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I have been dealing with my year old kitty climbing into and knocking over my Christmas tree until I came up with this idea!
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.
We have always had cats and they have a tendency to want to explore the Christmas tree. We got around that by using an abundance of bells on the lower limbs to serve as an early warning device. When we heard the bells we knew to pay close attention or deflect trouble before it happened.
By Shelly from Spring Hill, KS
Put a small tree up for your cat, maybe 3 feet. It's really dependent on the room you have but remember cats want something to climb. Hang some low hanging ornaments from the bottom of his own kind (meaning safe cat toys) with a few filled with catnip. You may want to anchor the cat's tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent tipping over as you will expect the cat to be playing/climbing in it.
All the while, put aluminum foil around your own Christmas tree as if it were a tree skirt. Usually cats don't like the way it feels to walk on aluminum foil. Also cover the water dish (if it's a real tree), and cover the trunk of your tree. Continue to spray your tree and around your tree with repelling cat scents: citrus or diluted vinegar daily or place orange and lemon peels in tree. There are also cat repellents you can buy at the pet store. If lights have been added, use common sense with this, spraying around tree only and unplug power first.
Each time the cat goes to the tree, yell "NO!" firmly as you clap your hands then redirect him to his own tree. What cat could resist a tree of his own toys hanging?
As for presents, get some large boxes and Christmas cloth. Cover the boxes as you would wrap a present, leaving the fabric at the top loose. Put your wrapped presents down into these boxes, gather and tie with large ribbon. To add more, just untie, open, add the presents, gather again and retie until box is full, then go to your next box.
Hope this helps someone. Have a Merry Christmas!
My cat doesn't like the smell of citrus. I take the tree shaped car deodorizer, orange scent, and hang them from the bottom branches.
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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 Delcamp from Brighton, MI
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is there any product either homemade or store bought, that will keep pets away from the Christmas tree?
When my daughter was a baby we put our Christmas tree in a playpen to keep her from pulling it down on herself. It also kept our cats out of it.
my kitten is having her first christmas and she has decided to try and attack the tree. so my mom got a small squirt gun and if she starts to attack it, she gets a friendly squirt. this also works to train cats to stay off of counter tops. just dont let them see you squirt them.
any suggestions for dogs??
I usually put the unbreakable and safe ornaments for kids and pets on the bottom and put the breakable or more hazardous ones on the top.
Susan from ThriftyFun
You could put some kind of fencing around it.
One thing I use to "punish" my cat, is a shaker. I have a small tin filled with little pebbles, if he scratches the couch I shake the tin and he stops. They don't like the noise and he hardly does it now! I'd assume the same thing will work for your tree. If the tree is in the lounge, and you are generally around, shake the tin and the cat will stop.
You are one up one me though, I can't even find my christmas decorations this year, so I can't put my tree up (we have moved)..
Have a great Christmas!
I sprayed a little of my wife's perfume on the lower branches and our cats absolutely hate it! We had tried about everything (foil, dryer sheets etc)and almost did not put up the tree this year because of the cats wreaking havoc on it every year. Thanks to whomever suggested that tip!
What about dogs? I have two dogs and both got them in the summer and they have never seen a Christmas tree and how do I keep them away?
How do you keep some energetic puppies who like to chew up furniture away from the Christmas tree?
I still favor putting a few ballons in the tree. The kitten or cat pops just one ballon and he's guaranteed to stay away from the tree :)
This is our first year having a cat at Christmas. I left the cat in the room when I was putting up the tree and she had done just fine. Now Butter likes to get under the tree and sit and she will eat the tinsel we have on the tree. I did not put more tinsel on the tree. It has the ones left from last year. How do I get her to not eat the tinsel?
By Jeanei B
While changing a cat's behavior can sometimes be achieved, there is a definite health risk to your cat from the tinsel, and other things like ribbon, string, and rubber bands. Unfortunately, kitties can (intentionally or not) ingest these things while playing. Sadly, this can cause intestinal blockage...sometimes requiring life-saving surgery.
I don't wish to scare you, but thought you should be aware this is a serious risk.
