How to repel cats from christmas tree

How To Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree This Holiday


One of the greatest joys in life is sharing experiences with your animal companions. Of course, it can be challenging at times to adapt to all their quirky habits. If you share your home with cats, you probably know exactly what that means. Cats are curious investigators—if you bring something new into your home, you can be sure they’ll inspect it. So decorating a tree during the holiday season might be a bit more difficult with a feline in your home. Cats may be enticed by a tall tree decorated with shiny objects and may even jump on them, knock them down, or make off with the decorations. Luckily, you can use a few simple tricks to help keep cats safe.

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Buying the Tree
  • Consider a fake one. Real trees can be great, but pine needles can be dangerous for cats who love to chew on foreign objects. If ingested, they can pose a serious health risk. You can easily find a fake tree that still looks realistic, and you can use it year after year.
  • Go for smaller. A smaller tree is safer for your feline friends, especially if they try to make sneak attacks on it. If the tree falls over, it’s less likely to hurt them—and it’ll be easier for you to decorate and clean up, too.

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Setting Up the Tree
  • Wait a minute. You might be used to busting out the ornaments as soon as you get the tree home, but it helps to give your cat a chance to get bored with the tree first. Set up the tree a few days before decorating it so that your companions can investigate it (and hopefully, soon lose interest in it).
  • Make sure that the tree has a solid base. As mentioned above, cats love jumping on trees, so be sure to set the tree up so that it won’t easily topple over. Securing it to a wall with some wire near the top can help keep it upright.

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  • If you do opt for a real tree, cover the water bowl with a tree skirt and place presents on top of the skirt so that your cat isn’t tempted to drink the water, which could sicken them.
  • Keep the tree away from launching zones (e. g., furniture) that your cat uses, in order to reduce the temptation to pounce on your tree.
  • Steer your cat away. Most cats hate foil and citrus scents, so wrap your tree trunk in foil, and place a few lemon or orange peels around the base. You can also place pine cones around the base.

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Decorating the Tree
  • Focus on the top half of the tree. Place ornaments where it’s harder for your cat to reach them—at the top and toward the center of the tree (instead of on the ends of the branches).
  • Take care with lights. Place lights toward the center of the tree so that your cat is less tempted to chew on the wires and cover the end of the wire that plugs into the wall with a cord protector. Always unplug the lights when you’re not able to supervise your cat. If your cat tries to chew the wires, it’s better to take the lights off the tree than risk your friend being burned or electrocuted.
  • Tie ornaments. Your cat can be injured by the little metal hooks typically used to hang ornaments, so instead, try tying the ornaments to the tree. Make sure the ornaments are secure enough that your cat can’t just run off with them.
  • Skip the tinsel. Tinsel may be cheap and flashy, but it’s a serious hazard to cats, who often can’t resist eating it and therefore risk choking on it or getting it stuck in their intestines if they swallow it. Go for other types of pretty decor instead, such as paper, wood, or vegan felt decorations, which are less tempting than the super-shiny stuff.
  • Avoid other holiday hazards. Don’t risk using decorations such as real candles, small ornaments that your cat could choke on, or fake snow (which may contain harmful chemicals). And be sure to keep foods and plants that could be poisonous out of reach—or better yet, out of your house. These include chocolate, mistletoe, lilies, cyclamen, poinsettias, and amaryllises, among others.

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Don’t Stress Too Much

Much like knowing that your cat will inevitably scratch your sofa at some point, it’s good to accept that some cats might climb on trees no matter what you do. So do the best you can to set up a beautiful (and safe) tree, but don’t fret too much if your cat decides to “redecorate.” Life is unpredictable with feline companions—that’s half the fun of it!

Now that you’ve got the tree decorating squared away, it’s time to get your holiday shopping started.

You weren’t born purrfect—you’re not a cat, after all. So if you’d like some vital tips on keeping felines happy and healthy, get your paws on PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s new cat book. Order your copy today to learn how to earn your (tabby) stripes.

Order the Cat Guardian’s Bible Today

As an Amazon Associate, PETA earns from qualifying purchases. If you buy something after clicking the Amazon Smile links on this page, a percentage of the qualifying purchase will be donated to PETA and help us protect more animals from exploitation.

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind

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How to Keep Your Cat Out and Away from the Christmas Tree

The holidays are like a gift that keeps on giving. From the Christmas presents, the Christmas parties, the Christmas cookies, and the Christmas trees, it's no wonder it's considered "the most wonderful season of all." But with all those good things come situations that test our merrymaking mettle. The Christmas lights have been hung with care, but apparently one of the tiny fuses has blown. A renegade toddler caught sight of a part-way constructed bicycle and wants answers as to why it's not being put together at the North Pole. And what to do when the family dog decides to sample the chocolate fudge right before company arrives?

Speaking of pets, remember that our furry friends require extra supervision during the holidays—especially around that tempting, fully decked-out Christmas tree. In order to prevent super-curious cats from mistaking the holiday tree for a new scratching post, you're going to have pull out all the stops with alternative decorating techniques, cat-repelling odors, and maybe even a little chicken wire. Cat-proofing the Christmas tree isn't just about vanity—some of the items on your tree can be very dangerous when ingested. And no one—especially your cat!—wants to do the countdown to Christmas from the vet's office.

