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Christmas Tree Tea Isn't For Kitty: How Your Christmas Tree Water Can Hurt Your Cat

If you're planning on buying a Christmas tree or already have one in your home, you're probably well aware that keeping your cat away from it is nearly impossible. However, even if you take all the steps you can to keep your cat away from the Christmas tree itself, there may be one important aspect that you've overlooked: keeping your cat away from the Christmas tree water. If you have a live tree that's soaking in water to keep it fresh, make sure to read this guide to keep your cat safe.

Christmas Trees Are Toxic

If you're keeping your cat away from your tree because you don't want the tree to be harmed, you should know that the tree can also hurt your cat. Pine trees are poisonous to cats, but cats occasionally ingest the needles these trees drop. The needles can either poison your cat or get caught in their mouth or throat. 

Christmas Tree Water

The water that you keep your Christmas tree in is also poisonous to your cat, in part because tree sap leaks out of the tree's stump and into the water. However, the water is also susceptible to soaking up fallen pine needles, as well as the flame retardants and tree preservatives that you add to your tree's water to keep it fresh and fire resistant. These chemicals aren't safe for your cat to consume, but cats are unfortunately drawn to pools of water. While the idea of your cat drinking a little Christmas tree tea may sound charming, you don't want your cat to consume this toxic liquid.

Keeping Cats Away

Unless you can keep your cats out of the room that your Christmas tree is in, preventing them from drinking the water may be difficult. However, there are a few steps you can take to discourage them from drinking it:

  • Use a narrow tree stand - The smaller the opening of the tree stand, the less likely your cat will be able to easily stick their face into the water to drink.
  • Cover the stand with cloth - Draping a cloth around the opening of the tree stand will help to block off the access to the water from your cat.
  • Spritz lemon oil - Cats find the scent of citrus to be distasteful, so spraying a little lemon oil onto the stand may help to keep your cat away from it.

If your cat has drunk some of the water from your Christmas tree, get them to a veterinarian as soon as you can. Your vet can examine your cat to make sure that they're okay, and administer charcoal to prevent the toxins from being absorbed into the body. Otherwise, use these steps to keep your kitty away from the water.

To better understand how to keep your cat safe this holiday season, click here for more info.