Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

By Linda Delcamp 48 19

We have a 2 year old cat we adopted on April of this year. This will be her first Christmas with us. How can we keep her from getting into the tree? I tried one suggestion where you put bells on the branches and the noise is suppose to scare her away. But this didn't work. Are there any other methods I can use to keep her off the tree?


By Linda from Brighton, MI

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By Lisa 2 656 Flag

December 7, 2010

My cats like bells. They're fun to knock down. :-) We just have to keep an eye on them, use unbreakable ornaments, and we unplug the lights unless we're right there. Two of our cats are just interested in the ornaments, but the youngest might try to climb it. And we keep a water spray bottle nearby (but don't use it if the lights are plugged in!).

I'm curious to see what advice others might offer.

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By Jean 2 145 Flag

December 8, 2010

I have 3 cats. Two of them just sniff the tree, chew on the branches a little and end up sleeping under it. The 3rd one, however, is a totally different story. Lizzie is 3 years old and climbs the tree every chance she gets! Sometimes she flattens out a spot about 2/3 of the way up and sleeps there! I have no choice but to anchor the tree to the wall.

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By Jazzmin Flower 7 20 Flag

December 9, 2010

They always get into the tree, don't they? My first little tuxedo girl was eager to bat at the fragile shiny balls and broke 3 right away. My big old tuxedo tomcat would sleep in the lower branches as a kitten. My old grey tomcat would tug the strings of beads all out of place. I gave up and put a smaller tree atop the big screen tv. Then I put a 5 foot tree in the window of a room they are disallowed from entering full of holiday and craft supplies. Then I tried a half a tree in the hall way. This works the best although it could use more branches on it! My need for a Christmas tree is fulfilled and the cats never can reach it on the door or wall.

Half trees seem like an odd idea, like an upside down tree, but it turns out nice, although I can't seem to get enough ornaments on it. Us humans are satisfied. Another idea is to make the cats their own tree with shiny plastic ornaments that looks like the real thing and no tinsel or icicles, bead strings ok! Also decorate with bright and colorful cat toys.

I will never give up on Christmas and cats will never give up going for the ornaments.

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By CaroleeRose 58 118 Flag

December 9, 2010

Our cats like to sleep on the skirt that surrounds the bottom of the tree. In the past though I did have a couple of cats that caused a little damage, but the little damage was a keepsake ornament from

a much loved Grandmother. I put slightly crumpled aluminum foil around the bottom of the tree and it looked like a beautiful pond that was frozen. The cats hated to step on it because of the noise.

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By MJ 1 Flag

December 9, 2010

Why keep her out? Isn't Christmas for kids and animals? We had a cat named "Kat" and she loved to sleep in our Christmas tree or reach out and touch you when you walked by. She is no longer with us. Now at Christmas, when I walk by our tree, I have good memories of her enjoying the tree also. I'm glad I took pictures of her.

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Tip: Keeping Kitty Out of Your Christmas Tree

By Donna 309 325

I have been dealing with my year old kitty climbing into and knocking over my Christmas tree until I came up with this idea!

I blew up balloons and added them to the tree!
She jumped in and accidentally popped one causing her to jump off immediately!

It stopped her from jumping into it again, so now I can finish decorating it, but I think I will still leave some in the tree, just in case.


Christmas tree.

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Archive: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    I'm wondering what other owners of cats do to keep them out of the Christmas trees? I have a 1 year old cat that I got this year. I just know she will end up batting at the ornaments and maybe climb up the trunk. Any suggestions?

    Judy from OH


    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    You can do what my mom did for us kids...took us out of the playpen and put the tree IN it! You may want to forgo the dangling ornaments and just do lights and garland, less temptation for a kitty :) (11/11/2007)

    By TracyInNH

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    Put your tree up as early as you can but with no lights and no ornaments. Keep it up this way for a week or more. Play with your kitty, discourage her when she goes to climb it, reward her when she comes to you and ignores the tree. When she gets more comfortable with the tree, add lights and ornaments. Do not use any precious ornaments or breakable glass ornaments just yet. Keep up the training to make her ignore the tree. Use a spray bottle of water on her, only if needed.

    If she is not destructive to the tree, but still wants to climb it, attach an eye hook to the ceiling and anchor your tree top with fishing line. Better than the tree coming down on you and kitty. Do not use tinsel (the type that comes in fine strands like Easter grass). It is too tempting for your cat to eat and can cause anything from intestinal distress to death. After all that you can try pepper sauce on the trunk - although I had a cat who loved it! (11/11/2007)

    By thriftyboo

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    My girlfriend has 5 cats. She ties jingle bells to the bottom of the tree. Another uses Ben-Gay at the base of the tree. Happy Holidays. Keeper in NC. (11/12/2007)

    By keeper60

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    My way of keeping my two cats out of the Christmas tree is not to put one up this year. It is a nightmare for me and I am tired of constantly spraying them with my water bottle, so no tree. Bad (11/12/2007)

    By Donna

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    I put my tree up in front of the window. I put small eye hooks underneath each corner of the window sill and run a cord from one hook, around the trunk twice and then attach to the other hook. If I don't tether it to the wall, it will come down when someone decides to climb it! (11/12/2007)

    By Lynn Beth

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    The ONLY thing that worked for me was to spray around the trunk of the tree every night with a spray that is meant to keep animals off furniture. It has an odor that is not pleasant, but doesn't last long. It worked for my cats.
    Mine didn't seem to bother the tree during the day, but really had fun at night with it after I went to bed. Good luck. By the way, forget the playpen. Cats just jump over it. (11/12/2007)

    By Sue

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    No experience with Christmas cats but much experience with a big, clumsy dog. In honor of his first holiday season, I bought a fake tree. If we'd put up our usual cut one, he'd have been quite pleased about the new water bowl and the big stick we'd conveniently put up in the living room for him.

