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Since it will soon be upon us

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
and there are so many first-time kitty owners on the board now. I thought it would be nice to share some holiday safety tips for pet owners. One of the things I have learned with having multiple cats, is that if there is a nice smelling tree in the house, the cats will climb it. You can prevent this by taking lemon slices and putting them into the christmas tree stand. Also, I put a swag hook in the ceiling above the tree and tie the top securely with fishing line, so when that mischievous kitty decides to climb the tree, at least it won't topple over on top of them. No tinsel at all on the tree, and no glass ornaments on the lower branches. Those are my tips, I am sure there are many more.
post #2 of 14
what a great idea Mary Anne!

I don't have any suggestions, but I know that I'm going to learn alot!
post #3 of 14
This is what we do and it has worked for many years.

We prefer a small three foot artificial tree instead of a live Christmas tree. We get the tree out of the box and place it on the floor so the cats (this year we have only one cat), can investigate the tree and satisfy their interest.

We then place the tree on a small square table and decorate it. We make sure that there is no space for a cat to get up on the table by grouping a lot of small Christmas kickacks under the tree. We also don't use any tinsel or glass ornaments on the tree.

We have had cats sit and look at the tree like they enjoy the way the decorations look, but they have never bothered our little tree.
post #4 of 14
haha - it's funny that you brought this up. One year, our cat Nothin' who we brought in as a stray, decided he had to investigate this strange glowing and blinking tree - CRASH! - We found him and the tree on the floor. It would seem like I and my parents would get mad at him, but it was one of the funniest and craziest things we'd seen - and poor nuf-nuf was so scared he didn't even need to be told "no" after that. We haven't had any problems since :tounge2:
post #5 of 14

I've found that my cats love to climb anything...so, I don't have a big tree. I get about 7 little ones and have them all over my house. They don't seem to care about them; not even a second glance actually. They're decorated so cute with those little ornaments and it's fun to have a different theme on each one

I know it's not the same as a big tree, but I'm single and I usually spend Christmas with my family...so, this is just something that I do to decorate my own home I usually have a lot of little do dads all over. I just love holidays!!!

Love & Peace,

post #6 of 14
Cute idea Cat!
I dont have a lot of room, and after 2 years in a VERY small apt, I am now in a big enough place to have a real tree!
I better start thinking this one out....times a wasting! :LOL:
post #7 of 14
We have an artificail tree & the cats are all very good with it. We have alot of stuffed ornaments and every morning we wake up with one or more of the ornaments (cats too) in our bed. Somehow they have perfected the art of getting the ornament without damaging the tree. This is Gweeky's 1st Christmas with us. He is a little devil in kitty cat disguise. I am sure he will be up to mischief. It is always nice to have a fuzzy tree skirt under the tree. My cats love making a bed under there (well 3 of the 5 anyway).
post #8 of 14
Here are some pointers of my own:

Make sure there is no way for kitty (or puppy) to drink the Christmas tree water. It can be very harmful to them. There are stands that can prevent this or you can make a cover out of saran wrap or foil.

I would advise that anyone with cats never bring a poinsettia into their home. They are very poisonous and even if you put it up high many cats can find a way to get to it.

I want to back up hissy on the tinsel. Cats love to eat it!

Be careful when pulling out the lights to decorate. One year while I was decorating my patio banisters toonces chomped down on one of the light bulbs!

Be careful about gift packaging. Cats like to eat many of the decorative ribbons and bows.

Thats all I can think of for now.
post #9 of 14
Since I am now owned by 7 cats and they can become pretty active (especially the youngest ones, who says munchkings can't jump anyway??) I put up some ornaments around my door way (lights, garland and any Christmas cards I receive). I didn't put up a tree last year and caught hell from my kid. But I live alone and had made plans to go visiting where I knew there would be trees and stuff.

Christmas is very difficult for me. We had a house fire in 1973 in which my grandfather died from burns. Then when 10 years ago on Christmas Eve, my daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. She's okay now, been in remission for 9 years, but it still hurts, so Christmas isn't exactly one of my favorite holidays. I would prefer to let the holiday fly by quietly. I love spending it with friends (so much more than family). This year I'll be going to Michigan for Christmas. I'm excited about it. First time in years too.