How to Cat-Proof Christmas Light Wiring

Kay Bartolozzi / EyeEm

Everyone is mesmerized by Christmas lights—that's the whole point! Unfortunately, your cat may be compelled to act on her attraction by chewing on the wires. And whether the lights are shining bright or turned off, your cat can burn her mouth or even get electrocuted if she's chewing. So think about investing in a pet-proof cord protector to prevent injury.

How to Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Limbs with Bells

Pedro Umbelino / EyeEm

You know how you have bells around your cat's neck to keep track of where he's going and what he's into? You can apply the same solution to your Christmas tree. Move your more precious ornaments to higher positions on the tree and layer in some jingle bells on the lower section. When you hear the ring-a-ding-dings, it's time to put a stop to the paw-ty.

How to Cat-Proof a Christmas Tree with Paper Garland


It's time to ditch the traditional tinsel. While it's not exactly toxic, it's also not easily digested. So when your dogs and cats eat tinsel, it can become an obstruction under their tongues or in their tummies, according to CL country vet Tricia Earley. If that happens, you'll be spending all your Christmas money on emergency surgery. Best to go with paper garland instead.

How to Cat-Proof a Christmas Tree with Treated Pinecones

Getty Images

For a little rustic charm that will keep the cats away, Tricia advises spraying a few pinecones with apple cider vinegar and placing them at the base of the tree. "Cats generally hate the scent and will likely avoid the area," she says.

How to Cat-Proof a Christmas Tree with Orange Peels

Sviatlana Barchan

Did you know that cats don't fancy the smell of oranges? It's true. So take advantage of their aversion by eating an orange and placing the orange rinds beneath the tree! You get all the benefits of the vitamin C and none of the headaches that come with a cat getting too close to the Christmas decor.

Spray an Artificial Tree with Cat-Proofing Spray


Keeping the cat away from an artificial Christmas tree is a snap thanks to a quick spritz of a citronella and water mixture or a store-bought cat deterrent, like Four Paws Keep Off spray.

How to Cat-Proof a Christmas Tree Stand

Melissa Ross

You know what seems fun to a cat? Playing with a Christmas tree stand. Remove the temptation! If you have an artificial tree, you can simply cover it with a piece of fabric or a tree skirt. But if you have a real tree, things get a little dicier. In addition to being fun to play with, cats also like to sample the water. Unfortunately, pine oils can be harmful, so you need to restrict access by covering the opening with aluminum foil.

Use Wire Ornaments to Cat-Proof a Tree

Danielle Donders

One of your cat's main reasons for the season is pawing at your beloved Shiny Brites. If you don't have the heart to constantly clean up shattered ornaments, simply secure them to branches with wire or twine.

How to save a Christmas tree from a cat: ways to protect yourself


February 27, 2019


  • Unpleasant odors

  • Selection questions

  • Rules for safe tree installation

  • What about the toys?

  • Is it worth punishing a cat?

For pet owners, the New Year is not only a holiday, but also a time of increased attention to their pets. As a rule, they show great interest in the changes taking place in the house. Especially to the New Year tree, which cats strive to dump on the floor or leave without bright toys. How to save a Christmas tree from a cat, and a cat from a New Year's tree: read a selection of proven tips.

Unpleasant odors

Probably the easiest way to protect a Christmas tree from a cat is to use a special repellent scent that you can make yourself. The solution is absolutely safe for the animal, moreover, it will help create a delightful New Year's atmosphere.

To create a solution you will need:

  • ordinary water (50 ml),
  • a few drops of essential oils of lemon, lavender, orange,
  • any convenient sprayer.

The ingredients are mixed, and the tree itself, the floor around it and the toys are periodically irrigated with the resulting spray. In theory, cats will not come close to the New Year's beauty, exuding citrus aromas that are unpleasant for him. It happens that the method does not work, and the curiosity of the animal is stronger. In this case, the problem of how to save the Christmas tree from the cat will have to be solved differently.

​Choice questions

It is believed that an artificial Christmas tree is safer for a pet: it does not prick, needles do not fall off and the animal is unlikely to suffer from digestive problems due to swallowed needles. The smaller the size of such a tree, the better:

  • a small tree is much more stable than a large one,
  • Christmas tree made of synthetic materials, much lighter than natural
  • even if, in the heat of “hunting” for Christmas decorations, a cat drops a Christmas tree, it is unlikely that it will cause serious injury.

Christmas tree safety rules

So that the cat does not knock down the Christmas tree, when installing it, you must follow simple rules:

  • the best place is the corner of the room;
  • the tree must be reliably protected from falling, so you need to fix the trunk on a large and stable stand;
  • a bucket with something heavy and unattractive for a fluffy robber is also suitable for the role of a stand: expanded clay, stones;
  • some craftsmen attach the top to the ceiling by tying it to a pre-screwed metal ring;
  • do not install the Christmas tree near cabinets, shelves - as they can make it easier for the cat to access Christmas decorations;
  • artificial or natural pine should not be placed on a pedestal or other platform from which it can fall without the help of a cat;
  • during the cat's forced loneliness and at night, the room where the tree stands should be closed so as not to tempt fate.

