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12 Ways How To Keep Cats Out Of Christmas Tree

12 Ways How To Keep Cats Out Of Christmas Tree

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While most people are excited about Christmas time, many cat owners are preparing themselves for a series of catastrophes!

Cats are known to be very curious creatures; they’re intrigued by almost anything around them, especially if it is new or unusual. For many cats, the appearance of the Christmas tree is a very exciting and intriguing event!

Some cats adore Christmas trees so much that it could even be said that the cats are more excited than their owners about the Christmas period.

While the cats are making the mess, climbing on top of the tree, breaking things and similar, the poor owners have to clean it all up!

Luckily, it’s time to stop the destruction and get things under your control. If you’re dealing with these problems, I’m glad I can help you find out how to keep cats out of Christmas tree so you can get on with enjoying the festivities.

Check out these 12 tried and tested ways that I used to keep my cat out of the tree, and enjoy the pictures I’ve created just for you!

12 Things That Can Help You How To Keep Cats Out Of Christmas Tree

Before we start, check out this short video and see what the Christmas nightmares of many cat parents look like!

Now, don’t let your cat steal the Christmas! Check out these 12 ways that I tried and tested to keep my cat out of the Christmas tree, and enjoy the pictures I made just for you!

1. Choose The Right Christmas Tree

cat looking at christmas tree

First things first, when it comes to Christmas decorations, it’s very important to pick the right type and size of the Christmas tree.

You can choose between live trees and artificial trees. Real Christmas trees may give you the natural overall look, but it’s better to avoid natural trees as they tend to shed their needles.

Pine needles are very bad for cats if they chew them as they can cause them a choking hazard. It may be better to avoid real trees. However, if you do decide to use a real tree, just make sure you secure it carefully, and ensure no needles can drop into the cat’s water bowl.

Cover the bucket of earth/water with a tree skirt in order to prevent the cats from drinking the tree water as it may be poisonous. Moreover, don’t use any additives to prolong the tree’s life as they can contain fertilizers and preservatives that are harmful for felines.

A better alternative may be a fake tree. You can choose different sizes and colors as well to create the look you want for the festive season.

To help you choose the perfect cat tree, check out: Cat-Friendly Christmas Trees For The Upcoming Holiday Season

When it comes to tree size, it’s better to choose a smaller tree, as higher ones can be more intriguing to your feline, and they may injure themselves if they fall from a high tree.

This type of tree will probably be almost as interesting as the real one to your feline, but it’s less harmful, and you don’t have to clean up around it, therefore, it’s a better option.

2. Choose The Right Location For Your Christmas Tree

cat standing next to a christmas tree

The right location for the tree is also very important when it comes to having a cat-friendly Christmas.

It is best to put the Christmas tree near the wall, so that it cannot fall completely on the floor if your cat decides to jump on it.

You can reduce the risks of this though; put the tree far away from chairs, tables or anything else that the cat can use as a launching pad to jump on the tree more easily.

3. Secure The Christmas Tree Properly

cat next to a secured christmas tree

To spare you and your feline friend from trouble, accidents, and possible injuries, it’s important to secure the Christmas tree properly. You can do that by following these tips:

• Use a heavy tree stand (or add weight to a lighter one)

• Position the tree near a wall

• Use wire or fishing line – attach as a support to the top of the tree and pin it on to the ceiling.

• Use a cat fence in order to prevent the cat from going under the tree to climb up or touch the decorations.

If you secure the tree properly, your feline friend won’t be able to knock it down as easily. If they don’t manage to knock it down, it may become less interesting to them, leading them to find another occupation.

4. Put Foil Under The Christmas Tree

cat looking at christmas tree with foil under

Almost every Christmas tree also will have decorations or gifts underneath it. These are sparkly and very intriguing so they will often attract the cat, which will usually result in more mess.

Instead of putting a tree skirt around the base of the tree, try putting sticky tape (sticky side up) or aluminum tin foil to prevent the cat from coming near it.

Cats don’t really like sticky surfaces and they hate the feel and sound of the aluminum foil. These two options are an excellent solution to how to keep cats out of Christmas tree.

