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Cat Proof Christmas Tree Ideas and Tips

December 12, 2019

Sometimes cats think Christmas trees were made for them. Shiny ornaments to play with, branches to perch on and endless trinkets to gnaw at? Yep, Christmas trees are a curious cat’s paradise.

But for cat owners, Christmas trees + kitties usually equal chaos. Nothing dampens the holiday cheer like a tipped-over tree or broken ornaments sprawled across the floor. And even worse, our furry friends can get hurt when they hop onto trees.

But, it is possible to keep cats from exploring where they’re not supposed to. Read on for tips on cat proofing your Christmas tree.

How do I Cat Proof My Christmas Tree?

A sturdy tree stand and easy-to-find cat deterrents that can be found in your house can help make your holiday decorations pet-friendly. Below are some tips and tricks!

How do I Stop My Cat From Attacking my Christmas Tree?

Cats don’t just like shiny objects—they're totally mesmerized by them. So, shimmering ornaments on trees are one of the toughest things to resist. When you’re shopping for ornaments, try to avoid the shine and instead aim for options made of plastic, felt or wood. That said, if you’re like your cat and also can’t say no to flashy trinkets, be sure to hang them high up (i.e., not on the bottom few branches) so they’re not in easy reach.

Tinsel and hanging electrical cords also look like toys in a cat’s mind. The difference is, both can be harmful if your kitty tries to snack on them. It’s best to avoid tinsel altogether and be sure to tightly secure lights around branches so they’re not drooping.

How to Keep Cats Away From Christmas Trees

There are lots of ways to make sure your cat doesn’t have easy access to your tree. Here are a few things to try:

  • Keep your tree away from furniture like sofas or tables. That way, your cat won’t have a launching pad to pounce from.
  • Put a scented deterrent near the tree. This is a popular approach because there are tons of smells cats find not-so-pleasant and will want to avoid. You can try placing orange peels at the base of the tree, using an orange or citrus-scented spray-on branch, or putting apple cider vinegar-coated pine cones near the tree. There are also ready-made cat deterrents available at most pet stores.
  • Cover the trunk of your live Christmas tree with aluminum foil. Cats can’t stand the way foil feels on their paws, so they’ll likely steer clear of it.

How to Make Your Christmas Tree Pet-Friendly

A pet-friendly Christmas tree? Why yes, it is possible! First and foremost, pets typically favor live trees. And can you blame them? The pine needles are tasty and there’s even a little stash of water at the bottom of the tree to sip from.

While artificial trees don’t always have the same charm as real ones, they’re a much safer option for your feline family member. But, if you’d still like to go the natural route, cover the tree’s water supply with foil or a tree skirt.

In the event that cats might still hop onto your tree despite your best deterrents, make sure the ornaments are tightly hooked so they don’t fall off easily. And, you can lower the chances of a tree toppling over by using a heavy tree stand, or placing small brinks on top of the tree stand legs for added strength..

Looking for more Christmas tree tips?

Read all about hydrating Christmas trees, or learn how to stop needles from falling from your Christmas tree.

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