Cats and Christmas

How to cope with a cat during the festive season.

Important things to remember for cats at Christmas

  • Keep an eye on your Christmas tree. Christmas trees for cat owners can be a nightmare – especially if your cat likes to climb!
  • Festive plants like poinsettia and berries found in holly and mistletoe are poisonous to cats, so keep them out of reach
  • Tinsel and other decorations can be dangerous if they are swallowed
  • Festive foods are often poisonous for cats – from chocolate and raisins to onions and garlic
  • Cats can feel stressed and anxious at Christmas time. Make sure you give them space and a safe place to hide.

Christmas trees and decorations hazardous to cats

If you’re a cat owner, it won’t surprise you to find that cats love Christmas trees. Some cats are keen climbers, and a lit-up tree presents a challenge they won’t be able to resist. Others are attracted by sparkly decorations. 

If you’ve purchased a real Christmas tree and your cat tends to nibble or lick, you’ll need to be mindful of your cat ingesting any parts of it. Some oils produced by these trees can be toxic, making your cat very unwell. Fertilisers and plant food can also be harmful to cats. You’ll also need to make sure you pick up any fallen needles to save them injuring delicate cat paws.

Decorations also present hazards for cats at Christmas. Hanging baubles can look like fun toys for felines, and glass baubles in particular can shatter easily. Tinsel can cause serious illness if ingested due to the blockages they can cause. It some cases, this can even be fatal. 

Christmas lights can also be dangerous to cats and should be used safely. Cover any wires leading to the tree by using plastic or cardboard tubes, and also switch your Christmas lights off at the mains when you’re not home.

How to make your Christmas tree cat-safe

Our guide on Christmas trees for cat owners ensures your cat is kept safe, and your tree stays intact

  • Make sure your Christmas tree has a sturdy base, or secure it with weights to stop it from toppling over
  • Display any hanging decorations closer to the top of the tree, out of the way of mischievous paws
  • Avoid using glass baubles, or any decorations that may break easily
  • Always switch your Christmas lights off at the mains when you’re not around
  • Be careful with tinsel – if your cat eats it, it can cause serious harm
  • Don’t place any presents for your cat under the tree, especially if they contain catnip – it will just entice them further
  • If your cat is particularly playful, make sure you supervise them when they’re near the tree