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If you love holiday decorations, you aren’t alone — and chances are, your cat loves them, too. Are you at your wit’s end trying to hang garland and string lights with a playful cat by your side?

Keep reading for tips to keep your cat safe this holiday season and to keep your decorations from harm, too.

Put Decorations Out of Reach

If your cat is a climber, there may not be many places that are out of reach — but with a little creativity, you can find spots that aren’t accessible.

Maybe you can use thumbtacks to hang string lights along a doorframe; place breakable decorations on top of the cabinets, or clear off a tall chest of drawers and set a mini tree on top. Look at your house or apartment with new eyes and find spots high enough that your cats can’t get to them. You also might be able to create out-of-range places by temporarily shifting around furniture.

Decorate Without the Cat

Put the cat in a crate or shut them in a different room while you decorate.

Decorating without help from a feline friend will eliminate the chances that an ornament will get lost or broken before it’s even in place, and once you do let your cat out, you can keep a spray bottle of water handy in case you need to reinforce that the decorations are not toys.

Don’t Light Candles

Choose electric candles instead of real ones; they’ll have the same visual effect but are much safer.

Pets can be responsible for house fires. so it’s better to be safe. If you do feel the need to light a scented candle, make sure to blow it out before you leave the room.

Choose Cat-Friendly Decor

Designate some decorations that your cat can play with. By putting your “real” decorations out of reach and being more flexible about the decor that’s lower, you can help your more expensive decor items stay looking nice.

Use A Bitter Spray

A repellent such can be helpful to steer cats away from the decor.

While you may not want the bitter smell to linger on your decorations, these kinds of sprays are effective for the large majority of cats and can get the job done.

Conceal Electrical Cords

Electrical wires pose the same problem as candles — they’re tempting to cats but very dangerous. Hide the cords by using cord protectors or, if possible, keeping the cords off the floor. Always unplug the wires before you leave the house.

Don’t Use Dangerous Decor

The following decorations can all pose a danger to pets:

  • Tinsel
  • Holiday plants (pine needles, holly, poinsettias, mistletoe)
  • Antifreeze (found in many snowglobes)
  • Ribbon and strings
  • Angel hair (spun glass)
  • Ornament hooks

Either stay away from these decorations altogether or make absolutely sure that your cat can’t access them — keep plants on the front porch if you have an indoor cat, for example, or put snowglobes up high. That’s the best way to keep both your cat and your decorations safe this holiday season.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.