Pets and Christmas Trees

debbiep_gwNovember 14, 2006

Just curious if anyone else has to go to any special lenghts to have a Christmas tree protected from the family pets?Last Christmas was Sally's first with us.I knew she would mess with it so I didn't use the big one,instead I put up a small tabletop tree.I know I will have to go that route again this year.Shes very playful,curious,etc and I have antique ornaments so its best not to use them.While Lucy doesn't mess with the tree itself she does get the presents.I have a picture of her during the middle of the night opening her gifts while we were in bed.I heard a rustling sound and went to check what was going on and she had her gifts(toys no food gifts) out from under the tree opening them.She only opened hers,must be that nose of hers.My daughter insisted that the dogs have gifts under the tree to but I don't intend to do that again.Anyway I'm just curious how everyone else deals with the tree ordeal.My dogs aren't well mannered nor well trained so saying Leave It would not work on them.They seem to be smart and learn easy but the stubborn streak comes out in them quite often.Debbie

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I have cats and some of the solutions that have worked for me are to put straw and fabric ornaments and silk-covered balls on the lower branches. The cats love picking these off the tree and batting them around. Since they're pretty much indestructible and cheap, I don't fret about it.

I have a large ornament collection, some very dear to me. I use very sturdy hooks--you could even wire the ornaments to the tree--and make sure they're not within reach. I have a friend whose mom is a cat breeder and she actually runs wires from hooks in the ceiling to the tree so that her cats can't knock it over. Otherwise, just make sure you have a very sturdy base.

I don't put any presents out until the last few days and I make sure there are no bows or ribbons that the cats will chew on (all of mine love curling ribbon and plastic bows). Finally, the day we get the tree, I put it in its stand and leave it out undecorated for a few days so that the kitties can explore it without doing much damage.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 3:23PM
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First, I have changed from a live to artificial tree. Like above poster, I put the tree up and lights on and leave it for a couple of days to see what's going to be going on with the curiosity factor.

All of the ornaments are wired onto the tree. Special ornaments, wired even more so. Irreplaceable family heirlooms don't go on the tree, I find another way to use them, i.e.; china closet in the dining room, etc. I put the tree in the corner of the room, which I do not recommend (but is only spot in the room for it). My cats seem to love to hide behind it. Its a crap shoot this year since we have a new addition who is a real pistol. It is anyone's guess how that will go?

One year I did a garland over double windows in my foyer and living room. Surprisingly, it was enough garland to accommodate all of the ornaments. However, kids want a tree and you really can't put presents under garland:-) LOL. That was a new puppy year and the cats had eliminated all ornaments hung from the bottom half of the tree the year before. I was grasping at straws.

I have my eye on a wrought iron tree in a catalog that is 7 foot high to accommodate ornaments without all the strands of lights and needles and branches for climbing. Getting the hairy eyeball from my DD, but am thinking it might be a good idea since I like to do more than one tree. I put a lodge pole tree in my office with a "snowman" theme. The animals don't even bother that tree for some reason??

Presents don't go under the tree until late on Christmas Eve and pet presents do not go under the tree until Christmas morning. They are hidden on top of the fridge where I know no one can get them.

Lastly, I have now filled a spray bottle with water, and plan to teach the cats to stay away from the tree. The dogs are another matter. All 3 dogs swim and love water, so spraying them would be fun for them.

Wagging tails tend to knock things off surfaces. I have lost more things off of the coffee table and lower area decorating than off of the tree, but all in all it hasn't been too bad.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 4:10PM
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I stopped using glass ornamanets, tinsel, holly, pointsettas and a whole list of other stuff due to pets, plus I also stopped using real trees a while ago due to the problems with animals drinking the water.Pine needles can get lodged in an animal's throat, making it painful for your pet to swallow.
drinking the water from the Christmas tree base can also cause diarrhea, mouth sores, vomiting and loss of appetite.
My dog now is great he never gets into anything, excpet tissues! But I still am leary just in case. I figure it's easier to just avoid the things.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 5:32PM
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My cats must be weird. They don't bother the tree at all, except to sleep on the tree skirt. The dog is also not interested in the tree. But the cats will strip a wrapped gift bare in minutes (they are box/package obsessed), so the gifts don't come out until late Christmas Eve, and then the cats go in the basement until morning. I always feel mean putting them there Christmas Eve (with plenty of food and water of course), but with a kid in the house you have to have those gifts under the tree before they wake up!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 7:38PM
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I now dread putting my tree up due to my cats. I have two that won't leave it alone, the other two don't seem to care. I have an artificial one, and the cats must think its the closest to a real tree they are going to get, so they love to climb up in it.

I've found if I put stuff under the tree it helps to keep them out a little bit, after they've at least been in it a few times. They seem to have no interest in the presents, thank goodness!

Our tree is in a room our dogs rarely go in, so that helps from wagging tails knocking anything off. The lower branches end up stripped bare after a while from the cats batting the ornaments off. I have to decorate and take a picture quick before it gets ruined!

Its very startling to see a face staring out at you from inside the tree when you're not expecting it! They have scared me a few times doing that!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 12:57PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I saw this funny site last year and it sure seems like a good time to bring it back up again!

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 4:50PM
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We do an artificial as well and I am so apprehensive about it this year. We had kittens 18 years ago that were very interested in the tree....they climbed it, they tried to strip it.... A couple of years ago when we got Poppy I worried about it but he did well, loved watching the tree (it rotates) but left it alone. We now have 2 9 month old brothers and I am 100% positive we are not going to be this lucky again. Poppy has always been very laid back, these two are into EVERYTHING, especially Bob.

So we will wire it up and will be putting the plastic/silk/wooden ornaments within paw reach. And then we will pray.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 4:55PM
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After having a couple of years with the tree getting knocked over by our cats, I now tie the tree to large eye hooks on the wall. The bottom of our tree only has lights and loose shorter pieces of garland.. no ornaments.. the garland is easy to just put back into place. The tree is always in the corner and I try to arrange packages so that the cats don't get behind or under the tree.

Had a year or two there where one of the cats.. not sure which one.. kept peeing under the tree. We decided that the tree, which was kept in an outside shed, had been urinated on by a stray possibly. Although we couldn't smell it, we figured the cats could. It was the only explanation, and stopped after we threw out the tree.

We don't use the wire hooks anymore, either.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 9:41PM
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rhizo I'm glad you posted that site. I enjoyed it last year and they've added new pics.

I've never had a tree. Hey, I don't have children, no one is being deprived. LOL We'll except the dogs but look at all the fussing at they're avoiding.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:25AM
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rhizo_1 ~ Thanks for posting the link! Hysterical!

This will be my 1st xmas with my puppy! Should be interesting. He'll be about 9months then. I'm thinking ornaments will have to be on the top half of the tree and no gifts put out till xmas morning! He's nosey and LOVE stealing things (actually loves taking something, running over & showing you, then bolting awaying!)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:57AM
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