Bringing the outside inside (aka: these spoiled cats)
December 23, 2008 11:59 PM   Subscribe

Catfilter: My kitties are loving the Christmas tree. How can I extend their joy all year round?

The love sitting/sleeping under it. They love drinking water out of the stand (btw is this bad for them?).

Is there a low maintenance bushy plant, not poisonous to cats (one will occasionally nuzzle and lick/gnaw the leaves) that I could keep inside? Big living room window that faces west-by-northwest. Seattle, WA.
posted by silkygreenbelly to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This site says don't let them drink. FWIW though, my pets have never had issues from drinking tree water.

Here is a list of safe and toxic plants.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 1:48 AM on December 24, 2008

You could always build your own plastic tree/water bowl/scratching post, market it and make a million dollars! I bet you could make it for less than $50.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:01 AM on December 24, 2008

What about a rosemary shrub? It looks very piney, it smells nice, it gives you fresh rosemary to use in your cooking and apparently isn't bad for cats.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:28 AM on December 24, 2008

For at least the next few months, the world will be awash in millions of cut-up pieces of Christmas trees. I'd imagine you could snag a few and keep them on hand where your cats can enjoy them until they start to dry to the point that they lose their fragrance. Leave them outside to dry for a few days first, though, so you don't end up with sap everywhere.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:54 AM on December 24, 2008

We had a nice little Norfolk Pine as a houseplant for a few years after it was a living xmas tree one year. The cat we had at that time seemed fond of it. We're also in Seattle. The tree died eventually, I think because our house sitter neglected to water it while we were on vacation. It got about four feet tall, though.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 9:12 AM on December 24, 2008

While drinking tree water, they can ingest needles (capable of piercing internal organs) or consuming enough of the sap to become nauseated and otherwise sick to their stomach. Some trees are more toxic than others and can cause more extreme reactions.

Watch out for shed needles, in general. Cats are tempted to eat them for a variety of reasons, and, as stated above, the outcome is sometimes unfortunate.
posted by batmonkey at 12:35 AM on December 25, 2008

Re: the water: I've read that cats don't like their water to be anywhere near their food source - that makes some sense as a holdover from their wild animal days, when water could be contaminated by food. We recently discovered our cats love having water on a completely separate floor from their food, to the extent that we got rid of the main floor waterdish entirely because it was going unused. So one thing you could do is just put an extra water dish in the vicinity of the tree - if it's slightly cleaner than the tree water they will probably start drinking out of that instead.
posted by Gortuk at 10:42 AM on December 27, 2008

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