5. Place Ornaments Higher Up On The Tree

cat next to a tree with ornaments placed higher

One of the things that cats like the most is to catch the ornaments from the trees and play with them or even hide them somewhere.

My feline friend simply adores hiding things, and when the holiday season comes, hiding tree decorations is her main hobby. This is why I started putting these ornaments higher on the tree, where my cat cannot reach them, and it was successful.

Now, my Christmas tree doesn’t look quite the way I wanted, but at least my cat cannot reach the ornaments anymore and I get to save money not having to buy new ornaments over and over again.

6. Place Ornaments With Bells Lower On the Tree

cat standing next to a christmas tree with bells

Another trick that helped me was placing ornaments with bells lower down on the tree. So, essentially, there are still ornaments that my cat can reach.

The clever thing about this is that as soon as the cat reaches them, the bells start to jangle so I know the cat is investigating the tree which gives me the chance to get it away from the tree.

You can keep the lower part of the tree free from decorations, but this way it’s more beautiful and it notifies you when the cat touches something on the tree. Not a bad idea, right?

7. Secure the Ornaments With Wires

cat next to a christmas tree with ornaments with wires

If your feline friend can reach the baubles on your Christmas tree, consider securing them with a wire rather than hanging them loosely.

Use florist’s wire, paperclips, or something similar that can secure the ornament and fasten them to the tree branches in order to prevent them from falling off.

8. Watch Out For The Christmas Tree Lights

cat next to a christmas tree with tree lights

Christmas lights may also be tempting for felines. You need to be very careful with them in order to avoid injury.

The main reason why you need to be careful with light decorations is because your cat may try to chew the wires of the lights.

To prevent that from happening and to protect your furry friend, you should place lights around the center of the tree and wrap them around the tree trunk so that they’re hard to reach. After that, make sure you cover the wires with a cord protector.

Remember to unplug the lights each and every time you cannot supervise your cat.

If you know your cat is particularly fond of playing with lights or nibbling the strands of fairy lights, it may be better to avoid light decorations in order to protect the cat from injuries. Chewing electrical cords may result in severe burn injuries or even death.

9. Use Orange Peel To Deter The Cat

orange peel under a christmas tree

Knowing that there are certain smells that cats detest, I decided to try using them in order to create a cat-friendly tree, and I succeeded.

Cats really hate the smell of orange or any other citrus fruits, and a few pieces of orange peel around the Christmas tree won’t harm your feline.

I took the orange peel and placed it under the Christmas tree to deter my cat. If you have enough time to be more creative, then you can also make traditional holiday decorations out of orange peel or dry some orange slices and hang them on the tree instead of ornaments.

This orange peel hack is great as oranges are traditional at christmas..

10. Use Vinegar For Pinecones

kitten next to a christmas tree with pinecones

While talking about smells that cats hate, another thing that can be used is apple cider vinegar. This can be very useful if you want to keep your cat out of the Christmas tree.

For the best effect, you should add pinecones to this solution as well because cats don’t really like getting close or stepping on pinecones. This gives you a double deterrent to keep your cat away.

Take some apple cider vinegar and spray it onto the pine cones. Then, simply place them under the tree as a decoration, or hang them as ornaments on the Christmas tree. No matter how hard or irresistible it may seem, a cat will mostly avoid the tree.

You can repeat the process every day or two to make sure your kitty won’t get near the Christmas tree.

11. Use Cat-Proof Spray

cat facing away from the christmas tree

Another way to have a cat-friendly Christmas tree by keeping the cat far away from it, is to use cat-proof sprays. This is a very easy solution; you can even make one at home.

Simply use smells that cats don’t like and voila, you have a repellent spray! Choose between vinegar, lavender, citrus smells, or citronella oil and mix them with water.

After finishing making your DIY repellent, you can just spray it all over the Christmas tree to keep the cat away from it. However, it’s highly important not to spray directly on the cat or near it as it may cause health problems if they ingest it.