I learned long ago that there is no way to stop a cat from eating items like tinsel and, as MantisMary pointed out, it can be a health hazzard. As dreary of a job as it will be please remove any remaining tinsel and just don't use it again. And don't think for one minute that you can have some tinsel towards the top because when you're not looking your baby just might crawl up there to get it ;-)
Yes, don't use tinsel. Stuff is messy anyway.
Years ago our cat ate tinsel off the Christmas tree & a few days later, died of lead poisoning. The vet said it was a painful death for our cat. I don't know if they make tinsel with lead in it anymore, but PLEASE don't let your pets eat it! Tinsel is long strings & it could get caught inside your pet, I would think. Get wrapped around things. Please, be cautious!
You can try spraying some of the "no scratch" spray that they have for cats. It's the smell that they hate. Spray it on your tree. Or at least the bottom. If that doesn't work you're going to have to keep the cat blocked off from the tree. Put the cat in a different area of the house and shut a door until Christmas is over.
I have a problem. This is my kitty's first Christmas and we're trying to put up the tree but she just won't leave it alone! We can't get her to stay away from the tree no matter what we do. I don't want to "not" have a tree but is there anything we can do? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
(I do like this picture, I'm glad I was able to capture it.)
Stacey from Orem, UT
Here is my solution. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
Awesome! Thank you all for your suggestions. I sprayed apple cider vinegar around the tree and some of the lower branches. Darla and Toby hate it. Yay! Tree in tact and beautiful!
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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
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 dede smith
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 diane dyer
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)
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.
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)
I have a problem. This is my kitty's first Christmas and we're trying to put up the tree, but she just won't leave it alone. We can't get her to stay away from the tree no matter what we do. I don't want to "not" have a tree, but is there anything we can do? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
I do like this picture, I'm glad I was able to capture it.
Stacey from Orem, UT
Here is my solution. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
Depending how big your tree is we put ours in a playpen and that solved everything. It is only an idea, otherwise spray water at her everytime she goes near the tree. (11/27/2005)
I've used the playpen for the tree, but to keep the children from getting to it. It might work for a small kitten, but one that big, she'd probably just climb over it. I have a bunch of cats and use unbreakable ornaments on the bottom of the tree because they inevitably play with them. That saves a lot of broken ornaments. With yours on the table, she might knock it over if she tries to climb it.
One thing you could try is to cover your table with foil down to the ground. Cats hate foil and it might keep her down.
It's a problem, but she sure is cute.
Susan from ThriftyFun (11/27/2005)
You might try spraying Bitter Apple (you can buy it at pet stores) around the bottom. (11/27/2005)
Does your cat not like when you just put perfume on?
I use perfume on wires that my Pudd likes to chew, the smell stops her before she even tastes it. (11/27/2005)
Some cats hate the smell of hot peppers (like hot sauce or cayenne pepper powder) or try mint (peppermint oil or toothpaste). Luckily, our cat just wants to lay under the tree. I wish we could keep it up year round just for her. (11/27/2005)
To keep the tree from falling over, my DH cut a 4' plywood circle which I place the tree skirt overtop of. The tree stand base has spots for a nail to be screwed in at the end of each stand "arm". This way, if you cannot be there to keep her out of the tree, at least you can keep the tree from falling over.
My DH made the circle when we had a kitten and the real tree had a stand filled with water. We placed the tree in the living room that had a new carpet. The tree did not tip over and the carpet did not get wet. The bottom ornaments did get batted around and did not always remain by the tree, but the tree stayed put. (11/28/2005)
I have the same problem with my new kitty and I guess I understand, first Christmas and all. My hubby used orange peels in a flower pot she wouldn't stay out of, so we used some at the base of the tree to. So far everything is going well. (11/28/2005)
My mom uses Bounce dryer sheets around the base of the tree. Dryer Sheets keep dogs, cats, and mice away from anything. They don't like the smell. You should try that. Hope it helps. (11/28/2005)
The perfuming of the tree worked for my cat. He sneezed at first, but it has been 3 days and I haven't seen him get into in since. Thank you. (12/14/2005)
I was having the same problem, it is the 14th of December and I have yet to decorate my tree due to the kitten. I went to Petsmart and purchased, Boundary Indoor/outdoor cat repellent by Lambert Kay. It works wonders. (12/15/2005)
We have 3 very cool cats, Kurtis, Hemingway, and Harley. We love them very much, but after we put up a very beautiful Christmas tree this year, we were having the same problem. Hemingway, with Kurtis egging him on dove into the tree more than once, broke the stand, knocked off several of the branches and really almost destroyed the tree. (fake tree)
I thought about this, searched on the internet, ended up here, and I didn't really see anything that I wanted to try. I was in the shower and it hit me. We have all this home automation stuff (x10.com) so what I did was put the vacuum behind the tree, plugged it into a module and set up the macro on the PC and downloaded it to the interface. Now, when one of them gets within 3 feet of the tree motion trips, fires up the vacuum and the cats go motoring down the hallway. It stays on for 5 seconds and then shuts off. It took a couple days for our kittys to adjust, but now they won't give the tree the time of day. We can now enjoy our tree and have no worries about them tearing it up again. Just thought we would share our remedy on here.
