Do you love to decorate your home for the holidays? Does your cat love to redecorate by undoing hours of your hard decorating work? We've seen enough photo evidence to determine that our cats just really hate our home decor ideas. A traditional Christmas tree? That's so last year. Turkey cutouts for Thanksgiving? Tacky! Cats are the ultimate critics.
Besides being amusing and sometimes annoying, our cats' tendencies to wreck holiday decorations might have a more serious side to consider: their safety. Some holiday decorations can be toxic to cats if ingested; others can obstruct their breathing. This holiday season, make sure your home has cat-friendly decorations to avoid potential trouble.
Tips for a cat-friendly holiday home
How do you keep your home cat-friendly but festive? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Ribbons, yarn, string, and other shiny and stringy decorations are very enticing to a playful cat, but they can cause your cat to become tangled up and potentially get hurt. Hang these (and breakable decorations) up high, out of your cat's reach.
- Candles lend a wonderful atmosphere (and scent) to any holiday home, but be wary of lit candles around your cat. Never leave candles lit when you're not around -- this is a hazard both to your cat and to you!
- Some holiday staples and decorations, like tinsel and artificial snow, can can be toxic or cause stomach problems if ingested. Keep anything that your can might want to taste out of his reach, or better yet. find a cat-friendly alternative, like felt or cotton toys, decorations, and other adornments made of natural, non-toxic materials.
- Holiday plants look festive but some are toxic to cats. Holly and mistletoe, for instance, are two holiday staples that can seriously damage your cat's stomach. Check our guide for non-toxic kitty plants, and make sure you click over to the ASPCA's list of plants that are toxic to cats.
- Keep all electric cords out of your cat's reach by covering them with something or elevating them out of reach.
The tips above can keep your holiday decorations safe for your cat, but read on to see how you can actually include your kitty on the festive fun!
Interactive holiday decorations for cats
Instead of keeping your decorations safe from your cats (an almost impossible feat), why not encourage interaction instead? There are some simple ways you can let your cat play with the decor worry-free.
Does your kitty leave her toys lying around? Get her some holiday-themed toys and they'll brighten up the room instead. When your kitty is playing with felted spiders and eyeballs, it just feels more like Halloween! We sell custom-made felted seasonal cat toys, but they sell out fast so keep an eye out for new restocks. Plenty of other companies create holiday themed cat toys as well so look out for those as well.
You can add your own decorations to your cat's scratchers and shelves so you can enjoy them as much as your cat does. Remember to use safe, cat-friendly materials! For a special treat, get one of the many available holiday themed cat scratchers or caves, so kitty can cat-nap inside a Christmas tree cave that's decorative and functional.
Or you can simply cut out some cardboard in fun seasonal shapes and hang them up where your cat can easily reach and interact with them.
Don't let the idea of a cat-friendly home limit you -- make it fun for everyone instead! What's your favorite way to include your kitty in the holiday fun?