Excited for your tree, but dreading the non-stop scolding that comes with being a cat owner? There's hope for keeping cats out of the Christmas tree!
Everyone knows the holidays are officially here when the Christmas tree goes up in the house. Whether a real or artificial tree, its mere presence shouts, "Happy Holidays!" However, when you have pets, other shouts may come along with the introduction of the tree.
"Don't climb the branches!"
"STOP chewing the cords."
"The ornaments aren't toys!!!"
All phrases cat owners have said at one point or another during the holidays. Christmas trees come with sparkly lights, dangling ornaments, shiny tinsel -- Basically, everything that looks fun for a cat. But how do you keep cats out of the Christmas tree?
Keeping your furry friend out of your Christmas tree decorations can become a holiday headache, but thankfully all hope is not lost. You can still bring out your favorite seasonal decorations without them becoming kitty launching pads with these tips to cat-proof your Christmas tree.
How To Keep Cats Out Of Your Christmas Tree
1. Go Slow
While you may be chomping at the bit to decorate your tree, it may be better to wait for a couple of days before you deck the halls. Put your tree up without any of the holiday decorations on it for a couple of days. Then, your curious cat can check out the base of the tree, the pine needles and even sniff the branches without too many concerns. It also gives you a chance to set some boundaries with the cat without too many dangly things distracting them.
2. Secure The Christmas Tree
According to PETA, if the kitty decides that the tree is a little too interesting, you can secure your tree to the wall or ceiling with the piece of fishing line. Run a line from the top of the tree to the wall and from the tree's base to keep it secure. Also, make sure that the tree trunk is secure in the stand and sits flat. A firm base will keep the tree from tipping in the event your feline friend gets a little pawsy. If you use a fake tree, you may want to place a board underneath its stand to ensure the legs stay stable, especially on the carpet.
Electrical cords are also a hazard to your cat. If they like to chew, the cords pose a shock risk, and if your cat climbs, they can get caught up in the stands or catch their nails; using battery-operated lights can help. Also, Preventative Vet recommends taking a corrugated pipe and covering the cords so your cat cannot hurt themselves or accidentally start a fire.
3. Use Cat-Proof Ornaments
Ornaments look exactly like cat toys to your furry friend. The problem, however, is ornaments break. When cats break ornaments, they can cut their paws. If they ingest any of the pieces, it can harm their throat or intestines and can cause a blockage. A cat-safe variety will make life a little less stressful. Place plastic ornaments on your tree to keep your cat from breaking anything. Another cat-friendly tree decorating tip is to keep ornaments off the lower branches. Dangling decor is very tempting for curious cats, especially things like tinsel and garland. Place some pine cones in the garland on your mantel or tables to keep your cat away.
You can even get chew-proof Christmas tree lights. It comes in battery-powered rope lighting that can be used throughout your home.
4. Use Unappealing Scents On Your Tree
Well, unappealing scents that will keep your cat away, that is. However, many wonderful scents fit in with the holidays that cats are not too fond of. Spray the base of your tree with a mixture of citronella oil, orange, and lemongrass, plus a little water, and it should act as a repellent for your cat. You can also place some orange peels in the tree water, which gives off enough scent to keep kitty away. Other options are pine cones and apple cider vinegar to deter your cat from playing with your tree.
If you have a live tree, you likely have put preservatives in the water to keep the pine needles green. If you are concerned with your cat getting into the tree stand and using it as a water bowl, you can place aluminum foil underneath the tree skirt. Cat's do not like loud, sudden noises. Stepping on the foil will scare them away and make them less likely to try again.
5. Entertain Your Cat With Pet Parent-Approved Activities
If you really want you and your pets to have the best Christmas ever, give your cat something else to do when the tree comes out. Some new toys filled with catnip or a new toy mouse to play with can keep your feline occupied and away from the giant new play toy in the living room. If your cat is tempted to use the real tree as a scratching post, it may be time to get them one of their own. Place the post away from the tree so they will focus on clawing it up instead.
How do you keep your cats away from the Christmas tree? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page.
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