I don't think that crushed moth balls is a very safe idea for cats. They have a very sensitive nervous system and this could be harmful to them. Not to mention, that I don't like the smell of mothballs either. (12/07/2006)
Well this is one idea you can try. Last year I had 4 cats, one had never seen a Christmas tree before and would not stay out of it. She was climbing the tree and batting the balls all of the place. Finally I had to try something. I went to drugstore and bought a jar of Vicks salve and a bag of cotton balls. All you do is dip the cotton balls in the Vicks salve and hang it from a Christmas tree hanger from the lower limbs of your tree, in a hidden spot of course, that worked for my cat. She would go by the tree look at and wince her eyes and walk away. It was actually too funny. The tree is up this year without the cotton balls and she hasn't even looked at it. Good luck, hope it works for you. You do have go back and redip the cotton balls again. (11/29/2007)
We have 3 cats, 8-year-olds Gizmo and Kuddles and 3-month-old Mittens. My older kitties just want to sleep under the (fake) tree, but my kitten insists on climbing and chewing the tree, lights, and bulbs.
I like everyone's ideas of putting something on or around the tress that smells bad to them, but I didn't want to spray the tree itself or coat the wires with soap. So cut a hole in a small paper plate and coated the inside edge with Icy Hot (Vicks wasn't strong enough), then wrapped the paper plate around the post of the tree just above the lowest row of branches. We have to coat the paper plate every so often after the smell dies, but so far Mittens stays away from the tree.
The downfall is now my older cats miss out on sleeping under the tree because they hate the smell as well and my husband and I have to deal with Icy Hot smell also. Maybe I'll try aromatherapy oils or spray on the paper plate. At least my husband and I won't mind the smell. (12/01/2007)
I did a search for how to keep my 5 month old kitten away from the tree and I ended up here. The citrus perfume idea is genius. I sprayed it on the tree skirt and the bottom half of the tree including the ornaments and he hates it. He ran once really quickly under the tree, but kept running out the other side. He'll sit a few feet away with eyes squinted sniffing the tree, but he won't go near it. I'm so happy. I've got a killer headache from the perfume, but it's so worth it. I don't have to redecorate my tree every 30 seconds now. Thank you. (12/02/2007)
To the people who are using Vicks as a cat repellent, DON'T. Vicks Vapo Rub and other similar products such as Tiger Balm, etc. are not safe for use on or around cats. Much like essential oils they contain components that are toxic to cats. Menthol contains a toxin to cats and Eucalyptus contain phenols. Some cats have a violent reaction to Vicks and begin to foam at the mouth after contact. I have seen people on the internet suggest using these products as "cat deterrent" rubs around the home. Not only is this dangerous advice, it is foolish as the smell of menthol actually attracts some cats, regardless of it's dangers.
By Cat Lover
I used black pepper around the tree on the rug and it works. (11/14/2008)
I was having the same problem as you all. My cat was in heaven when we put up our Christmas tree. She would climb the branches, knock the ornaments off and chew the branches. Once my hubby found the Christmas tree knocked over. I like most of you was getting really frustrated and angry. Then I realized the other day, they are our pets, it's what they were born to do, climb, play, and have fun. It's what makes them so adorable to us.
