Dogs and cats don’t really mix very well with Christmas trees – although in the opinions of many of our furry friends, this is not the case. Every December, pet owners all over the country are faced with the challenge of keeping their cats and dogs away from the Christmas tree, for the protection of both the pets in question, and the tree itself!
Exactly why cats and sometimes dogs are so fascinated with Christmas trees is something of a mystery – the novelty of something new in the house is of course a factor, along with the strange smells, sparkling decorations and tempting hanging baubles. Cats of course often try to climb the Christmas tree and play with the ornaments, while dogs may again try to play with the ornaments or presents under the tree – and if you are very unlucky, your dog might view the tree as an indoor urinal, or your cat think that a bucket of sand or earth holding the tree is a litter tray!
When it comes to keeping your cat or dog off your Christmas tree, there is no fool proof solution – which means that pet owners often need to get creative to keep the tree and their pets apart.
In this article, we will share ten ideas for keeping your tree out of your pet’s reach, as well as some more innovative suggestions that other pet owners have tried as well, some of which turned their tree into a feature in a whole new way! Read on to learn more.
Christmas trees that are designed to hang upside down from the ceiling first came onto the scene a few years ago, and gathered minor popularity as a novelty. However, cat and dog owners have since realised that suspending your tree upside down not only turns it into an unusual feature, but keeps pets from being able to get to it too!
If you have a high table or dresser that is out of your pet’s reach or that they don’t usually pay much attention to, why not get a smaller tree and place it on this higher surface, rather than the floor? For the owners of inquisitive dogs particularly, or those that try to pee on the tree, this is often effective.
Avoid having a freestanding tree entirely and instead, create a wall display from green tinsel and decorations. Just tack or pin the tinsel to the wall in the shape of a tree, and then decorate it with other colours, baubles and lights. Simple!
Does your cat rip all of the baubles and tinsel from the lower half of the tree, leaving it bare and rather sad-looking after a few days? Well why not get a head start, and leave the bottom half of your tree bare, and only decorate the top half from the get-go!
If you live in an apartment with a balcony or a house with patio doors out onto a deck, one way to enjoy having a beautiful tree that your pets can’t get to it to put it outside. Get a tree that can weather the elements and decorations that won’t fall apart in bad weather, and enjoy a full, close-up view of the tree from indoors with a convenient barrier to keep your pet away!
We’re all familiar with the buster collars that are used after veterinary surgery to keep pets from bothering at healing wounds, and if you happen to have a large buster collar in a cupboard or can mock up something similar, you can attach this around the lower part of the trunk of the tree facing downwards to keep your pet from climbing or reaching the ornaments.
If it’s time to bring out the big guns because your dog is determined that the tree is their new chew toy, use your dog’s crate or playpen to keep tree and dog apart. However, we don’t mean crating your dog – put the tree behind your dog fencing, and turn it into a talking point for a whole new reason.
Does your cat back off at the sight of a water spray bottle, or your dog give the vacuum cleaner a wide berth? Excellent. Simply stand the object of your pet’s distaste in front of the tree, to discourage them from going too close. Plus, using a vacuum cleaner serves double duty, leaving it on hand to hoover up shed pine needles!
If you know your cat or dog is going to attack the lower branches of your tree, get a head start and trim them off – leaving a tall, narrow tree that is sparse on the bottom and covered in decorations on top.
Finally, if you’re keen to protect your tree so that it stands in all of its untouched glory on Christmas morning, simply decorate it as normal and wrap it in clingfilm. That’ll stop them!