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OTHER ITA SITES:
Cats And Christmas Trees
It is that time of year when many families will be preparing to put up their Christmas trees. It all starts either by getting your tree out of the attic or storage place, or going and picking out the perfect tree from a tree farm or local store. No matter which way you start with, if you have a cat or two in the house you need to consider a few potential dangers when preparing this yearly ritual.
The type of tree is important to consider, if you do not keep it in a separate room away from your cat. Live Christmas trees can be deadly to a cat. If they eat the pine needles they could puncture the intestines. Pine is also toxic to cats causing damage to the liver or death. An artificial Christmas tree is safer than a live one, but it can also cause blockage if it is eaten.
I put up an artificial Christmas tree, not just for the safety, but also for the convenience of the clean up. It still takes more planning and preparation to keep the cats off and away from the Christmas tree.
Start by finding a good spot where you can place the tree that will allow you to secure to something so that the cats cannot knock or pull it down. It is also a good idea to keep the tree away from other items, such as tables, chairs, or anything else your cat can climb on that will give it closer access to the tree.
After you have found the perfect spot for your Christmas tree, the next part of the yearly tradition is going to be the most fun. Decorating the tree! Now this is the best part of getting the tree up and ready, but it can also be the most mind boggling and nerve wrecking task. Especially when you have to consider the placement of all of the decorations in proportion to your catís interest in any and all of the decorations.
Now, I have learned the hard way with placing my decorations on the tree, that you must never put your glass bulbs near the bottom where the cats can reach them. The first year that we had our cats and I decorated the tree not thinking that they would play with it, I put the glass ornaments as well as other ornaments on the bottom branches. Well, later that day I heard a bang, and smash of glass breaking, only to look out and see that both cats were playing with the dangling ornaments and knocking them on the floor. A lot of our ornaments were smashed and broken that year, but I learned to not do that again. I now put the ornaments on the upper branches, and I no longer use glass bulbs or any other ornaments that they can break.
Another thing to consider doing if you have cats is not to put tinsel on your tree. When I was growing up, we always put tinsel on our Christmas tree. I never liked putting up the tinsel because it was so hard cleaning up and getting it off of the tree. I am glad that I do not put tinsel on my Christmas tree, especially since I have cats and it can harm them if they swallow it. It is better to not put tinsel on your tree if you have cats.
Once you have your tree up and decorated it is now the time to become creative in keeping your kitty away from the tree to keep your decorations safe from its curiosity. There are a few things that you can try to keep your cat away from the tree. You can place foil or two sided tape around the tree, they do not like the feel of it and will often times stay away. Another tactic to try is to place citrus rinds or fresheners around the tree; cats do not like the smell of citrus and will stay away. You can also spray your cat with water each time it attempts to get close to the tree and it will soon stay away. I have found that using the water bottle to be the most effective and easiest for me to do. Try each one and find one that will work for you and your cat.
Make this Christmas a memorable one and do not forget to keep your cat in mind when making preparations for your Christmas traditions, especially those involving a tree.
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