Are Fake Christmas Trees Safe For Cats

September 21, 2019

It’s almost that time of year where you’re starting to get festive. The seasons are starting to change and the leaves are starting to fall from the trees. It’s time to put up the Christmas tree and this is your first year with your new furry cat friend. Do you want to know if fake Christmas trees are safe for cats?

The short answer is, Yes. Fake Christmas trees are definitely safe for cats.

As a cat person who has had everything from fake to real trees, I’d like to shed some light on the subject and give you some ideas as to what to expect and how to handle your cats being around fake Christmas trees.

What if my cat eats my fake Christmas tree?

This is actually not that serious of a concern as you may think. Most, if not all, fake Christmas trees are made from non-toxic plastics so if they are ingested they won’t present much harm. Cat’s are curious creatures and while they may nibble at your tree or the ornaments strung on the tree, they usually don’t make it a habit of eating plastic.

If your cat is prone to eating things they shouldn’t be eating, please check out my other article on cats that eat odd things like hair.

What if my cat knocks over my fake Christmas tree?

Surprisingly enough, this is probably the MOST pressing and real concern you should have. Cats love climbing trees and fake trees are no exception. I’ve definitely seen Max launch himself into my real tree as if he were some kind of flying squirrel in a forest. 

While you can do everything in your power to discourage your cat from climbing your trees, there isn't much you can do to prevent them from getting into mayhem when you’re away at work.

My recommendation:

Always ensure you follow proper installation instructions and ensure that your tree is properly secured to the floor with weighted sandbags or anything that will keep the tree from falling over if your cat decides to jump in the tree.

Cats are very agile creatures and its not likely that knocking over a tree would present any harm to them, but it is definitely a pain in the ass to have to re-decorate your Christmas tree because the cat wanted to play kitty daredevil.

What if my cat bites the cords or lights?

This is a concerning behavior that I think you should address outside of the realms of holiday decorations. If your cat is chewing on cords, then they are likely to chew on any available cords around the house and this could spell disaster. Christmas tree lights are built with fuse breakers that cut the power through the cord in the event that a child or pet was to chew through them.

My recommendation:

If your cat is chewing on electric cords, coat them in hot sauce with a small paintbrush. Cats are very sensitive to hot foods and this will surely make them think twice about putting their mouths on any future electrical cords.

Introduce your cat to your fake Christmas tree

At the end of the day, your cat is going to be curious by this newfound tree sitting in your home. Imagine if you came home one day and there was a mini statue of liberty sitting in your living room. You’d be curious about it as well.

Tips for your cat and your fake tree:

  • Bring them over to the tree and sit them down by it. See what your cat does and observe them. You’ll be shocked that most cats really don’t want much to do with the tree.

  • Install the tree while your cat is around. If they see you building it then they’ll normalize its presence. This will also give you a great idea of how the cat will behave around the tree.

  • Don’t install low hanging ornaments that your cat can easily reach. Swinging ornaments and flashy balls that are hanging within their reach is a recipe for your cat to be encouraged to get into mischief.

  • Avoid bird-related ornaments if possible. I used to have doves in my tree. Max removed EVERY SINGLE ONE. He’s a cat and I put his natural prey in a tree. It should be expected that he might react in an instinctual way and grab one of the birds.

  • Use plastic ornaments instead of glass. This will help when your curious cat decides to put their paws on some of the decorations.

Wrap up

If you use some simple prevention and common sense, you should be fine. Most cats are strong enough to knock a tree over and cause any bodily harm to themselves, but they can definitely make your tree messy by pulling off the decorations.

If you want to go with the solution of keeping your cat away from the tree entirely, you can always use a few hidden air cannons to scare your kitty from ever approaching the tree.

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