Christmas Trees: A Survival Guide for Clumsy Pet Owners

Christmas Trees: A Survival Guide for Clumsy Pet Owners

Dec 18

Ah, the holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to deck the halls with boughs of holly… and perhaps reconsider our decorating choices if we have pets. If you’re a pet owner, you probably already know that your fur babies can turn the most festive of occasions into a chaotic mess in the blink of an eye. Christmas trees, with their shiny ornaments and twinkling lights, are like an invitation for your four-legged companions to wreak havoc. Fear not, fellow pet owners! In this survival guide, we’ll share some hilarious anecdotes and practical tips to help you navigate the treacherous waters of having a Christmas tree and pets under the same roof. 

Chapter 1: Choose Your Tree Wisely

The first step in surviving the holiday season with pets is to select the right Christmas tree. Opting for a real tree can be a daring choice, as it brings a whole new level of chaos into your home. Your cat may see it as an oversized scratching post, and your dog might consider it the ultimate chew toy. Be prepared for some evergreen mess if you decide to go this route.

If you decide to go with an artificial tree, consider getting a sturdy one with a weighted base. This will make it less likely to topple over when your cat inevitably tries to climb it or your dog decides to perform some impromptu agility moves.

Chapter 2: Decoration Delights

Now that you’ve got your tree, it’s time to decorate it, but beware! The ornaments you choose can make all the difference. Avoid anything too fragile, as even the slightest tail wag or enthusiastic jump can send them shattering to the ground. Instead, opt for unbreakable ornaments, which can withstand even the most curious of paws.

In our household, we’ve found that placing the most cherished ornaments higher up on the tree helps keep them out of reach. After all, cats are excellent climbers, but they’re not known for their pole-vaulting abilities. At least not yet!

Chapter 3: Tinsel Terrors

Ah, tinsel, the shiny, tempting disaster waiting to happen. Cats, in particular, seem to be magnetically drawn to this sparkly stuff. It’s as if they see it and think, “I must pull on this with all my might!” The result is usually a room covered in tinsel and a cat who thinks they’ve just conquered the greatest foe.

Our advice? Skip the tinsel altogether, unless you’re aiming for a confetti-themed Christmas. You’ll save yourself the trouble of cleaning it up, and your cat will have to find a new nemesis.

Chapter 4: Supervise and Distract

Even with the most pet-proofed tree and decorations, there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned supervision. Keep an eye on your pets whenever they’re in the same room as the tree, especially during the initial fascination phase. Redirect their attention with their favorite toys or treats to ensure they don’t develop a lifelong vendetta against your holiday decor.

Chapter 5: Tree Skirt Shenanigans

A tree skirt may seem like a harmless addition to your festive setup, but beware of its hidden potential for pet-related chaos. For cats, it’s a perfect hiding spot, and they’ll pounce on anything that moves under there—whether it’s their own tail or an unsuspecting ornament. Dogs might see the tree skirt as an oversized chew toy or a cozy spot to curl up.

To avoid tree skirt disasters, consider using a heavier fabric that’s less likely to tempt your pets. Or you could go for a tree collar, which provides a cleaner and less accessible area for curious paws.

Chapter 6: Electrical Hazards

It’s no secret that pets are drawn to cords like moths to a flame. To keep your pets safe and your holiday spirit intact, make sure to secure all electrical cords out of their reach. Use cord protectors or hide them behind furniture to prevent chewing disasters.

Also, be mindful of hanging lights and ornaments. Cats may be curious enough to bat at them, potentially sending the entire tree crashing down. So, secure your lights and ornaments to avoid any unwanted tree drama.

Chapter 7: Litter Box Location

If you have a cat, the location of their litter box can make a significant difference in your tree’s safety. Placing the litter box near the tree can be a recipe for disaster. Cats love to dig and bury, and the temptation to use the tree’s base as their new litter box might become too strong. Keep the litter box away from the tree to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Chapter 8: Embrace the Chaos

In the end, no matter how careful you are, there’s a good chance your pets will still manage to cause some holiday havoc. Embrace the chaos and remember that it’s all part of the joy of having furry companions. The laughter and memories created during these moments are what make the holidays truly special.


Surviving the holiday season with pets and a Christmas tree is not for the faint of heart. It requires a blend of patience, creativity, and a good sense of humor. By choosing the right tree, pet-proofing your decorations, and keeping a close eye on your furry friends, you can ensure a festive and fun-filled holiday season. And when all else fails, just remember to embrace the chaos and cherish the memories that come with it. Happy holidays, fellow pet owners! May your trees stay upright, and your hearts stay warm.