Fatal attraction:  Cats and Christmas decorations – but it can still be a time of peace!

Many a cat’s eyes will widen like saucers when their master, mistress or the family haul the Christmas decoration box down from the attic just before Christmas. Santas and elves, candles, baubles and fairies, straw, stars and nativity figures are all pure temptation for nosey little cats. But a lot of it is harmful to these four legged creatures, even dangerous. Your cat can cut her paw open on baubles and decorations such as tinsel or even the poisonous Christmas poinsettia can have nasty consequences. 

Safety first 

You should at all costs prevent cats from playing with tinsel (absolutely harmful!), choking on the hanging threads of straw stars or eating pine needles (highly indigestible for animals). If your little tiger tries it, hold her back with a sharp “No!” Don’t scold her by using her name in a severe tone which would only confuse her and give rise to future negative connotations when she hears her name. If that doesn’t work, you can ban the cat from the living room for a short while.

The Christmas tree

Many problems can be avoided if you put up the Christmas tree and the other dangerous decorations in a room where the cat doesn’t normally go. Most cat owners don’t buy highly poisonous poinsettias in any case – however, if a well-meaning acquaintance brings one along, simply set it on the window sill in the kitchen if your cat is not allowed in there. There’s no danger that she’ll eat it and you can still enjoy the bright red flowers. The same goes for breakables: put these decorations up out of cat-paw reach.

One problem is often the Christmas tree itself. If your pet is a “tree climber” you would be better hanging pretty, but unbreakable, adornments on the branches. Small wooden decorations are very robust. You should make it absolutely clear to your cat early on that she’s not allowed to climb up the tree and bounce around the branches. 

However, the tree is often such a magical attraction that none of this does any good, even if you give your pet an especially attractive toy for Christmas. So here’s a little trick with which you can quite easily break your cats habit of trying to scale the Christmas tree. Don’t buy a Nordmann fir this year, but go for a blue spruce instead. Because it pokes and pricks! Indeed, you’ll have to be a bit plucky yourself while you decorate it and cope with the thorny needles, but you can be sure your little tiger will leave the tree in peace. 

And by the way, you still shouldn’t allow your cat to eat the falling needles. These are highly indigestible for your pet and on top of that, if your tree has come from a plantation, it will have been sprayed. So take care, too, if you’ve bought a potted pine tree. When you water it, this water often collects in the dish underneath. Remove this because your cat could drink from it which would make her ill.

Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts