Poll - cats and christmas trees!

funyellowDecember 4, 2010

This is my first Christmas with my two adopted kitties and my friends have been telling me stories about how they can't get real trees again because their cats love to drink the water and LOVE playing with all the ornaments and causing trouble.

My husband disagrees that this will be a problem in our household. I really want to get a real tree too, but I'm afraid it will be an exercise in futility trying to get the furballs to ignore it. It just seems like heaven for cats - lots of little dangling toys, just waiting to be played with? ;)

Anyway, was just wondering how many of you were able to get real xmas trees every year with pets in the house - cats specifically.

Xmas tree with cats : real or fake? Love to know your thoughts.

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Each cat is going to be different. So the cat drinks water out of the base of the tree....as long as you dont put in the preservative, who cares.
Our cats had a WONDERFUL time with our tree. They spent hours playing with the ornaments and our seal point ended up at the top of the tree one year...
Recommendations. Dont use any tinsel, no yarn or string they can ingest. Put the glass ornaments up towards the middle and top of the tree and use a tree skirt in case an ornament falls - that way glass wont be all over the place.
I think plastic trees are horrible - our cats enjoyed our real trees every year

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 2:59PM
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I agree with Mazer. We have had real trees for the last five years. The cats do like to play with the ornaments but we put the breakables up where they can't reach them. We can't have any gifts under the tree because the kitties like to play under it and all the gifts get opened. We also have a ribbon eater, so none of that.
The funniest thing was the dog the first year we had a real tree. The morning after we got it we came down the stairs with him and he promptly lifted his leg. Good thing it wasn't decorated yet. He never did it again.

Here is a link that might be useful: This could happen

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 3:55PM
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You can't tell a cat , "No!" when she's made up her mind. Nor can you underestimate a cat's curiosity, urge to climb, need to hunt.

We had Christmas trees and cats and dogs for years.

1) NO TINSEL under any circumstance

2) NOTHING in the water

3) NO electric cords -that includes lights - without supervision at all times

4) NO breakable ornaments

5) SHARP, DRY needles can get caught in your pet's throat/intestine and puncture them.

And, yes, our trees were far from perfect once the animals got into them (5 seconds after they were put up.)

We didn't care.

BTW, some people use upside-down trees

Here is a link that might be useful: Tree

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 4:37PM
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What is the difference between a fake and a real tree? Won't the cats play with each one? Many of our great memories over the decades with children growing up was the yearly cat/tree experience. One year the whole tree came down with two cats in it. Nobody died or even got injured, but it sure was a fun time and something we still talk about.

The kids learned that you don't put the cat's (catnip) gifts up on top of the tree (so they won't get it.) Maybe I just had too many kids and wasn't paying enough attention, but -----. Anyway -- great memories.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 5:14PM
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We have always had real trees and not any problems with any of our cats climbing them. A few balls got broken along the way, but I never put good ones low. . I never used tinsel or icicles because they are very dangerous to pets.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 5:24PM
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I have a 6 month old kitten and I'm going to set up my artificial tree. It's going to be set up beside the front door, outside, in the entryway.
I did this a few years ago and it's the only safe way I can have a decorated tree this year since I know my cat all too well. She already climbs my faux Ficus, pounces on anything that moves, and loves chewing on the boxes UPS delivers. She also has found and chewed on some of the silver sprayed pine cones I tried setting up for decorations!

After reading some of the other posts, I'm now considering cutting one of the young firs we have on our property and setting that up for her in the house. No decorations, just the tree. But then I'd worry she may try to eat the needles!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 6:24PM
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thanks everyone for your thoughtful and polite comments!

Carmen has a good point: "what's the difference between fake and real?" I was just curious if there was anything toxic/harmful in a real tree that might cause the cats to be ill.

Someone mentioned the needles on the ground possibly being ingested - I'll have to keep an eye out for that.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:42PM
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We have a room on the front of the house that has french doors on it, and that is where we put our tree. Otherwise, with four cats (three of them are very active and inquisitive), I know it would end in disaster. Of course, they all try to get in there and we have a baby lock on the doors. They still manage to rush in sometimes when I'm going in or out.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 2:36PM
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Nancy zone 6

When I saw this thread, I remembered another site & had to look it up again. Apparently cats like artificial trees just as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: cat's Christmas

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 6:00PM
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We relocated across the country last year, built a house which we just moved into 3 months ago. We also acquired 2 new kittens after moving in. I feel like I just got all the boxes unpacked and things squared away in the attic, so the last thing I want to do is drag it all back out, unpack the ornaments, and decorate the tree (I still need to "decorate"--accessorize--the house). Even without curious kittens, I'm just not in the mood, so for this year, I'm using them as my excuse to hubby as to why I'm not putting up our tree. Maybe I'll break down and bring a few things out, but haven't had the mood strike me yet....

