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Woman divides opinion with Tiktok showing her ‘traumatising’ her cat with Christmas [Video]

Woman divides opinion with Tiktok showing her ‘traumatising’ her cat with Christmas tree but says it works and the decoration is intact days later

  • Becca Richards posted the video of cat Stella to her channel on November 29
  • She clarified that ‘Stella is fine’ and ‘happier than ever playing with her twisties’
  • It has more than 32.2million views, 4.3million likes and over 32,000 comments


A woman who divided opinion with a TikTok video of her ‘traumatising’ her cat with a Christmas tree insists the technique has worked and the pet has left the decoration untouched ever since.

The footage was recorded by Becca Richards with the caption ‘I saw a TikTok that said if you traumatise your cat with your tree before putting it up they will leave it alone.’ 

The video, posted on November 29, shows Becca thrusting the Christmas tree at her cat called Stella.

Becca Richards divided opinion with a TikTok video showing her ‘traumatising’ her cat with a Christmas tree

The black and white cat backs away from the tree and even jumps up at one point.

The video has more than 32.2million views, 4.3million likes and over 32,000 comments, but has created divide amongst viewers.   

One user commented: ‘I can’t believe someone would do this to their pet.’

Another said: ‘Ugh, can this not be a trend.’ 

Others commented ‘This is cruel’ and ‘Please don’t traumatise your cats’. 

One TikTok user joked: ‘Genius, trying this with my toddler tomorrow.’ 

Other positive reactions included: ‘Guess who’s throwing their entire tree at their cat when they get home’ and ‘I tried that. She thought it was a game.’ 

But what many commenters wanted to know was: ‘Does it work?’

Becca, in a later post, clarified that ‘Stella is fine’ and ‘happier than ever playing with her twisties’. 

She added that not ‘a single bauble, ribbon, bead or branch’ had been touched by Stella since the ‘traumatising’.

Becca, in another post, clarified that 'Stella is fine' and 'happier than ever playing with her twisties'

She added that not 'a single bauble, ribbon, bead or branch' had been touched by Stella since the 'traumatising'

Becca, in another post, clarified that ‘Stella is fine’ and ‘happier than ever playing with her twisties’

The video, posted to her channel on November 29, shows Becca Richards thrust the Christmas tree at her cat, Stella

The video, posted to her channel on November 29, shows Becca Richards thrust the Christmas tree at her cat, Stella

Cats Protection’s behaviour officer Daniel Cummings told the MailOnline: ‘Intentionally scaring a cat with a Christmas tree – or anything else – will serve no purpose other than to cause them unnecessary stress. 

‘Most cats will experience stress in this situation, particularly as Christmas can already be a stressful time for cats which may struggle with a change in routine, unfamiliar decorations and extra noise. 

‘Cats which are easily stressed, or persistently exposed to unnecessarily stressful situations may go on to suffer prolonged health problems, such as behavioural issues, and conditions such as urinary tract infections.

‘Not only does this cause unnecessary stress to a cat, it would also not be effective, as it does not take into account how cats learn. 

‘A cat is likely to perceive a Christmas tree very differently when it is set in the corner of a room rather than when it is being thrust towards them.  

‘Cats love to seek out high up spaces, so it’s no surprise that some may be attracted to exploring a Christmas tree.’ 

In the cute video posted by Hailey Forbes, 27, cat Dexter explores the newly put up Christmas tree in Glasgow

In the cute video posted by Hailey Forbes, 27, cat Dexter explores the newly put up Christmas tree in Glasgow

It comes as a family’s cat climbed up and ‘vanished’ inside their Christmas tree.

Hailey Forbes, 27, shared the video of her three-year-old tabby Dexter making a nest inside the tree at her home in Glasgow.

Cats are well known for clambering up Christmas trees but few have the camouflaging abilities of this moggie. 

How to keep your cat off your Christmas tree

More effective ways to help cat-proof your Christmas tree would be to ensure your tree has a sturdy base so it’s less likely to topple over, hang decorations higher up so cats are less tempted to bat them, avoid using glass or breakable decorations, and keep leads and wires neatly out of the way. 

Creating a bit of a barrier with presents under the tree may also prevent your cat getting closer, and tin foil or citrus peel – both of which can be handy for making homemade decorations – can also deter cats from approaching, as many don’t like the smell of citrus or the feel of foil under their feet.

Many of us also like to include gifts for our cats on our Christmas shopping lists, but remember not to put presents under the tree for them if they contain catnip, as most cats would be unable to resist tearing them open before Christmas morning!

Source: Cats Protection/PETA

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