    I bought a 6 ft tree and used its short stature as an excuse to buy a good one with a high tip count and enough lights to land aircraft by. I elevate it a foot off the floor, giving it enough height with the stand and trunk to slow him down. I use one of those cheap, 2 drawer stacking Formica units from Target for the base. I take the handles off and lay it on the floor, drawer side down. It's a foot deep and big enough to hold the stand with room to spare. I cover it with a cloth, put the tree on that, and then a tree skirt. Leaves me short 2 small drawers in my closet for a while but it works better than anything else we tried. The drawers give it extra stability.

    That same December, I found bead garlands covered with bells on an early 1/2 price sale. I bought 4 of them and they go up every year. If Leo (the dog) gets too close when he's leaping around, I hear the bells and yell loud enough to rattle the windows.

    We can't put paper wrapped packages under the tree or Leo will open them as soon as we turn our backs. He's got a thing for paper. Every year I buy more cheap holiday fabric for wrapping and use it over and over. I've also made up some bags with fabric glue, I'm sewing challenged, and they seem to be indestructible. No tall cut trees or paper wrap, but one fine black lab/bassett mix. (11/12/2007)

    By Miz Lou

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    Good luck. We've always had cats and they just love Christmas trees! It's usually the young cats who take on the tree, but sometimes the older ones like to become part of the decorations too. Don't put fragile ornaments, tinsel, or strung popcorn on the tree. The ornaments will be broken and get into paws and fur; they'll swallow the tinsel and end up in the vets and they'll play with and eat the popcorn, and I hate to tell you what that'll do with their insides. I like the idea of Ben Gay and the playpen. Wish I'd thought of it long ago. (11/12/2007)

    By sheilamay

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    Don't use breakable ornaments! (11/12/2007)

    By Jennifer

    <img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=80581987" width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree">

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    I use a squirt gun (11/12/2007)

    By CharlieRS

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    Get some tangerines, peel them then put them and the peels on plates. Put the plates under the tree. Cats hate the smell of tangerines and will usually stay away. You can also rub vinegar on the doorstep to the room that the tree is in, that's another smell cats don't like. Here's another idea you can try: a friend cut a branch off her tree and put it in a pot. She put the pot as far away from the tree as she could. She put some of the cat's toys in the pot too. The cat quickly stood guard over "her tree" and left the other one alone. (11/12/2007)

    By perfume and powder

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    I use a water spray bottle...not that Stewie seems to care as you can see from this picture! He just waits for me to walk away. It is a really long season! I concede and hang the breakable ornaments higher on the tree! (11/13/2007)

    By Gail216

    <img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=94120211" width="400" height="301" alt="RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree">

    RE: Keeping Cats Out Of The Christmas Tree

    Get one of those noisy toys that start up with motion. Someone lent me one once with my kitten, it was a dog. I put it under the tree and when the kitten went near, the dog would bark. It only took 4 times and the kitten would stay right away from tree. Sometimes he would go lay across the room and look at the dog. It was comical. (11/19/2007)

    By Mary567

    Archive: Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

    How do I keep my cats away from the Christmas tree? The tree is fake. My kittens climb in the tree, chew the branches and go potty below. Is there something I can spray or a way I can teach them? Thanks in advance.

    Heather from Swanton, VT


    RE: Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

    Oh my, that last post about the loud motion toy was funny!
    I think this year, since we have two new kittens in the home which love to be up high, I will just let it all happen and keep my nice ornaments in the boxes in the closets, and go buy me a good used video/digital cam and make some money with the videos!

    By Dedeswrkshop

    RE: Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

    I had my own Christmas tree lots for 10 years. People always came in with "can you solve this?" questions. This was a problem that was a lot of fun and more beautiful than you could ever dream. I would cut the bottom flat and attach a hook, hang it upside down, flock lightly and add a little color and bling, with decorations and lights just like out of a story book. I even hung one coming down the wrap around stairway. Just make sure you match the ceiling with the size of the tree, not too large. (12/11/2008)

    By double d

    RE: Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

    I have success using citronella oil sprayed or wiped around surfaces you want to keep kitty-free! They don't like the smell. I have heard eucalyptus oil and Vicks VapoRub are also good. You do need to reapply. My cats just love using our Christmas tree as a new ladder between upstairs and down! Sadly, most of our ornaments didn't survived the cats' first Christmas. We just have some simple tinsel now. (12/11/2008)

    By Kevin

    RE: Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

    I have 5 cats. Three ignore the tree. One got stuck in it last year during Christmas dinner and cried until I pulled him out! The kitten is fascinated.

    This year, what I did was put the tree up and lights and left it alone for a full week. The naughty 2 have climbed it, sniffed it and now ignore it. So tomorrow I will put the ornaments on it.

    Many years ago, a friend gave me a tip of putting Jean Nate oil, I guess it's bath oil, on cotton balls inside and around the tree. Cats hate the scent and stay away. It did work for me that year. You have to redo it every few days.

    The orange peel would work too.

    If kitties are using the area beneath the tree as a litter box (saw in another post) then spray the area with vinegar and water. It won't hurt them and they don't like the scent. You could pick up in a pet supply store some double sided tape and put under tree as well. It is also great for cats scratching furniture.


    By Dorina

    RE: Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

    Some of those ideas sound like great ways to keep them away and I will be trying them. I put my tree in front of the window, and just as an extra measure of insurance, I have teacup hooks under each side of the window sill. I take jute twine and run it from one side, wrap completely around the trunk, and then tether to the other side. At least if it gets climbed, it won't come down! (12/14/2008)

    By Beth

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    Keeping Cats Out of the Christmas Tree
    Pets CatsDecember 7, 2010
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