With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to deck your halls and make your house look merry.
It’s fun and exciting to get all festive and break out the tree, but it gets a little stressful when you have a four-legged friend or two in your home. Year after year you spend hours making it look perfect, only to turn your back and find your favourite ornaments broken or your whole tree lying across the floor.
Don’t worry — you don’t have to choose between your pets and your tree.
1. Choose the position for your tree wisely
If you can, put your tree in a room that you can close up to keep your pets away when you’re not around to supervise. If that’s not a feasible solution, at least keep from placing it near shelves or surfaces from where your cat can jump.
2. Keeping the tree upright
Climbing cats and chasing dogs can cause your tree to spend just as much time on the floor as upright. Keep your tree from toppling by securing it to the wall or ceiling with a hook and wire.
3. Make it heavy
If you don’t secure your tree to the wall or ceiling, use a base that is sturdy, wide and heavy to help prevent it from tipping over.
4. Cover the water
If you use a live tree, keep your cats and dogs from using the base as a water bowl by making sure the skirt/cover reaches all the way to the pot holding the tree.
5. Delay decorating
Before you fill the tree with tempting baubles, let it sit, unadorned, for a couple of days. Give your pets the chance to get accustomed to the tree before you add the tempting ornaments.
6. Use scent deterrents
Cats hate the smell of citronella, so it works as a pretty good deterrent for your tree. Spray a few pine cones with the scent and place them throughout your tree to keep your cats on the other side of the room.
7. Skip the shiny stuff
Those glass ornaments are gorgeous, and your cat will think so, too. Skip the shiny, reflective baubles and opt for ornaments made of felt, paper, wood and fabrics. They’re still fun and colourful but won’t be half as interesting to your feline.
8. Go for noise makers
Add lots of bells to your tree decor so you’ll get a noisy alert when the animals start to go exploring.
9. Keep the breakables up high
If you can’t do without your favourite ornaments, at least keep them on the top half of the tree and make sure they’re tightly secured to the tree.
10. Protect from shock
Keep your pets from chewing on cables by covering them with cardboard or plastic tubes and unplugging the lights when they’re not in use.
11. Fake it
Live trees are beautiful, but they’re more tempting to your pets — and more dangerous. Cats and dogs tend to chew on branches and needles from live trees leading to injury and maybe even poisoning due to chemicals used to preserve cut trees.