Are Christmas Trees Poisonous?

Is it safe to have a Christmas tree if I have a cat and a a 2 year old child?

Christmas trees such as firs, pines, and cedar are slightly poisonous, and may cause drooling in cats and dogs and vomiting in children. The good news is that a child or pet would have to eat quite a bit of the needles on a Christmas tree to become ill. The toxicity of a Christmas tree can be increased if it has been sprayed with a fire retardant.

Decorated Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Although the oil from a Christmas tree can irritate the mouth and skin, the real concern is that if a small child or pet swallows only a few of the needles, which are almost impossible to digest, the needles could puncture or obstruct part of their intestinal tract.

Eating parts of an artificial tree is also dangerous since there can be toxins in the tree material and pieces of the tree can cause intestinal obstructions.

Another thing we tend to forget is the water the tree is sitting in to keep it looking fresh. This water may contain preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers, or some people even put aspirin into it. Cover the water dish so that cats and dogs don’t drink from it and small children don’t play in it.

Stay safe this Christmas, keep pets and small children away from holiday plants and trees!