It’s that time of year when the tree is proudly displayed and decorated, gifts piled up, the wreath pinned to the door.
For my cats, all of sudden they have so many bright and shiny things to play with!
But cat + Christmas tree can equal trouble. Cat Christmas presents can also be challenging given feline fussiness, plus what do you do about the influx of guests to your home?
Here’s how I celebrate Christmas with my cats.
To tree or not to tree
The first Christmas with my cat Edgar I learned that trees and cats can be a stressful combination. A curious kitten, Edgar loved swatting at the baubles, darting around the tree and launching himself into it. This lasted for a few days before the tree was removed and we made do with some very minimalist decorations instead.
My cats are now older and less likely to wreak havoc on a Christmas tree. It’s a good idea to ensure your Christmas tree has a solid base and is propped against a wall so it’s less likely to come crashing down if your cat leaps at it.
Avoid string lights or baubles that can present choking hazards for your kitty.
There are also wall hanging ‘tree’ options made from wood panels, or removable wall stickers that outline a tree if you want to think outside of the square.
They always prefer the box
To include my cats in the gift giving, we give them a toy to play with. As We’ve learned the hard way though, cats will always prefer the cardboard box that expensive item came in rather than the toy itself, so we keep it simple.
You can’t go wrong with a pack of ping-pong balls or a fishing-pole style toy for them to pounce at. We don’t bother to wrap the gifts, but if you want to do so, the ribbon will also make for fun play-time – just don’t leave your cat unsupervised with it.
Sharing the home
Both of my cats are fairly timid and usually dart out of the room when we have guests. To ensure they’re relaxed when we have people over, I use a calming spray plug-in to get the cats in a mellow mood ahead of celebrations.
They also have plenty of places to go and hide so they can tune out the sounds of Christmas carols if need be and have a peaceful kip.