Christmas Tree Enrichment

A Big Cat Christmas Treat

December 24, 2019

Christmas is not quite over at Turpentine Creek, it’s actually just beginning! As Christmas trees start to come down in houses, they start going up in our animal residents’ habitats. Most Christmas trees end up in landfills once they are no longer useful as holiday decorations in our homes. But these beautiful trees can still serve a purpose, at Turpentine Creek, Christmas trees become wonderful, environmental, enrichment for our big cat residents!

It is important to provide a variety of enrichment to keep the animals happy and active. Utilizing seasonal enrichment helps to keep our animals entertained throughout the year! These Christmas trees are beneficial to our cats for a wide variety of reasons! 

We typically only get Christmas tree donations once a year, so it is a rare treat for us to give our animals these fun scented treats. The trees are especially interesting to the animals because they have a new smell and texture that will encourage them to get active and play. The fresh smell of pine is inviting for the animals to sniff, bite and even scratch their claws on.

As the trees sit in the habitats, they also can be used as a new hiding spot for TCWR residents. The cats love having a place to stay hidden while they stalk but, sometimes, the tree becomes the one being stalked! Also, the bristly texture of the pine needles is just the thing to scratch the itches that the cats can’t reach!

As you wrap up this Christmas season, instead of throwing out your Christmas tree, think about donating to give the animals at Turpentine Creek a new toy! Locals can bring Live Christmas trees to Turpentine Creek with all decorations removed (especially tensile, it is bad for the cats) during normal business hours. We do not accept decorated trees or fake trees, as the animals cannot have them.