How Do You Decorate for Holidays with Cats?

United States
December 11, 2012 1:46pm CST
I am seeing lots of friends having troubles with cats and Christmas decorations. Their cat family members are climbing the tree, batting at the ornaments, using the tree skirt for a litterbox. You do have to try and see it from the cats' point of view. Of course, they love that it's a tree, think it's made for climbing and scratching their claws on the trunk and perching on the limbs. And at its base should be leaves of some sort for potty purposes, but in this case, there aren't. That's rather unfortunate. So, mylotters with cats, how do you and your cats negotiate Christmas decorations for the better? What changes do you make? Any special tricks? Best wishes! :-)
6 responses
@deazil (4547)
• United States
11 Dec 12
When I used to have a tree I would hang unbreakable ornaments on the lower half of it. Fortunately none of my cats ever tried to climb the tree. Or use the base of it for a litter box. I do know someone who's cat totally destroyed their very large tree and a lot of glass ornaments by climbing it. I know someone else who ties their tree so that it's fastened to the wall with heavy twine and they also use unbreakable ornaments. The only real problem I ever had was with the mylar tinsel, the long, 18-24 inch silver strands I had draped on the tree. One of my cats was by the tree and he looked rather suspicious. As I went in the room and walked toward him, he ran. I knew something was up and went after him. He didn't run far. I think he knew he needed help. I looked at him and saw about 1 inch of a strand of tinsel hanging from his mouth. He had swallowed the other 18 or so inches of it. I got it out. I know they say if it doesn't come out easily don't pull it and call your vet. But it came right out, I think because he had just swallowed it. No time to get it wrapped up in his stomach. All the tinsel came off the tree right then. I never used it anymore. If any of your cat owning friends use tinsel you might want to pass that on to them. That's all the advice I have.
• United States
15 Dec 12
Hello deazil, and thank you for your kind response. WOW! You have some good information in this one. I never knew that before about them swallowing tinsel and not to tug on it. Never had that happen, but grateful for your knowledge. Best wishes! :-)
@deazil (4547)
• United States
15 Dec 12
You're welcome! Anytime a cat swallows anything like a string or a ribbon, etc., not just tinsel, you shouldn't pull on it if it doesn't come out easily. I read that someplace years ago. I'm glad I read it.
• United States
17 Dec 12
I'm glad you read it, too! Best wishes! :-)
• St. Peters, Missouri
15 Dec 12
I have three cats - one only 6 months. So this is a major concern for me. I'm not really into decorating much, so I'm ok with not decorating at all. My daughter decided she wanted a little tree, so she put it up and put her presents underneath. The cats had the tree knocked over by the end of the night and had managed to put holes in at least one package. When I do have something I don't want them to destroy, I have one shelf I know they can't get to. It's above my door. I will sometimes put decorations there.
• United States
17 Dec 12
Hey there, StLouisMetroTutoring, thanks for responding! That's a wonderful idea. Sorry to hear about your daughter's experience. I guess the cats had to re-teach that lesson until she learned it, eh? I don't have a pet-inaccessible spot in my home that's visible for me to enjoy at the moment. I'm so glad you do. Best wishes! :-)
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
12 Dec 12
when my daughters were little and our cat was alive, i used to put bells as ornaments all around the bottom of the tree and so if i was out of the room and heard a bell, i knew someone was messing around with the tree. (fortunately, our kitty wasn't interested in the tree at all!)
• United States
15 Dec 12
Welcome cher, and thank you for your response. The bell thing is a grand idea! My sister used to hang a string of bells on a kitchen drawer and her dog would make music by passing nearby with her tail. I never thought of that as a tree technique, but it certainly fits the bill. Best wishes!
@ElicBxn (60895)
• United States
12 Dec 12
Well, you know, I love my cats a LOT more than I like to decorate for Christmas (which is a very short trip because I HATE to decorate for Christmas.) I have a new roommate who was kind of disappointed that we weren't getting a tree. As the roomie said "Its not like you can see it anyway." She then made a comment about the smell and the roomie pointed out that we were both allergic to real trees so that was OUT! Then the new roommate kind of admitted she was allergic too. I think she just wants the idea of decorating - not really understanding that anything she wants she can have - but she has to do it... At Thanksgiving she wanted stuffed celery - I guess with cheese or something. "How many can you eat?" the roomie asked. "Oh, maybe two," she replied - she has some medical issues that prevent her from eating too much of some things like raw vegetables. "Well, I don't like stuffed celery and Elic hates all celery, so I don't think its worth it, but if you want a stalk of celery to stuff that's fine." ahhh - if she had to do it, she wasn't interested anymore!
• United States
15 Dec 12
Welcome Elic, and thank you for your generous response. It's too bad about the fussy roommate. But glad to hear your priorities are in order regarding cats. Best wishes!
1 person likes this
@ctryhnny (3463)
• United States
11 Dec 12
I wasn't going to put a tree up because I have 2 rambunctious cats. Finally I decided to do it and so far other than moving it over a few inches they basically leave it alone...the don't bother the gifts under there either which surprises me.
• United States
15 Dec 12
Welcome, ctryhnny, and thank you for responding. My cats are rambunctious, too. How interesting that yours don't bother the tree or gifts. Best wishes! :-)
@subhojit10 (7382)
• India
11 Dec 12
Thanks a ton for sharing this discussion. Well i know it would very tough to control the pets especially when u are decorating your house as they tend to get more playful upon seeing any new things coming up inside the house. Under such situations, either the tree decorations can be done in a separate room that is not accessible to the pets or else the decorations can be done when the pet is not at home so that by the time they come every decoration would have been over and their resting place would be shifted to another room. What say?
• United States
15 Dec 12
Hello again, subhojit, and thank you very much for responding to this discussion. These sound like very nice ideas that could actually work. Best wishes! :-)