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If you love Christmas decorations, you aren’t alone — and chances are, your cat loves them, too. Are you at your wit’s end trying to hang garland and string lights with a playful cat by your side?
Keep reading for seven tips to keep your cat safe this holiday season and to keep your decorations from harm, too.
(This article focuses on more general decorating tips — if you’re looking for ideas on a cat-friendly Christmas tree specifically, click here.)
If your cat is a climber, there may not be many places that are out of reach — but with a little creativity, you can find spots that aren’t accessible.
Maybe you can use thumbtacks to hang string lights along a doorframe; place breakable decorations on top of the cabinets, or clear off a tall chest of drawers and set a mini tree on top. Look at your house or apartment with new eyes and find spots high enough that your cats can’t get to them. You also might be able to create out-of-range places by temporarily shifting around furniture.
Put the cat in a crate or shut them in a different room while you decorate.
Decorating without help from a feline friend will eliminate the chances that an ornament will get lost or broken before it’s even in place, and once you do let your cat out, you can keep a spray bottle of water handy in case you need to reinforce that the decorations are not toys.
Choose electric candles instead of real ones; they’ll have the same visual effect but are much safer.
Pets are responsible for thousands of house fires each year in the U.S. and it’s better to be safe. If you do feel the need to light a scented candle, make sure to blow it out before you leave the room.
Designate some decorations that your cat can play with. A few suggestions:
By putting your “real” decorations out of reach and being more flexible about the decor that’s lower, you can help your more expensive decor items stay looking nice.
A repellent such as Bitter Yuck or this five-star Cat Away spray can be helpful to steer cats away from the decor.
While you may not want the bitter smell to linger on your decorations, these kinds of sprays are effective for the large majority of cats and can get the job done.
Electrical wires pose the same problem as candles — they’re tempting to cats but very dangerous. Hide the cords by using cord protectors or, if possible, keeping the cords off the floor. Always unplug the wires before you leave the house.
The following decorations can all pose a danger to pets:
Either stay away from these decorations altogether or make absolutely sure that your cat can’t access them — keep poinsettias on the front porch if you have an indoor cat, for example, or put snowglobes up high. That’s the best way to keep both your cat and your decorations safe this Christmas.
Don’t forget to buy a cat-friendly stocking for your feline friend too! On the fence about what you should get your cat for Christmas? Look into pet insurance — it doubles as a gift for you, too!