Trim a Cat-Friendly Tree for "Catmas"

Make the Christmas tree a place where cats can safely play this holiday.

By Kristina Lotz | Posted: December 5, 2013, 12 p.m. EST

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Cat Christmas Tree
Steps up to a Christmas tree for cats 
Cat Christmas Tree
Perches for cats to play with fun, festive toys
Christmas tree-trimming was one of my favorite moments growing up. My parents always hung the glass ornaments up high, away from us clumsy kids and our active cats. After the lights — another thing we had to watch around the cats — and the ornaments were hung, my father would painstakingly place silver tinsel (remember that stuff?) one strand at a time all over the tree. That was, of course, until the year Spot, our black and white Persian mix, threw up a tinsel ball. Ever since, deciding whether a decoration was cat-friendly has been a factor when trimming the tree.

Hear cat holiday safety tips >>

As I put up this year's Christmas tree, I saw how much my kitties loved sleeping under the tree. I thought: why not make a Christmas tree just for the cats to enjoy? One where they could actually play with the ornaments and where no light strings were a tragedy waiting to happen. Thus, the Catmas tree was born.

Find out why traditional Christmas trees are dangerous for cats >>

Aided by some beautiful cat toy ornaments made by Whisker City and Grreat Choice at Petsmart, as well as a couple of homemade ones, my kitties have a festival tree that is sure to be the most unique one on the block.

Craft a catnip star for your cat-friendly tree >>


The Purrfect Christmas Tree
Cats will love either a real or fake tree. If it’s a pre-lit artificial one, however, take out the lights so your cat doesn’t chew the wire, even if the lights are left unplugged.

Put the tree somewhere your kitties can access, and that won’t allow them to jump on something they shouldn’t, like your countertops or the fireplace mantle.

Once the tree is up, create platforms so that your kitty can "climb” the tree safely. See how to make wooden platforms for your tree. The tree we used was 6 feet, with a 16-inch and a 24-inch platform. We kept them short because we have older cats that don’t climb high anymore, but younger cats would love to go all the way to the top.

The majority of the ornaments came from Petsmart. They have a great selection of pre-made cat toys that also look like ornaments. A few of them, however, did not have any way to hang on the tree. For those ornaments, we just attached yarn or ribbon to them for hanging that worked great.

We made a homemade ornament this year: a Catnip Star. This fun felt ornament was full of fresh dried catnip and drove my kitty crazy! This was by far her favorite ornament, and it’s so easy to make, you could even make extra to give as gifts.
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Reader Comments

M    Lake City, FL

12/24/2013 11:59:38 PM

Thanks for the Christmas tree tips- will definitely keep them in mind next year!

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