Nothing beats cosying up in front of the Christmas tree with your cats and a big mug of hot chocolate!
Keep spirits bright and disaster at bay this Christmas by being mindful of the following suggestions for how to keep both cats and Christmas trees safe:
Set up the tree a day or two before it's adorned with any ornaments so that your cats can safely investigate the tree and hopefully, soon lose interest in it.
Cover the base
Try wrapping the tree base with aluminum foil and if you do use a real tree, cover the water-filled base with a tree skirt. Securing the tree to a wall with some wire near the top can help keep it upright and minimize its risk of falling.
Place your tree in a corner
Place the tree in a location away from any furniture your cats could use to leap into the branches.
Hang ornaments up high
Place the sturdier ornaments on the lowest branches and on the higher branches, place any particularly fragile ornaments that can injure an inquisitive cat.
When hanging ornaments, fasten them to branches as tightly as you can with wire or twine so that the ornaments cannot fall off if the tree moves or if the ornaments are swatted at.
PetMD advises skipping the tinsel because it introduces a choking risk and intestinal distress to habitual chewers.
Be cautious with lights
A Christmas tree is complete when its lights are on but electric lights pose a risk of electrocution or burns. Lights placed on the tree should be unplugged at night, and tape the cords to the wall from the outlet to the tree and wind the strings close to the center of the tree to keep your cats out of harm's way.
Use citrus scents along the bottom branches of the tree. Mist the tree with a citrus spray or hang dried citrus decorations to repel a mischievous cat.
Supply cat friendly distractions
Distract them from the lure of the tree by offering treats, praise and catnip toys. Make time to play with your cats to burn off some pent-up winter-time energy.
Photo of dried citrus decorations via apartment therapy