Cat Drinking Christmas Tree Water: Is it Toxic?

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Cats need to consume enough water in a day, but there are certain types of water you don’t want them to drink. Let’s take a look at one common area house cats like to drink water from, under the Christmas tree, and determine if it’s safe for them to drink from there.



Can cats drink Christmas tree water?

Cats should not drink Christmas tree water because of the chemicals that may be present in it from fertilizer, preservatives, insecticides, and tree sap and oil, which is toxic to a cat if it’s from a pine tree.


If your cat drinks Christmas tree water from a pine tree or one contaminated with chemicals, they can experience nausea, vomiting, liver damage, and even death (source).




Why your cat shouldn’t drink Christmas tree water

It may be a funny sight to see your cat drinking water from the Christmas tree stand, but the following are reasons you shouldn’t let them.



1 – Pine

Pine is toxic to cats and the sap and oil that leaks out the bottom of the cut tree can cause gastrointestinal problems, liver damage, and even death.



2 – Needles

As the tree begins to dry out, more and more needles will start to fall. It’s inevitable for some of those needles to fall into the water basin. If your cat licks up a needle, it can cause damage to their digestive system, as the needles are sharp and can scratch or puncture internal organs.



3 – Preservatives

You may have added a preservative to the Christmas tree water without realizing your cat would drink it. The ingredients in these solutions can vary, you can even make some at home, but they typically include toxic ingredients that can be harmful to your cat.



4 – Fertilizers & Pesticides

Many tree farmers will use fertilizer to help their trees grow quicker and become denser, and pesticides to keep insects from eating away at the tree. The trees soak up the fertilizers and pesticides, which can then leak into the water you place the tree in. It will likely only be trace amounts, but why risk fertilizer and pesticides going in your cat’s body?



5- Fire Retardants

There are many Christmas tree fire retardant sprays on the market, most of them for home-use. They’re typically made from toxic chemicals, which your cat will ingest if you’ve sprayed it on your Christmas tree, or purchased a tree from a retailer that uses fire retardants.




Why do cats love Christmas tree water?

A cat researchers suggests cats may be drawn to Christmas trees because they’re something foreign in the house that they want to investigate. It may also look like a giant toy with all the shiny ornaments and a fun tree to climb (as they might do out in nature). This may be what draws them to the tree initially and then once they notice the water, they decide to have a sip.




How do you keep cats out of Christmas tree water?

The easiest way to deter your cat from drinking the Christmas tree water will be to wrap something around the base that makes it difficult for them to get to the water.


You may simply wrap the tree skirt tighter around the tree trunk and pile presents up around the base. If that doesn’t stop your cat, you may use a scent deterrent as well. Look for a non-toxic cat repellant spray. Many essential oils are toxic to cats so do your research before spraying mint or citrus essential oils around the tree.




Are Christmas trees toxic to cats?

Pine is toxic to cats so if you’ve purchased a Christmas tree of the pine species, the pine sap and oil can make the tree toxic to your cat, causing liver damage and even death.




I hope this article has been helpful in understanding why cats drink Christmas tree water and why you should deter them from doing so 🙂


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My Cat is Drinking Christmas Tree Water