While we decorate our homes for the holidays in an effort to get into the holiday spirit, our cats see our decorations as an endless array of toys placed just for them. When it comes to Christmas trees, you might pick a fake one in an effort to keep your cat from eating it. But what if your cat ate a fake Christmas tree?
Cats should not be allowed to eat any part of a fake Christmas tree. The trees aren’t inherently dangerous, but it’s possible that consuming any part of these fake trees can make your cat ill. While it can be difficult, there are known ways to keep your cat away from your fake tree so you can keep your cat and your tree safe.
If you catch your cat eating some of your fake Christmas tree, monitor them for any worrying symptoms if you’re not sure how much they ate.
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What If My Cat Ate Fake Christmas Tree Needles?
Cats seem to enjoy chewing on fake Christmas trees. It’s possible that it’s because it reminds them of grass. However, your cat shouldn’t eat any of the trees. If they manage to eat a small amount, they’ll likely be safe. Fake trees aren’t known to be toxic, but the fake leaves and branches might be hard for your cat to chew and swallow properly.
Don’t be surprised if your kitty ends up vomiting if they end up eating a decent chunk of your tree. There is also the potential they might have some diarrhea. If they do both, seem to lose their appetite, and their behavior changes, take them to the vet just to ensure your cat doesn’t have a blockage.
Why Do Cats Like Fake Christmas Trees?
Cats are inherently very curious animals who like to understand their surroundings. They like climbing things, smelling things, playing with things, and sometimes, they will eat random things that aren’t food. Since your tree goes up once a year, everytime your cat sees it, they will likely get excited about it.
Fake Christmas trees don’t necessarily taste good to cats, as they don’t have flavor. As such, your cat is likely chewing on it or trying to eat it because of the way it looks as opposed to how it tastes.
While it can be harder to deter your cat from chewing on the tree and inadvertently eat some of it, they likely won’t gravitate towards your tree in an effort to eat as much as they can because it’s not tasty.
Are Fake Christmas Trees Toxic For Cats?
Most fake Christmas trees are not going to be toxic for your cat. That said, be careful where you buy your tree from. Research what material goes into making your tree, as some have been found to contain chemicals that are toxic for pets and humans.
That said, a tree free from these chemicals should not cause too many problems for your cat unless they eat a large amount. Be wary of any fake needles that fall off the tree, as your cat might lap those up as soon as they notice them.
If possible, try to pick a smaller tree that isn’t tempting for your cat to climb. Additionally, a fake Christmas tree with softer fake needles can prevent anything too sharp causing them an internal injury.
Is It Better To Have A Fake Tree Or Real Tree Around Cats?
Fake Christmas trees are your best bet if you have cats, especially if your cats are fascinated by everything holiday-related. Pine is very bad for cats, and the sharp needles can do extensive damage to their internal organs. Fir trees are also not safe around cats, as the needles aren’t safe to consume.
Since real Christmas trees have to sit in water that’s often treated with chemicals and tree food, that poses a serious threat to your cat as well. Your cat may be tempted to take a drink of the water, and they don’t need to drink a lot to get sick.
How To Stop Cats From Eating Christmas Trees
Your local pet store should have repellant sprays that will deter your cat from wanting to chew your tree, play with the ornaments, or try to climb it. They are especially easy to find around the holidays. They aren’t toxic to your cat, but your cat will hate the smell. Most are pleasant for humans, but some can take some adjustment on your end.
It’s also worth trying to block access to your fake tree as much as you can. Have items around the tree skirt that make it difficult for your cat to get their little mouths on the branches. You might also want to avoid having ornaments towards the bottom of the tree, as they can attract your cat to the tree and lead to them chewing on it.
Be sure your cat has enough toys to play with and perches to climb. Your cat might be more inclined to go after your tree if they’re bored. On the same note, your cat might go after your tree in an effort to get your attention, so be sure you’re giving them plenty of pets and taking time to play with them during the business of the holidays.
Part of having a cat at home means adjusting some of your regular choices to accommodate your cat. You can still have a Christmas tree at home, with an artificial tree being your best bet. Be selective about the decorations you choose for your tree, and keep any cords out of your cat’s sight.
If your cat manages to eat part of your fake Christmas tree, they will likely just throw it up if they have any reaction at all. You should still monitor your cat for a few days afterwards, and find ways to keep them away from the tree. You and your kitty can have a happy holiday knowing that your fake tree shouldn’t harm your cat.