Tips to keep your cat out of the Christmas tree

Secure the Christmas Tree

Make sure you have a strong, steady support for your tree. A stable base is less likely to tip over if your cat manages to climb it. Also consider using a wire near the top to anchor it to the wall.

Cover the water

Use a piece of cardboard over the water basin to prevent your cat from drinking the water. The stagnant water can contain harmful bacteria and any water additives used to extend your tree’s freshness are also harmful to pets.

Try a repellent

Spray repellents made with citrus or citronella are often distasteful to cats. Some people also have success with putting fresh lemon or orange peels around the base of the Christmas tree (they will need to be replaced every few days.) While this don’t always work with all cats, it may be worth a try.

Wrap the base

Wrap the base of the tree trunk, and the entire base of the tree, with aluminum foil. Most cats don’t like the sound or feel of foil so it may deter them from trying to climb the Christmas tree from underneath.

Wrap the lights

Your cat may try to play with any wires or cords that dangle from the bottom of the tree or the branches. Wrap the lights fairly tightly around branches and the trunk so they don’t hang and use cord covers on the cords that run from the tree to the outlet.

Decorate thoughtfully

Don’t hang your breakable, sparkly ornaments on the bottom of the Christmas tree, that’s just too much temptation for most cats! You may even want to consider not putting any ornaments on the lowest branches.

Consider location

Put your Christmas tree in a location away from furniture, or where furniture can be moved, so it can’t serve as a launching pad for your cat to jump into the tree.  Sometimes a short playpen-type fence or baby gate can also keep your cat away from the tree. 

Be aware of the dangers

Christmas trees and decorations can pose some dangers to your cat. As mentioned above, the water in the basin of a live Christmas tree is harmful for cats to drink. Sap, resin and/or needles of pine or fir trees can be poisonous to pets. Tinsel is particularly hazardous to cats, it can cause bowel obstruction if ingested. And, the ingredients of edible ornaments may not be safe for your cat to eat.

Learning how to keep your cat out of the Christmas tree is important not only because of the inconvenience of a tipped over tree and broken ornaments, but also for the safety of your cat. Consider these tips and tricks to help you both have a happier, and safer, holiday.