12. Avoid Putting Tinsel

cat next to a tree with tinsel

When putting and decorating a Christmas tree, make sure that you carefully protect or remove anything that can cause harm to your feline friend. I’ve already mentioned lights and wires, but what else should you leave out?

Consider leaving off the tinsel! It’s dangly, sparkly and very interesting to cats, however it’s very dangerous for them which is why it should be avoided. Tinsel may cause choking hazard to cats as they cannot resist chewing it.

More complications may occur if they swallow the tinsel and it ends up stuck in their intestines. Considering how dangerous this can be, why would you risk it over a sparkly piece of string?!

If you do want to include tinsel, then you should put it on the higher parts of the tree and wrap it around the branches so that it’s difficult to reach and pull.

What Else Can You Do?

cat as a gift under christmas tree

That’s pretty much all the advice I can give you when it comes to decorating your Christmas tree and keeping your curious cat away from it.

However, there are other things you could try doing:

Redirect Your Cat’s Attention From The Christmas Tree

When you put the tree up, it may be interesting for your feline because it’s something new. The cat may start exploring it because it’s something new and unknown in its environment.

If your cat continues to attack the tree and make a mess, then you should try redirecting its attention from the tree to something more interesting. For example, one of the things that almost always work is catnip.

If you see that your cat is getting obsessed with the tree, redirect their attention to a scratching post or a cat tree and sprinkle a bit of catnip over it.

Hopefully, the cat will enjoy rolling in the catnip and will quickly forget about the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, this may not be a permanent solution, but at least you know that it’ll work every time.

Reward Good Behavior

It’s very important to create a positive relationship in the cat’s head. So, every time the cat does something good and positive, such as moving away from the tree and similar, reward them with their favorite treat so that they know they did something good.

On the contrary, when they do something they shouldn’t on the Christmas tree, you can move them out of the room so they understand that it’s an unwanted behavior.

Provide The Cat With Interesting Cat Toys And Playtime

Playtime is crucial for cats during the holiday season. Cats may attack the Christmas tree if they’re bored or they have too much energy.

Don’t forget about play time with your feline friend to distract them from the Christmas tree and to tire them out.

When you’re not there, make sure you have provided the cat with interesting toys that will keep it both physically and mentally active.

Isolate The Cat

You can also try isolating the cat to another room while you’re not home. Provide them with all the necessary things, including toys, and both your cat and your Christmas tree will be safe until you come back home.

After all, it’s better for them to be safe in a secured room rather than playing around the Christmas tree in the living room without your supervision, risking accidents and injuries.

The Consequences Of Your Cat Playing With Your Christmas Tree

Here are only some of the things that may result if your cat does play with the Christmas tree:

• Fractures and other injuries from falls (broken legs, broken tail, broken teeth, etc.)

• Open wounds and cuts

• Choking

• Digestive problems due to ingesting inedible things

• Burns

• Poisoning

If you notice any worrying symptoms, or behavior changes in your cat, it is best to take the cat to the vet for a check-up.


Why Do Cats Like Christmas Trees?

Cats like Christmas trees for many reasons; they’re high, it reminds them of cat trees, they can hide between the branches, there are a lot of toys/ornaments to play with, it’s sparkly and light which attracts their attention.

So, basically cats see the Christmas tree as a huge toy just for them.

Are Christmas Trees Safe For Cats?

Real Christmas trees may not be safe as they can produce oils which may cause irritation to your cat.

Moreover, needles fall from the tree constantly and if a cat decides to chew them, this may cause a choking hazard. Finally, tree water can also be toxic for felines which is why it’s important to cover it.

Final Thoughts

happy cats next to a christmas tree

Everyone wants to spend Christmas time in peace with their loved ones, but cat owners might have additional festive stress to deal with.

Many pet owners have had to rescue cats from Christmas trees or pick all the decorations up after the cat has knocked the tree over. At least you can laugh at certain situations later.

Many people want to know how to keep cats out of Christmas tree, so I’m happy to share the things that helped me keep my cat out of trouble during the festive period.

Although it can be funny, you should be aware of the risks that a Christmas tree can pose to your feline friend. Check out these tips so you can relax and enjoy your Christmas.

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