The Dangerous Real Christmas Tree

Almost everyone has a Christmas tree standing in their living room. But if you have cats, dogs or other animals, you may be surprised how dangerous this tree actually is.

Photo by Gatto Mimmo.

Photo by Gatto Mimmo.

Tree Needles

Real trees can be dangerous to cats. The pine needles they may ingest can puncture intestines and the pine is highly toxic to cats. It can cause liver damage and even death. So if you don’t want the tree losing it’s needles, make sure it has enough water so it won’t dry out.

Also make sure that your cat has no access to the water that the real tree is put in because it contains pine resin, preservatives and fire retardants.

The Fir Oil

The fir-tree oils are mildly toxic. They can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, cause a lot of drooling or vomiting.

Tinsel & Ornaments

Also be careful with tinsel. If you really want to have it on the tree, place it at the top of the three where your cat (hopefully) can’t reach. Tinsel can cause blockage in the stomach or intestines. Which may result in a pricey emergency surgery.

Ornaments should be attached safe and secure to the tree so it can’t be knocked out of the tree. Place the delicate ones high in the tree. And when there is no one around in the house, unplug the tree from the Christmas lights. If your cat may bite in it, it could cause a (fatal) electric shock.

You can spray things like citrus or bitter apple on the wire to keep your cat away from it, if you know he’s a wire-biter. After you brought the Christmas tree in, spray the needles with anti-chew repellent that you can buy at most pet stores. The spray is not harmful to the tree or animals. But it will at least keep your kitty away from the tree!

Then let’s not forget about to make sure the tree is steady! If your kitty still decides to climb the tree, or sharpen his nail, or rub against it, your tree may fall over if it’s not steady enough.

Give Your Cat His Own Tree

And we’re talking a real cat tree here! If your cat gets his cat tree around the same time that you set up the real tree, his new furniture will serve as an alternative to the Christmas tree, and he may want to spend more time on that tree, rather than in your tree!

Photo by Tunde Pecsvari.

Photo by Tunde Pecsvari.


Do you have a real tree during the holidays?

10 Responses to “The Dangerous Real Christmas Tree”

  1. twoblindcatsandcrew

    Thanks for the great information. Never thought of buying them their own tree. Love the blog.

  2. Kitties Blue

    The information was very good and the photos adorable. Thank you. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  3. Ruby

    Very informative! We have a real tree but our cats don’t seem to care too much about it. They will sit under or near it occasionally but would much rather sleep on the couch.

  4. Charles Huss

    Those are some things that I didn’t know. Thanks for the info. My cat Chris chews on the power cord and light bulbs and I just caught Puck using the trunk (it’s a Christmas palm tree) as a scratching post. Is the spray you mentioned safe to spray on the bulbs?

  5. Ali Gobiobi Browning

    I havn’t had a Christmas tree for about 17 years since I started taking in kitties, each time I’ve tried they climb up it and pull it down, I have my decorations up high and a small tree very high up where they can’t reach it . he he

  6. Tom Duhamel

    I knew you would do great with this topic :)

    I like the last picture. Notice how it’s an artificial, cat safe tree. The balls appear to be of plastic too, that’s good.

    You better share some holiday pictures of your cats in the next few weeks!!


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