How to Cat Proof Your Christmas Tree – 6 Minute Read

  • Consider the size of the tree. A small tree will be safer than a larger tree because there is less of it to crash down if things go horribly wrong. For a kitten, a tabletop tree might be a suitable choice until it grows up and stops being so playful.
  • If you do choose a real tree, also choose a water container for the tree that is completely inaccessible to the cat. If she tries to drink from it, she risks poisoning.
  • For small kittens, wrap tinfoil around the trunk. They don’t like putting their nails into it and it will keep them from climbing the tree.
  • A tree should have a firm and solid base.
  • Use a tree skirt to hide all ugly but practical safety fixes at the base of the tree (including electrical items, see below).
  • As well as a solid base, anchor the tree to the wall or ceiling to help prevent it from toppling over should your cat land in the tree or pull on it.
  • If possible, select a placement for the tree that allows you to shut the door at night or when nobody is about, in order to keep the cats away from the tree. Obviously this isn’t always possible or even doable but if it is an option, make use of it.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and hang on to it. It is a good idea to set the tree in place, then let her in to investigate but hover in the background with the spray bottle, just in case. If your cat shows any signs of wanting to leap at or on the tree, a light spritz of water on her back and a stern “NO!” will get the point across. This should deter her from trying it again and should be enough to teach her that the Christmas tree is not her playground.
  • You could also place orange peels under the tree to make your cat less likely to go near it. (Cats also dislike the smell of rotten apples but then you probably won’t like that smell much either!)
  • Spray some pine cones with Citronella and pile them around the base of the tree. Cats do not walk on pine cones! (Pine cones also have the same effect in the base of your houseplants.)
  • Choose more matte, less shiny ornaments for your tree. It will attract less attention from your cats.
  • Cat-proofing your tree is more difficult with fake snow. Keep your cat away from the snow by spraying it with bitter apple spray, or forgo the fake snow to make your tree safer for your cat.
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