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Catproofing Your Tree

December 15, 2020

The holidays are officially upon us. Carols, cookies, and seasonal movies may be on the list of your favorite traditions. As it turns out, cats have a few of their own … such as wreaking havoc on trees. In this article, an Oconomowoc, WI veterinarian offers a few suggestions on keeping Fluffy out of the tree.


D  ecorating

If you hang a bunch of shiny ornaments on the lower part of the tree, within easy reach of your pet’s cute paws, you’re more or less asking for trouble. Ideally, you want to put most of your decorations–including tinsel and lights–on the top part of the tree.


Training

It isn’t exactly easy to train cats, but you can usually teach them what is and is not acceptable. (Cuddles? Acceptable. Biting and scratching? Not so much.)  When you see your furry pal sniffing around the tree, clap your hands, stamp your feet, or make a loud noise. This will annoy and startle Fluffy, which will hopefully be enough to make her think twice.


Placement

It’s also important to choose the right spot for the tree. If you can, put it in a corner. Try not to put it too close to something Fluffy may find a convenient kitty launchpad, like a couch or desk. 


Distraction

Kitties are always on the lookout for things to pounce on and/or attack. Get Fluffy a few fun new toys to bat around, and take time to play with her. The point is to burn off your feline friend’s excess energy, so that she’s too tired to mess with the tree.


Fake Tree

Another thing that can help is to get an artificial tree. This won’t keep Fluffy from batting at ornaments, but at least she won’t be able to climb the tree!


Block Access

Consider putting a baby gate around the tree. Some kitties will of course just try to jump over it, but it may work for others. 


Support

Secure the top of the tree to the wall or ceiling with fishing line for extra support. This *might* help keep it standing.


Boxes

We all know that cats can’t resist boxes. Put some empty ones under the tree. You can even make them look like gifts! This may keep Fluffy occupied … and out of the tree.


Happy Holidays from Animal Health Center, your Oconomowoc, WI veterinary clinic. Please contact us anytime!


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