How to: Cat-Proof your Christmas Tree

How to: Cat-Proof your Christmas Tree

Jeanine Brennan
Dec 12, 2008

Cats love trees. In fact, it must be incredibly exciting for them to see you gussying one up with shiny hanging things on it for them to play with indoors. So its important to consider how to catproof your holiday evergreen before you end up with broken ornaments on the floor, with it toppling over, or worse. Click through the jump to read some tips for protecting your cat AND your tree after the jump.

We read a Wiki-How article written by cat owners about how to cat-proof your tree and here are a few steps they suggested:

1. Use a piece of high test fishing line to connect the top of the tree to the ceiling. This will prevent the tree from tipping.

2. Hang ornaments by using wire ornament hangers. Use a pair of pliers to clamp the hook part around the branch.

3. Use duct tape. If the tree is shorter than 6', use duct tape to tape the legs of the holder to a piece of wide ply-wood and put the whole thing on a short, sturdy table. This keeps the tree above their level and the cats won't be as interested.

4. Plug the tree lights into a short indoor extension cord and tape the plug into the socket with electrical tape. Simply unplug the lights from the extension cord to turn off.

5. Make sure that your cat or cats, are locked in a safe room large enough to hold it/them when everyone is either asleep or out of the house. This will keep your kitties from knocking the tree on the floor.

The article went on to give some more great tips, including these:

  • Purchase several ornaments that are bells and hang them on the lower branches. If your cat tries to pull on the tree or hide underneath it, you will hear it (!)
  • Cats naturally hate the scent of oranges, so keep orange peels under the tree to repel your cat.
  • If its a plastic tree, a small amount of Citronella oil shaken into a bottle of water and misted on to the tree makes it smell unpleasant to the cat but fresh and citrus-like to you.
  • Consider getting a Scotch Pine. They have extremely sharp needles. Also works for curious small children.
  • For small kittens wrap tinfoil around the trunk. They don't like putting their nails into it and it will keep them from climbing the tree.
  • Spray the bottom limbs with tabasco sauce to keep them from chewing the bottom branches. They wince and run away!

Oh, and one important tip from the article:
Don't use tinsel around cats! They'll pull it down, spread it over the house and possibly chew on it and choke. Tinsel will cause the cat serious injury if injested (contact your vet right away if you think your cat has chewed, eaten or swallowed any tinsel.)

We have a new kitten this year, so we'll be trying a few of these helpful tips. What about you, AT Readers? Can you weigh in with any other tips that have worked for you to keep your furry friends away from the tree?

pics: 1: collinj's flickr photostream, 2,3,4: justj0000lie's photostream, 5: iowa_spirit_walker's photostream, 6: jon_a_ross' photostream, 7: Zanastardust's photostream, 8: Our friend Zoe's cat Nero

>>>full Wiki-How article here

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