How to Keep a Cat Away From a Christmas Tree

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A very meow-y Christmas?
Image Credit: Kevin O'Connell/Twenty20

Keeping a cat away from a Christmas tree will require a mix of ingenuity, repellents and training. In the end, though, keep in mind that your cat might not be so agreeable to the idea of a do-not-touch Christmas tree. You might need to keep him in a different room for at least part of the day.

Give Kitty Some Time

Put the tree up a couple of days before you start decorating. Cats are curious animals by nature, so they naturally will want to smell, explore and climb on anything new that shows up where they live. Chances are they might lose interest after a few days, so don't hang up any tinsel or ornaments right away to see if the novelty wears off.

Kitty Repellents

Spray the tree with a pet repellent if your cat seems to be interested in chewing the tree. These sprays are available through pet stores and are usually odorless but taste bitter. You also can spray a mix of vinegar and water on the tree to prevent Kitty from hanging around or trying to climb. Keep in mind that vinegar might leave a lingering smell on the air, so be ready to open a window or light a scented candle if the smell bothers you.


Citrus-Based Repellent

Another trick to prevent your cat from climbing the tree is to make a homemade cat repellent to put on the tree. Simply peel some oranges, place them in a thin sock or a small mesh bag and place this near the tree base. You can use a more decorative bag and hang it deep inside the tree. Cats dislike citrus fragrances, so consider adding a few drops of essential oils of citronella, orange or lemongrass to a squirt bottle full of water. Spray the tree to keep Kitty away.

Other Things You Can Do

Make the tree as unattractive as possible to your cat by making sure there are no hanging cords or tinsel. Instead, wrap the tinsel around the branches of the tree and secure cords with tape. Avoid decorations that rattle or make noise when touched, as this can remind Kitty of a toy and entice him to play even more. Also, make sure there are few decorations on the lower branches so Kitty won't bat them around. Remove chairs and tables that your cat could use as a ladder to reach higher parts of the tree.