The arrival of the Christmas tree is a big event for Kitty. Life was bordering and “ho hum” before you brought this wonderful piece of the great outdoors inside. From the feline point of view this is definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts you have ever given your well-deserving companion. And if the tree wasn’t enough, you so thoughtfully added all those sparkly and dangly toys from its branches! Now how do you break the news to Kitty that the tree is really not for him.
First of all, this is the time to present Kitty with all the gifts that you were planning to save for December 25th. Of course, if one of those just happens to be a floor-to-ceiling cat tree, your troubles are over. Let’s face it, part of being a cat includes the drive to be up high and they love to climb. It gives them a feeling of security and domination that is so essential to the feline psyche. A few well-made catnip toys and some interactive play with a new fishing pole toy will also help to compensate Kitty for what he is not getting The Tree!). Be sure that your cat has a tall, sturdy, sisal scratching post (we recommend “The Ultimate Scratching Post™”) to which he can direct his instinctive scratching behaviors.
For the safety of the cat, the ornaments, and your household, be sure the tree is stable and cannot be tipped over. A heavy tree stand will help but it is also wise to screw a hook into the ceiling and attach a string from the hook to the tree top in case Kitty makes a leap for the tree when you are not looking.
The ornaments on the bottom branches should be tied on, not hung (green twist ties work well) and they should be unbreakable. Remember that pets love to drink the water out of the tree stand, so don’t add any preservatives that could be harmful to your furry family members, which includes your dog.
In order to maintain that holiday spirit of peace and goodwill it is important to devise remote corrections to keep Kitty out of trouble. Please see out article “What Kitty Doesn’t Want You to Know“. This means that the environmnt, not you, tells Kitty to stay away from the tree. Direct corrections (yelling or squirting with a water bottle) will only teach the cat “owner absent” behavior. These methods can be confusing and frightening to the cat and the added stress may result in other behavioral problems such as not using the litter box.
Take your time and redirect your cats attention to proper toys for them,
it will make for a very MERRY CHRISTMAS for all!
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