trees
If you love the smell of a real tree then you may want to consider a Nordmann fir or Blue spruce. Both varieties are considered non-drop, though don’t expect them to last forever!
The Norway Spruce is a popular choice here in the UK due to it’s long lasting needles. As a cat or dog owner this is another variety to think about.
Size can be another thing to consider if you’re a cat owner. This is because a six foot Christmas tree provides a huge temptation.
Cats are great explorers and very curious. The sight of a large tree with tempting branches to climb into is pure joy to a cat!
Not to mention shiny baubles and tinsel! If you want to avoid a toppling Christmas tree or broken ornaments either consider a smaller tree or create a fence.
You can actually get picket fences especially for indoor Christmas trees. These are an excellent idea for keeping pets away from the tree.
On the other hand, you can also get some lovely miniature Christmas trees. You can even get them ready decorated.
In addition, miniature trees are replantable so you’re not wasting a tree. In addition, as they’re very small they can be placed on a table or shelf.
This makes it far less tempting for a curious kitty! You could even buy several and create a wonderful festive ambiance.
Festive Plants hazardous To Cats
Christmas trees aren’t the only hazardous objects to cats as many festive plants are toxic to felines.
Their bright, beautiful foliage may look attractive, but could harm your cat. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have them, but just be mindful.
Mistletoe and holly are the two most favored plants for decorating the home at Christmas. While you may love them and feel they’re part of the festive season, they could be hazardous to your cat.
with its vivid green leaves and white berries, mistletoe can add festive cheer. However, it’s also highly toxic to cats and dogs.
In fact, if your cat decided to chew on a sprig of mistletoe, or one of its berries, it could cause numerous problems. These include diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems and even heart failure.
Holly can look beautiful with it’s dark green leaves and red berries. Although a great source of food for wild birds. they are toxic to cats.
Despite its spiky green leaves, an inquisitive cat can easily be tempted to chew or nibble the berries. Unless you keep the holly well out of your cat’s reach there’s always a danger.
Signs of poisoning would include vomiting, diarrhea and shaking of the head. If you see your cat eating any of the berries you need to get her to a vet urgently.
As well as the danger of poisoning from holly berries, your cat could also sustain injuries from its spiky leaves. A cut mouth or foot could occur should your cat try and play with the holly.
I’m sure you’ve seen those beautiful tall flowering plants. They’re hugely popular at Christmas and produce stunning red or white flowers.
However, if you have a cat you need to be very cautious. This is because there’s a chemical in an amaryllis plant that’s highly toxic.
If your cat were to chew the stem or leaves she could get diarrhea, or suffer seizures. Even drinking water from the container is potentially lethal.
Keeping Your Cat Safe
If you decide on a real tree this Christmas consider the non-drop varieties I mentioned earlier. Also avoid placing it near any potential launching places.
A table or book shelf can be an ideal place to launch yourself into a Christmas tree if you’re a cat! In fact, see your tree as if you were a cat!
Fencing the tree is another option, but bear in mind cats can jump. However, it’s still a good idea and may help to deter any ideas your kitty may be plotting!
Miniature trees are a good option as they can be placed out of your cat’s reach. In addition there are some fun and cat friendly alternatives you may want to consider.
As a cat parent I’m sure you’ve wondered how to cat proof a Christmas tree. By taking a few simple measures you can help keep your cat away from the tree or other festive decorations.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)