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Home > Cats > Why Do Cats Like Christmas Trees? 4 Likely Reasons

Why Do Cats Like Christmas Trees? 4 Likely Reasons

Cat with a christmas tree in the background

Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate the holiday. Some people celebrate Christmas by getting together with their loved ones, going out to eat, or by doing some shopping. With all that rushing around, many people enjoy spending time celebrating the holidays with their cats. Cats are members of the family too, so many people enjoy spending time with their cats during the Christmas season. Whether your cat loves the festive season or not, there’s no denying that many cats will love your Christmas tree!

Christmas is a time of happiness and joy, and many cats love it just as much as we do! For many cats, the holidays are all about playing with their favorite toy—the Christmas tree. While some cats may shy away from the large trees, most will try to climb the branches and have a great time batting at the presents and ornaments. If you have a cat who loves the holiday season, read on to find out why cats love Christmas trees so much.


The 4 Reasons Why Cats Like Christmas Trees:

1. The Thrill of the New

It is not surprising that a cat will notice any changes in their home environment, especially around the holidays. Cats are naturally investigative animals, so anything new in their surroundings will likely spark their interest. This includes things like new Christmas decorations, furniture, ornaments, and perhaps even pets. So, it is inevitable that your cat will notice new things around the house, especially something as big, scented, and interesting as a Christmas tree.

It is likely that cats will be intrigued by this new addition since they have such a curious nature. Inquisitive cats are attracted to Christmas trees because of their interesting textures, needles, and bark, as well as the outdoor fragrances they emit.

cat in a christmas tree
Image by: Jessica Lewis, Unsplash

2. Climbing Up High

As much as anything else, cats love climbing, and they prefer to climb tall, leafy trees in the wild. Whether real or fake, a Christmas tree is the perfect cat tree for your feline. It gives them a great vantage point to watch what’s happening around your house. They will happily ditch their old cat tree in favor of the new one since Christmas trees have plenty of branches to perch on and needles to hide in, which makes it a perfect cat condo.

A Christmas tree is not just a piece of furniture for your cat; it is also a great way to observe their territory. A Christmas tree is made up of branches and twigs, which are perfect for climbing. Some cats even prefer to sleep in or on top of a Christmas tree.

3. New Toys to Play With

Many cats find it irresistible to play with the decorations on Christmas trees, especially those that are shiny. Your cat can have a lot of fun playing with shiny balls reflecting the lights on your tree and can view them like a multitude of laser pointers. A similar effect is created by tinsel, as it creates the illusion that your cat can pounce on the small prey that is hiding in the tree and hunt it down.

Christmas trees are decorated with ornaments that cats find irresistible. The decorations often have strings or wires that a cat can grab and pull, which can be quite amusing for the cat. The decorations on a tree may also be high up, which makes it fun for a cat to jump up and try to grab one.

Cat Christmas tree ornaments
Image by: kevin turcios, Unsplash

4. Sharpening Their Claws

Cats are known for their sharp claws, which they use to scratch and climb. On Christmas trees, they can sharpen their claws by scratching the tree’s surface. They do this so that they can better grip things and avoid slipping. The sharpened claws act as hooks which help the cat move up the tree faster and more efficiently. This habit likely began as a tool to improve hunting, as cats use their claws to pierce and catch prey. They may view your Christmas tree as a giant scratching post!


How to Keep Your Cat Safe Around Christmas Trees

While it may be fun to watch your cat climb and explore your Christmas tree, it is probably best to keep them away from it if you can help it. There is a possibility that your cat may swallow small objects, causing a blockage in the digestive tract. Besides tinsel, ribbons, and bows that can easily be torn and swallowed by your cat are also dangerous, as they can easily become a source of obstruction in the intestines of your cat.

There are also dangers associated with Christmas lights. Despite being unlikely, your cat may chew on electrical cords and get electrocuted. Glass or hard plastic bulbs may injure your cat, and the long cord may get tangled in your cat’s fur. In addition, fake Christmas trees come with plastic needles that pose a choking hazard, while real trees can be toxic. It is common for us to use small fir trees for Christmas trees, and the leaves of these trees contain an oil that can irritate the mouth or stomach in some cats.

As a last note, these sharp needles can also be dangerous if ingested by your cat, because they can obstruct its throat as a result of swallowing them.

Keeping Your Cat Away from the Tree

When it comes to keeping your cat away from the tree, one of the most important things to remember is that cats are naturally inquisitive and active animals. To keep your cat away from the tree, you’ll need to set some ground rules early on. First and foremost, make sure that the tree is inaccessible to your cat by erecting a fence or barrier around it. There are things you can do to keep them separated, even if it is as simple as closing a door to keep them apart.

You could also keep your cat leashed when they are around the tree. It’s also a great idea to keep the bottom branches free of ornaments so there is less to tempt them to interact.



So why do cats like Christmas trees so much? They seem to enjoy Christmas trees because they provide them with a platform to play, as well as providing a place for them to sharpen their claws, a perfect place to perch, and new decorative elements to investigate! It’s our job to keep them safe by always keeping an eye on our cats while they’re around the tree, in case they decide to climb up and get a better look.

Featured Image by: Nadtochiy, Shutterstock

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