Decorating your home for the holidays is one of the most enjoyable parts of the season. From the shining lights to the smell of your tree, nothing feels like the holidays more so than a bright and festive home.
That is until your cat knocks over the tree, breaks all the snow globes, and causes a power outage in a Christmas lights snafu. Let’s skip all that this year and just keep the enjoyable parts shall we? As you start to decorate your home for the holidays, it is very important to keep your cats’ safety (and yours) as the top priority.
It is still easy to make your home beautiful as you celebrate a pet-friendly season. Here are some essential tips to help keep your holiday and Christmas decorations safe for your cats.
6 Essential Tips For Holiday Decorating That is Safe For Cats
Only Use Cat-Friendly Holiday Decor and Avoid Tinsel Altogether
It would make a cute picture for your next internet sensation, but tinsel can be dangerous to pets and should be avoided. While your cat may find the shiny string irresistible, the string can become trapped inside of your cat’s intestines, which could require surgery or potentially be fatal if not caught early enough. Resist the urge to hang tinsel on the tree and use cat-friendly holiday decorations instead.
Beware of Holiday Plants and Christmas Trees That Can Be Toxic to Cats
Mistletoe, Holly, Poinsettias, Lilies, and pine needles can all pose a danger to your pets. Take a look at the Pet Poison Helpline for a full list of holiday plants that are toxic. While Christmas trees are not always toxic, live trees are often chemically treated to help them last longer in your home. These chemicals then wind up in the water at the base of your tree and are toxic to pets who drink the water.
Keep Candles, Breakables, and Sharp Decor Out of Cats’ Reach
If you think your feline companions love to knock over your favorite things on purpose, know that the holidays can be much worse. A knack for knocking over your favorite vase gives way to a gravitational pull towards far worse items. Lit candles, snow globes, glass ornaments—nothing is safe from your kitty’s paws. Since the holidays just wouldn’t be the same with a burnt down house and a bunch of broken trimmings, it is best to steer clear of these dangerous decorations and opt for cat-friendly holiday decor instead.
Unplug Christmas Lights When You’re Not at Home
Rather than live out a scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation, keep your lights unplugged when you’re not home. This will minimize the risk to your cats as well as other pets and children. Even when you are home, keep the electrical cords up off the floor and use cord protectors if possible.
Anchoring Your Christmas Tree Will Make It Safer For Cats
Have cats that like to climb and potentially can knock over your tree? Consider anchoring your tree to the ceiling or the wall. You may even wish to forgo the big tree for something smaller that can be displayed on a table instead. While it may be impossible to keep your cats from showing off their expert climbing skills, an anchored tree will at least keep things upright.
Beware of Ribbons and Other Trimmings That Are Not Safe For Cats
Ribbons, yarn, and strings on presents can present the same problem as tinsel. They can get caught up in the intestines and bunch together, which may require surgery to remove them. Keep your wrapping simple and pet-friendly if your gifts are in areas where your cats can get at them. If you absolutely need gifts that are wrapped to rival Pinterest, keep a bunch of holiday themed cat toys on hand. Distracting your cats with cat-friendly toys is a lifesaver over the holidays.
With some pre-planning and creativity, not only can you make a beautiful holiday home, but also one that is safe for your cats to enjoy during this very merry season.