Can Cats Eat Christmas Trees?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

You may have seen your cat nibbling on a pine needle or two, and wondered if it’s safe. We’ve got the answer to your question: can cats eat Christmas trees?

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Most people are aware that Christmas trees are poisonous to cats, but many don’t realize how harmful they can be. Christmas trees can cause a number of problems for cats, including gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, Christmas trees can even cause death.

If you have a cat, it’s important to take precautions to keep them safe during the holiday season. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cat safe during the holidays:

– Choose a Christmas tree that is safe for cats. There are a number of artificial trees on the market that are made with materials that are safe for cats. If you choose a real tree, make sure it is well-secured so your cat can’t knock it over.
– Don’t put any decorations on your tree that could be harmful to your cat if ingested. This includes things like tinsel, ribbon, and string.
– Keep your cat away from the tree water. Tree water can contain bacteria and chemicals that can be harmful to your cat if ingested.
– If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, make sure they have access to an outdoor litter box during the holiday season. This will help prevent them from using your Christmas tree as a bathroom.

What’s in a Christmas Tree That’s Toxic to Cats?

Many people put up Christmas trees in their homes during the holiday season, but did you know that Christmas trees can be toxic to cats? The Christmas tree is usually covered in decorations, including tinsel, garland, and lights, which can all be dangerous to cats if ingested. The tree itself is also covered in a sticky sap that can cause stomach upset if eaten.

Pine Needles

Pine needles, while not poisonous, can cause stomach upset in your cat if ingested. Pine needles can also puncture the intestines if swallowed, which can lead to serious infection. If you think your cat has ingested pine needles, watch for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy and contact your veterinarian immediately.


Fertilizer can be very harmful to cats if ingested. Most fertilizers contain nitrogen, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat ingests a large amount of fertilizer, he or she may also experience difficulty breathing and an increased heart rate. If you think your cat has ingested fertilizer, contact your veterinarian immediately.


There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Christmas trees and cats. Cats are attracted to the smell of pine, which is why they might be interested in chewing on your tree. Additionally, if your tree is treated with any kind of preservative, that could be harmful to your cat if ingested.

Why Do Cats Eat Christmas Trees?

It’s Christmas time, and you know what that means- a Christmas tree in your living room! But you also know what that means for your cat- a new target to chew on. So why do cats eat Christmas trees, and is it actually safe for them?


Your cat may be attracted to your Christmas tree because it’s tall and full of interesting things to swat at, climb on, and hide in. If your cat is particularly bored, he may view your Christmas tree as a giant scratching post and start to climb it (ouch!). A simple solution to this problem is to provide your cat with plenty of toys and things to do so he doesn’t get bored in the first place. You can also try spraying your tree with a deterrent like vinegar or lemon juice (just be sure your decorations are safe for cats if they happen to get ahold of them).


The tree may just be in the way, and the cat is used to grooming itself by rubbing against vertical objects. If your cat isana indoor/outdoor cat, it may have developed a taste for evergreens while outside. Some cats are attracted to the smell of a tree, and others like to eat pine needles.


Cats are curious creatures by nature, and that means they’re often drawn to things they’re not supposed to eat. While some Christmas tree hazards are obvious, likeASPCA,) others might not be so apparent. Read on to learn more about the dangers Christmas trees pose for cats—and what you can do to keep your feline friend safe this holiday season.

Real Christmas trees are often treated with chemicals—like pesticides and herbicides—to help them last longer. When your cat nibbles on the needles or drinks the water from the tree stand, they could ingest these toxins and become very ill.Symptoms of pesticide poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors, seizures, and difficulty breathing. If you think your cat has ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 immediately.

In addition to chemicals, real Christmas trees also pose a choking hazard for cats. The National Sanitation Foundation reports that more than 15% of live trees sold in the United States each year are flocked—meaning they’re sprayed with a fake snow made of tiny PVC particles. If your cat ingests these flakes, they could block their digestive tract and cause serious health problems.Another danger posed by real Christmas trees is the risk of electrocution. If your cat chews on the cords running from the tree to the lights or decorations, they could be seriously injured or even killed by electrical shock. Keep cords out of reach by tucking them behind furniture or running them through twist ties or cord covers. You should also unplug all lights and decorations on the tree before leaving your home or going to bed at night

How to Prevent Your Cat from Eating Your Christmas Tree

Believe it or not, some cats like to eat Christmas trees. This can be a problem if you have a real tree in your home. Christmas trees can be dangerous for cats because they can ingest the needles, which can cause gastrointestinal issues. If you have a cat that likes to eat Christmas trees, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from doing so.

Keep the Tree Out of Reach

The best way to keep your cat from eating your Christmas tree is to keep the tree out of reach. If you have a real tree, set it up in a room that your cat does not have access to, such as a dining room or living room. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it is placed in a room that your cat cannot get to, such as a bedroom or office. If you must put the tree in a room that your cat has access to, put it in a corner and cover the base of the tree with something that will deter your cat from climbing it, such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil.

Provide an Alternative

The best way to keep your cat from eating your Christmas tree is to provide them with an alternative. There are a few things you can do to do this. One is to get a fake tree. If you must have a real tree, there are a few things you can do to make it less appealing to your cat. You can put double-sided tape on the trunk of the tree or wrap the trunk in tinfoil. You can also put citrus peels around the base of the tree.

Keep Your Cat entertained and fed

Christmas trees are not only a delicious treat for cats, but they’re also a fun place to hide and climb. If you have a live Christmas tree in your home, there are a few things you can do to keep your cat safe and prevent them from eating your Christmas tree.

1. Keep your cat fed and entertained. A full stomach will deter your cat from nibbling on your Christmas tree. Make sure to have plenty of toys and scratching posts around for your cat to play with so they don’t get bored and start chewing on your tree.

2. Keep the tree clean. If there are sap or pine needles on the tree, your cat may be attracted to the smell and try to eat them. Regularly vacuum up any pine needles that fall off the tree and wipe down the trunk and branches with a damp cloth to remove any sap.

3. Fill the tree stand with water. A full tree stand will make it harder for your cat to tipped over and climb the tree. Adding some water to the stand will also make it heavier and more stable.

4. Use a deterrent spray. You can find commercially made deterrent sprays at pet stores or online, or you can make your own by mixing equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the trunk and branches of your tree every few days to keep your cat away from it.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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