How to Keep Your Cat Away From the Christmas Tree

Dani Caruso
By Dani Caruso

We love our cats, so much. But we also really love our Christmas decorations, and would much rather they not get knocked down by a playful or curious kitty. More importantly, cats should be kept away from Christmas trees because of the numerous hazards they will be exposed to. We’ve searched the Internet and compiled a list of tips that will keep both your cat and tree free from harm.

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1. Once the tree is up, hold off on decorating. This provides the cat an adjustment period to the new decor and you can monitor how they behave with it, before adorning it with valuable or sentimental decorations. If the cat starts toying with the tree, use a spray bottle with water to train your pet to stay away.

2. NEVER use tree preservatives (which can contain high concentrations of fertilizer) or aspirin (a common practice) to the extend the life of your tree. These could be fatal for your kitty if they take a drink of water from the tree.

3. Cover the tree’s water reservoir to prevent the cat from drinking out of it as the sap is highly toxic. Use the Christmas Tree Defender, netting, or Sticky Paws for Plants to keep the cat out.

4. Spray a bitter anti-chew product on the tree to deter nibbling on branches. It is critical that your cat resists chewing on any parts of the tree because needles are toxic. Additionally, you don’t know if pesticides, preservatives or flame retardants have been sprayed on the tree.

5. For a more organic option, use everyday kitchen ingredients as a repellent. Hide orange peels under the tree—cats naturally dislike the scent. You could also make a repellent spray from apple cider vinegar to spritz onto the branches and base.

6. Avoid a literal “TIMBERRRR” moment by securing the tree to the ceiling. Attach a piece of high test fishing line from the top of the tree to an eye hook in the ceiling to prevent the tree from tipping.

7. If #6 doesn’t work, add extra support by securing the tree toward it’s bottom as well. Attach it to baseboard or a piece of furniture with wire or cord.

8. Wrap the trunk with aluminum foil. Cats don’t like putting their nails into it and it will deter them from climbing.

9. Since cats love climbing so much, perhaps you could give them an early Christmas present and gift them a new and exciting cat tree to perch on so that there’s other climbing options.

10. Give your pet plenty of play options as a distraction and energy burner. Engage in interactive play a couple times a day to help your cat work off some energy and lessen his or hers fascination with the tree. A new puzzle feeder, automatic laser toy, or tunnel can make a great cat-sitters.

11. When lighting the tree, wrap the strands tightly around branches to avoid loose, dangling wires; this will make the lights less tempting to play with.

12. Reduce the chance of enticing your cat with Christmas lights by sticking to static bulbs instead of twinkling ones.

13. Protect your feline from fire hazards by plugging tree lights into a short extension cord and covering the socket with electrical tape.

14. Secure ornaments onto the tree by hanging them on malleable wire that could be clamped around branches – even wire twist ties could work.

15. Hang bells and noisy ornaments on lower branches so that you could hear if your cat is pulling at the tree.

16. How is a cat to know the difference between an ornament and a toy? If you don’t want your possessions damaged, keep breakables stored away or displayed elsewhere. Glass accessories pose a huge risk to your kitten, as sharp shards could injure their paws and small pieces can be ingested. If you choose to hang such accessories, make sure to display them securely towards the top of the tree.

17. Keep any and all ornaments with edible pieces like popcorn, cookies or dried fruit far away from your tree. These treats are too hard for any pet to resist.

18. Tinsel is a huge no-no. This shiny, lightweight material is too tempting to play with and falls off easily. If swallowed, your kitten can experience extremely dangerous health risks, such as intestinal blockage.

19. This SSSCAT deterrent spray may be the key to keeping your kitty away. The device has a motion-activated sensor that detects movement and emits a harmless spray into the air with a hissing sound that will deter your cat. Place it near the base of your tree, in a corner for best results.

20. For extra caution, keep cats locked out of the room the tree is in when you’re out of the house or asleep.


Dani Caruso
By Dani Caruso
Dani is House One’s assistant editor. As a Norwalk, CT native, Dani graduated from UConn with a BA in Digital Media and Design. This millennial longs for the days of All That, Tamagotchis, and Dunkaroos. When she’s not working, she’s hanging outdoors, playing with her dogs, or watching makeup tutorials on YouTube.

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