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Is Tinsel or streamers from your Christmas tree bad for cats?

Our question this week was:

My cat Fluffy loves to play with the tinsel. I think she likes it because it is pretty and shiny. Is it bad? My neighbor says I should not use it on my tree because I have cats.

Delores K.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking about the dangers of tinsel and cats. Yes, tinsel can be a problem for cats. Some cats will eat it and it can become lodged in the gastrointestinal tract – which can require surgery or be fatal.

It is safest not to use tinsel on your tree if you have cats in your home.

An article that might be helpful to you is How to Put up a Cat-Safe Christmas Tree.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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