What about the toys?

Decorating a Christmas tree in the presence of a cat is a bad omen. At the sight of toys, colorful and shiny tinsel, the animal goes into ecstasy and tries to get to the Christmas tree with a vengeance.

What should be Christmas decorations:

  • matt, not swaying or eye-catching,
  • plastic: if they fall, they will not break and the animal will not be injured,
  • securely fastened with a wire, not a thread, so that the cat could not catch it with its paw and throw it to the floor,
  • The higher the Christmas decorations are hung, the safer.

What can't be done?

  • hang toys on lower branches,
  • use rain, otherwise the pet will swallow it, which can lead to serious problems with the esophagus and stomach, poisoning and even suffocation of the animal,
  • decorate the Christmas tree with a faulty garland: make sure that the light bulbs are not electric and the wires are well insulated and hidden.

Is it worth punishing a cat?

If the cat eats the Christmas tree and does not leave an attempt to pull off toys from it, then it's time to start the educational process. The greatest educational effect on the cat has a thin jet of water from a spray bottle. As soon as the pet tries to attack the New Year tree, lightly sprinkle water on it and strictly say “No!”. Harsh sounds can be used instead of water. For example, clap your hands or hit the pan with a spoon. The animal must clearly understand: the tree is not an object for entertainment and it is necessary to keep a distance from it.

Protecting the traditional New Year's attribute is a responsible and not always successful business. If, despite all your efforts, the cat knocked down the Christmas tree, then let the animal have fun from the heart. Having played enough, the pet will get fed up and sooner or later calm down, having lost all interest in the tree.

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How to protect a Christmas tree from a cat: 10 ways to save the New Year

Decorated, bright and beautiful Christmas tree is an integral symbol of the New Year holiday.

However, cats look at these decorations in their own way. Let's figure out how to minimize damage.

Christmas trees are very attractive to cats - this thing looks like both a scratching post and a play complex. Shiny toys only irritate the furry pranksters, and they joyfully attack the unfortunate tree.

Collapse of the Christmas tree is dangerous for the animal - glass and plastic toys break and cut the cat's paws, the garland can break when falling. In addition, the green beauty is scary in itself: a cat can overeat needles, get tangled in branches and get lost in time when playing in her arms.

We have prepared 10 tips to help make the New Year fun and safe for all family members.

Do not decorate the Christmas tree right away

Naturally, cats are surprised by a luminous object suddenly appearing in the house. Before decorating the tree with toys, take out the Christmas tree and let it stand without decorations for a couple of days. When the cat gets used to the new thing, she will no longer want to knock over such a big toy.

Make the Christmas tree unattractive to the cat

Your pet will definitely not want to re-experience the negative experience. If your cat loves to nibble on fir branches, try spraying them with bitter spray. Give preference to an artificial tree - its needles do not crumble and it does not smell of anything.

Many cats don't like the smell of citrus, so try breaking up tangerine or lemon peels and rubbing the sour juice on the twigs.

Another way to keep your pet away from the Christmas tree is to stick foil or double-sided tape on the "skirt" of the Christmas decoration. Cats don't like it when something sticks to their paws.

Keep the cat away from the Christmas tree pot

Some furries love to drink water meant for the Christmas tree. Cats think this is a new body of water just for them. Such water often contains additives and fertilizers that are toxic to animals, so it is not suitable for drinking.

Here foil comes to the rescue again - wrap a sheet of foil around the edges of the pot. Remember that even water without fertilizer contains bacteria that are harmful to the stomach.

Pay attention to the wood material

Choosing an artificial Christmas tree, you prevent several possible problems at once. The cat will not be able to drink water from the Christmas tree pot and will overeat fallen needles that are dangerous for digestion.

However, some artificial Christmas trees are also unsafe: do not purchase a Christmas tree made of cheap PVC, as this material can be toxic to humans and animals.

Prevent the tree from tipping over

As you know, playful cats love to jump on and drop the trees. Take care of the stability of the green tree in advance: tie the tree to a wall or ceiling. This may seem like a drastic method, but this way your tree will definitely stay upright.

Be careful with garlands

Always turn off the garland when you go to bed or leave the house. Sharp cat teeth and electrical cords are incompatible, and such fun can end sadly. If your pet is a chronic lover of chewing wires, give up the electric garland altogether.

Ban on rain and tinsel

Many of us like to decorate the Christmas tree with beautiful shiny tinsel, but cat owners will have to give it up. The pet will definitely try to eat the jewelry, which can lead to blockage of the intestines and death. Rain is also dangerous for cats due to the peculiarities of digestion.

Check Christmas tree decorations

Fragile or souvenir decorations should be kept out of the cat's reach. Hang them on the upper branches of the Christmas tree so that the cat cannot reach them with its paw and break them.

If you haven't fixed the tree in a secure position, it's best not to use glass toys at all. Choose balls from a more durable material.

Distract the cat from the tree

If your kitten is really crazy about the Christmas tree, try something else to keep him busy.

Learn more