However because I knew my Christmas tree was is serious danger of survival, I came up with a plan after reading this site. I went to the dollar store and purchased cranberry room spray. I took all the decorations off my tree. Re-set the branches and sprayed the tree all along middle of the tree, the base, and the bottom branches. I then took my pine cones, put them in a small bin and sprinkled on cloves and cinnamon. I let my cat have a sniff and thank goodness, she didn't like it. She made a face and ran for it. I knew then I had success.
I however took it one step further. I knew my cat loved to play with the tree so I had decided to give her a tree of her own. I purchased from the dollar store plenty of toy mice (2 for $1.00) and gave her her own kitty cat Christmas tree. She will still from time to time bite the branches of her tree and bat at the mice and even thought it's only day 2, my tree is still untouched and standing in one piece. (12/05/2008)
Here is Lloyd's kitty cat Christmas tree.
She loves it.
There are sprays that are made especially for cats. We use "No Scratch" by Pet Organics. We normally spray it lightly on the couches, but it will deter the cats wherever it is sprayed. We just sprayed this all over the (fake) tree and surrounding area. Hope it works. (12/07/2008)
Just had an idea. Maybe wrap large boxes and then cover completely with sticky tape. (12/09/2008)
Here is a picture of my third and final attempt at keeping our cats (5) from destroying my wife's collection of mostly ceramic Peanuts Gang ornaments. This slightly serious solution is working like a charm so far except now "Peanut" seems to be depressed even though we provided her, along with her mama and siblings, with their own tree in another room. Go figure. The enclosure consists of six door screens joined with 2 way hinges. (12/21/2008)
When I used to have cats I would put orange peels underneath the tree apron. Cats hate citrus smells and it made them stay away. Replace with new ones every week when the old ones dry out. I put them in my plant pots, too. If you don't often have orange peels, throw them in a baggy and put them in the freezer when you do, so you can use them later. It works very well and makes the house smell good too and its not harmful. (01/19/2009)
By Melissa M.
Vinegar! We adopted a little girl kitten named Dexter over the summer and as it is getting closer to Christmas I knew the tree was going to be a challenge. So we put up the tree over the weekend and sure enough she was incapable of leaving it alone. So I remembered a garden trick someone told me was to spray vinegar on your garden to keep stray cats out. It worked so I thought why not the tree.
I sprayed the tree skirt and the bottom of the tree with vinegar and she refuses to get anywhere near the tree now. The good thing about vinegar is the smell goes away after an hour or so, but the cat can still smell it for weeks after. It's actually kind of funny because now she sits about a foot away from the tree skirt looking at the tree. Hope this helps. (11/29/2009)
I have a 9 month old kitty. He has no interest in climbing the tree, but loves the ornaments and using them as toys. I called the vet and they suggested Irish Spring soap, I have put a few bars underneath my tree skirt and it seems to have worked. This along with not decorating the bottom of the tree has seemed to disinterest him. Good luck. (11/30/2009)
By cat lover
I was also having problems with my cats staying out of my tree. I read this site and tried the vinegar and water spray and so far it has worked like a charm. (12/04/2009)
Yesterday I found this site, and tried the lemon idea. Yesterday I cut up some lemon and lime peels and put them under the tree skirt and made little angels. I wrapped the peels in netting using the lemon and lime peels for their head and placed them around on the branches on the bottom on the tree. And I put one a little high because they could get on the tree there by way of the window sill. It has been working just fine. I'm not giving up on having a Xmas tree, yet. By the way I have 2 kittens that are 9 months old Floyd and Baffle. Well, Floyd is not to happy with me at this time because I took his new toy away. He even let me know by meowing very loud at me. I love my cats. (12/11/2009)
Our 10 week old kitten would not stay out of our Christmas tree. She liked to climb half way up and lay in it. She does not like the Flaming Hot Cheetos, so we decided to put some on hooks and hang them from the bottom branches of the tree. Walla. It worked. She no longer gets under the tree or tries to climb it. I never thought Cheetos could have another use. (12/14/2009)
I went to Bath and Body Works today to get some of the grapefruit spray everyone is talking about on this post. Unfortunately I discovered it is discontinued. However, White Citrus is available. I bought it hoping it would work. My cat sniffed all the way around the tree, looked at me like I ruined the best toy ever, and walked away.
For the first time in four years our tree may be safe. (12/20/2009)