Bah humbug, I guess.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 5:35PM
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I had real and artificial trees for many years with cats - no real problem. I did have tinsel the first year I got married - and with my first cats. After I saw a piece of tinsel hanging out one of the cat's butt's I realized probably not a good idea so I never did that again. I did have one tree tip over - a real one with water in the stand that did a number on our wood floor. I think the cats had something to do with that episode but I'll never know because if they were there when it happened they scrammed by the time I ran into the room.

tracey_b - I haven't put up a tree in a few years. It's a lot of work and no one seems to care much about it but me so I decided one year that I wouldn't bother. I put up other decorations and have been quite satisfied without the tree. I don't really have a lot of room for a tree and it's nice not trying to cram furniture somewhere so I can fit a tree in.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 2:39PM
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No tinsel and no curling ribbon here- old cat ate that once, but fortunately with no side effects (I hate Easter Grass just as much). We started using bead garland a few years ago, but aren't using that with our young cat around. He wouldn't eat it, but he'd probably chew it into pieces.

Last year our little guy just destroyed the tree. He was such a terror with it, that it really wasn't fun. I would forgo the tree but we have a young child, so tree decorating is a big deal. DH screws a board to the wall and then the tree stand to the board, so it's pretty stable and all covered with fabric tree skirt. This year someone told me to spray the tree with cider vinegar, and the cat should avoid it. So far it is working like a charm, we could only smell it for a couple of hours, but he is making wide circles around the tree. DH and I got a little carried away and sprayed the entire bottom half of the tree pretty liberally, and now I'm worried about even the dry vinegar residue discoloring or damaging the ornaments in some way- so I may wash some of the branches (it's a fake tree). In retrospect, it seems like a little bit of vinegar around the base, and maybe on the bottom sides of the lowest branches would probably be enough.

Last year we made a mixture of citrus extract and water and sprayed the tree, that wasn't even the slightest deterrent to him, we just had a lemon fresh cat.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 9:58AM
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I've had cats and artifical trees for many years. I used to have to tie the tree up to something to ensure it wouldn't get knocked over ...but I haven't done that in many years.

I've never cared for tinsel, so that's no problem. And I've collected many non-breakable ornaments for the bottom part of the tree.

I'm curious about the person who posted about about no electrical cords including lights. I have lights on my tree, and there are cords all over the house for anything that needs to be plugged in, but my cats or dogs don't chew on any cords ... so I find it interesting that person has a problem with having lights on their tree.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 12:38PM
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hoo boy. Saw this post and just reailized that I left my 4 month old kitten loose with the tree!

OK--trees. I never do real, bec I like to have my tree up a good long time, and don't want a fire hazard. My friends Himalaya can't wait for Christmas, since she considers under the tree to be her personnal spot for lurking and pouncing.

My cats frequently chew the ends of the tree branches and hork up small bits of fake tree needles with no apparent side effects. I've tried spraying the tree with some of the bad tasting products, but to no avail. I;ve been told that diluted hot sauce on electical cords will quickly disabuse them of the chewing trend. Never tried it but if you do, remember to wash your hands after handling the cords.

Here's what I do.

I have a circle of one inch chicken wire, just smaller than the circumfrence of the lowest tier, with the sharp ends folded back. This gets hooked snug to the under side of the branches to prevent climing expeditions. So far it's worked.

I do use lights, but I make sure they have the safety catches that keep the bulbs from coming out, since I had one cat that loved to pull the bulbs out. Totally ruind the bottom lights and I don't know how he didn't get electrocuted. He was also the climber--went up the branches like a ladder, pushing them out of the sockets as he went up! Tree looked like you'd grabbed the stem and shook it. I also try to make sure that the lights on the bottom tier don't protrude below the chicken wire to avoid temptation.

I try to hang nonperishble ornaments--wooden, shatterproof, cloth etc on the lower limbs. Even if the cats don't deliberately go after them, some of them will bite the dust when a speeding beast lashes them with a tail at 35 mph. Avoid things that look like toys--small stuffed animals, or feathery dangly things. Although most anything looks like a toy to a kitten.

Forget those flimsy wire hooks. Get some thing stronger. It's not a bad idea for really heavy or precious items (see next paragraph!) to use wire and WRAP it around the branch. It's going to make undecorating a pill, but you wouldn't neet to do it with all your ornaments. If you buy the traditional glass balls with the little silver caps, you've probably noticed that it doesn't take much pressure to pull the hanger loose. Go ahead and take them out, doub some glue-- a dot of crazy glue or a doub of craft glue will work--in the cap and reassemble.

If you have some truly irreplacable ornaments, find a different display area--like a garland above the mantle or something. Also, you can cut a nice large circle of plywood and attach the tree stand to it for more stability, and use heavy nylon fishing line to anchor the tree to the wall. Corners are great--hook the tree to opposing walls, or put a hook in the ceiling.

Best option: lock Christmas tree in separate room except under supervision. Sure hope mine is still standing when I get home! I was worried about my one baby that's got a respiratory ailment and completely forgot to lock the baby in the den.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 3:37PM
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oh and regarding lights--I read somewhere that if you must have lights, not to have twinkling ones as they are really bad to attract unwanted attention from the cats

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:48PM
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