Many young cats and kittens (and even some older felines) love to climb trees and are naturally intrigued by anything new, bright and sparkly – so they’re probably going to be attracted to a Christmas tree covered in sparkly decorations in the corner of your living room. But aside from the obvious issue of your tree and decorations ending up on the floor, it can pose health hazards for your pet which are important to be aware of and consider.
Cat owners should be wary of snow globes. Some of these festive ornaments can contain ethylene glycol, commonly known as antifreeze, which is highly toxic to pets.
If the ornament breaks and the liquid spills out, there’s a real risk your cat could lick it up or swallow it while grooming - if it’s on their fur – and become critically ill. Be sure to check what chemicals your snow globe contains and keep it well out of the reach of any curious cats.
Whether real or artificial, a Christmas tree can be a hazard if your cat has a tendency to climb things they shouldn’t
The oils produced by some real Christmas trees are also mildly toxic if consumed, causing minor irritation to a pet’s mouth and stomach
Be careful when using any fertilisers or plant food on your tree if it’s potted, as many are toxic to cats and can seep into watering trays
Containers with soil might also get used as litter trays
There is a very small risk that sharp pine needles can cause internal damage if swallowed. They can also get into eyes or ears – but cases are extremely rare.
If you are concerned about this, and want to have a real Christmas tree, you could consider purchasing one of the non-drop variety.
How to ‘cat-proof’ your Christmas tree
Tinsel and other hanging decorations can look just like cat toys. But there is a risk they might swallow them or even break glass ornaments, causing injury. Tinsel and angel hair in particular can cause serious illness if ingested due to the blockages they can cause, and in some cases this can even be fatal.
For Pawsome reading go to Blue Cross: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/keeping-your-cat-safe-christmas