Sorry I got off the subject. Christmast is okay, but it's more for children. (Now I'm beginning to sound like my mother)

post #10 of 14
I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! I LOVE to DECORATE!!! because of the cats we have artifical trees, but they still manage to wreck havoc with them. Usually we try to keep the room with the tree in it closed off. (this of course produces a chorus of meowing kitties just outside the doors, when we are all in the room and they are shut out) I don't know what we will do about a tree this year because since Dorothy and Baby Aidan have moved back home the living room has now become their bedroom. That leaves a very small front room that has been turned into the living room and there just isn't any place for the tree we usually put up. . . . .One other thing I do like to do is to hang up stockings for everyone including the cats and dogs. (their stockings are {of course} paw shaped as opposed to feet) I made these stockings severl years ago when Dorothy was just a toddler and they are a big part of our holiday traditions. (we need some Christmas and Hannukah smilies!)
post #11 of 14
I want some stockings too!
Did you buy them or make them?
Ok, dumb question maybe, PetSmart has everything it seems, I'll look there!

Cagneys first Christmas 3 years ago, I had a stocking ful of goodies for her. Then last year when I unpacked it and hung it, she stared at it and Meowed...think she remembered? Of course we gave her a few goodies from it occassionally before Christmas, so she probably thought it was a big treat bag!
post #12 of 14
I don't have any specific tips that havn't been mentioned. Generally I treat the house as if I had a toddler around. Of course I am too busy chasing all the cats to come up with better ways to safeguard the house. My husband really misses the little curly ribbons I used to put on packages
post #13 of 14
Well, I decorate "safely" because I have my daughter who is 2 and I do home daycare and have a 1 year old.
I had not thought about the cats though. I think Sunshine probably wouldn't even give the tree a second look, she is not inquisitive at all. But, then I have the 2 kittens. They will be about 4 months by then.........oh my. They will probably tear up the tree, they climb everything! Wow, what am I going to do? The option of a small tree or no tree at all is not really an option at all for us, with 2 kids at the Santa Age. Bummer, I don't know now. I guess I'll have to try the lemon scents and maybe fasten it to the wall so it doesn't topple. Boy, you sure have given me something to think about!!!!! Thanks.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Off of a vet site, it is titled Hazards of Christmas on Cats:
I wonder if cats ponder the meaning of Christmas. In the middle of winter we bring a tree into the house. That's strange enough from a cat's point of view, but then we hang lights and all sorts of stuff on this "giant cat toy" and get mad at them when they dare to play with it.

Donna, one of my employees, said they have discovered a great solution to the problem of cats knocking the tree over. They nail it to the floor. It's not as crazy as it sounds if the tree is on a carpeted area. Small nail holes will not hurt the carpet and won't show when you remove them.

I thought we should hang our tree from the ceiling. The cats would like that even better, since they could swing back and forth on the tree. It would also be safer since the electrical cord could come from the top, where the cats are less likely to chew on it.

Cats love to investigate new things and the electrical cord to the Christmas tree seldom escapes their attention. We usually get at least one feline patient who gets a burned mouth or worse. If you don't want to hang your tree from the ceiling, keep a close watch on the cats, unplug the tree when unsupervised cats are around it, and consider using the plastic tubing hardware stores have for covering electrical cords.

A pretty Siamese mix named K.C. had to come to the hospital yesterday. In an unusual display of Christmas spirit, she was wearing a bright red decorative ribbon - protruding from her rear end. Cats will also eat tinsel. We stopped using it several years ago after our old cat Amos interrupted our quiet evening in front of the TV. He came screaming through the living room like the devil was after him. We tracked him down, hiding way under the bed, eyes big as saucers. We found a little nugget dangling under his tail by a bright piece of tinsel.

If you should discover ribbon or tinsel in a similar place, don't pull on it. The stuff may be longer than you think and if you pull it out it may slice through the wall of the intestine like a little wire saw. Be careful with your scissors, but keep cutting off what hangs out until no more comes out.

The intestine may bunch up on string-like material and cause a gradual partial obstruction of the bowel. Symptoms like vomiting and loss of appetite may only develop slowly over several days or more. It is safest to take an initial X-ray and then watch the pet carefully for signs of trouble. Surgery may be needed, but it is a difficult diagnosis to make and having an initial X-ray for a "baseline" reference could be valuable.

Poinsettias are toxic, but rarely cause serious trouble. As in most plant poisonings in cats, the most common symptom is drooling due to irritated gums and the only treatment that may be needed, if any, is rinsing with water. Holly and mistletoe have the potential to be much more toxic. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nervous system symptoms, and heart problems. But it is rare that a cat will eat enough of either to get seriously ill.

Well, I couldn't talk my wife into hanging our tree from the ceiling but I would like to hear from those of you who try it. When she hears how well it works out, I'm sure we'll do it next year.
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