Did you ask your cat which Christmas tree to get this year? Did you know there are over 16 types of Christmas trees? They fall into categories of Fir, Spruce, Pine, Cedar, and Cypress. Each with its own characteristics ranging from light to dark colored needles, and low to strong fragrances. This year when you are deciding which type of tree you want to strap to your car and adorn with decorations, ask your cat for their preference! That’s not to say we encourage your cats to climb up or knock over your Christmas tree, but consider how your choice could affect your cat’s health. Many already know that other holiday plants are poisonous to cats, like Poinsettia, Mistletoe and Holly, but what about the tree in your living room? Not all are toxic to our feline babies, so let’s let them help decide!
Two very popular types of Christmas trees, Spruce and Douglas Fir are considered safe tree for cats. Most cedar trees are not toxic to cats, so switch it up and try an Eastern Red cedar this year! Other trees that are often lumped into the cedar family that are safe for cats include Atlas cedar, cedar of Lebanon, and North White cedar. Some pine trees can be poisonous to cats, however. Steer clear of Norfolk pine, House pine, and Australian pine, as they can be cause reactions in cats. Find out what is available in your area and do research before you decide! You know your cat’s behavior more than anyone else, so consult with your feline babies while your deciding on a Christmas tree, especially if you’ve had your cat’s hair tested for food and environmental sensitivities and intolerances. Try to create a special area away from the Christmas tree for your cat to play and celebrate Christmas! Make sure your kitty feels special and comfortable amongst all the holiday madness and changes in the home.
Keep in mind, the means of toxicity discussed here refers to the sap that cats may come into contact if they bite a branch, or rub on and climb on the tree. If you see sap on your cat, wash it off immediately. Kitties who may ingest the tree needles, monitor them because the needles can irritate (and even puncture) the digestive tract. Some additional tips to decorating for Christmas include keeping catnip and cat toys away from the tree, and be cautious of which decorations (like tinsel) are placed on the lower branches. To discourage their playful curiosity, try to place your tree in an area where it is free standing. Keeping chairs, couches, tables, and shelves away from the tree will take away opportunities for your little lion to explore the tree! If you think your cat will still want to check out your Christmas tree, companies such as Nature’s Miracle make sprays that discourage interest. If you opt for an artificial tree this year, be aware if your cat attempts to eat or chew on the branches!