Cats and Christmas Trees

The holidays are officially here! At this time of year, many of us are busy with seasonal activities, like cooking; buying and wrapping gifts; and, of course, putting up decorations. When it comes to putting up Christmas trees, people that are owned by cats often find themselves faced with a bit of a dilemma. Keeping Fluffy out of the tree isn’t always easy! Below, a Lakeville, MN vet offers some holiday decorating advice for people with frisky kitties.

Choosing The Tree

In the wild, trees offer Fluffy shelter, safety, and a high vantage point. They also give kitties a perfect manicure station. Many of our feline friends climb trees out of sheer instinct. Consider getting an artificial tree: they’re much harder for cats to scale.

Tree Placement

We recommend putting your tree in a corner, so Fluffy can’t pounce on it from all directions. Choose a spot that doesn’t offer your furball a convenient launching pad, like a desk or armchair.


A sturdy base is a must for kitty parents! You can also add extra support by tying the tree to the wall or ceiling with fishing twine.


If you get a live tree, cover the water bowl: it could contain dangerous chemicals, such as pesticides. You definitely don’t want Fluffy drinking or playing in that!


Cats really can’t help being mischievous: it’s in their nature. Don’t hang ornaments on the bottom part of the tree. That’s just too tempting for Fluffy to resist! If you have delicate, breakable decorations, use them sparingly, and put them near the top of the tree, well away from those cute little paws.


Many common tree decorations are actually quite dangerous to playful kitties. Tinsel is one concern: playful kitties can easily choke or entangle themselves on it. Fluffy could also end up with serious internal injuries if she ingests any. Ornament hooks, strings of lights, and popcorn strings can also be hazardous. Choose pet-safe decorations.


Cats don’t always listen to what we tell them, but they do respond quite well to bribery. Get Fluffy some new toys, and play with her every day. This will help satisfy your pet’s frisky streak, and will hopefully reduce the odds of her knocking your tree over.

Have a wonderful holiday season! Please contact us, your Lakeville, MN pet hospital, if we can ever be of assistance.