January 03, 2022 6 min read

Christmas is almost here and it’s time to decorate the tree! While you vision a beautiful tree decorated with lights your cat see’s a new place to hide and play. Keeping your cat out of the Christmas tree is often a full-time task for pet parents. Keep reading to find out how to keep cats out of a Christmas tree. 

 

Cat-Proof the Christmas Light Wiring

Does your cat like to chase lights? If you have ever entertained your cat with a flashlight and watched them run around like crazy, chances are they will be very interested in the Christmas lights on the tree. When a cat explores Christmas lights they often chew on the wires which leads to electrocution and sometimes fires. You can protect your cat by using a pet-proof cord protector. 

Also, use outlet covers to prevent your cat from putting their paws in the socket. Cats often find the source of the lights and try to use their paws to unplug the cord. Covering the unused outlet will help prevent damage to the socket as well as injury to your cat. 

An excellent tip to help keep your cat away from the tree is to avoid using blinking lights in the tree or other holiday décor. 

 

Deter Your Cat with Treated Pinecones

If your Christmas décor is rustic, cozy, or has a cabin in the woods feel, treated pinecones are the perfect remedy. Spray the pinecones with apple cider vinegar and place them in spots throughout the tree including the base. Cats hate the scent of apple cider vinegar and will avoid the area. 

You can also place a few pine cones around the room to deter your cat from entering the area. 

 

Cover the Christmas Tree Stand

Christmas tree stands look like a lot of fun to cats. Artificial tree stands sometimes look like scratching poles to cats. Place a tree skirt around the tree stand to keep your cat away. Fresh Christmas trees use an open stand to allow for water refills. Unfortunately, cats like to drink the water from the stand. The water is filled with pine oils that can be harmful to cats. Use aluminum foil to cover the opening of the tree stand and prevent your cat from drinking the water. 

 

Replace Ornament Hooks with Twine

Shiny ornaments look amazing on Christmas trees and your cat knows it! Cats think ornaments are toys and have a lot of fun trying to win the game. Unfortunately, the ornaments usually fall and break into pieces that can damage and cut your cat’s paws. You can prevent this situation by using twine to attach the ornaments to the tree instead of standard Christmas hooks. 

Knot the twine securely so your cat has a difficult time trying to remove it from the tree. If you have expensive or sentimental ornaments on the tree, try to place them towards the trunk of the tree to prevent them from falling and breaking. 

 

Use Orange Peels to Cat-Proof the Christmas Tree

A unique way you can keep cats out of the Christmas tree is with orange peels. It’s easy to do, cut the peel off the orange and place it under the Christmas tree. Most cats will stay away due to the strong citrus scent. However, if your cat is a bit more mischievous and likes to crawl between the branches, hide the peels in the tree too. 

Replace the orange peels every three days to ensure the citrus scent remains strong enough to keep your cat away. Keep in mind if you use heavily scented candles in the same room it will overpower the citrus scent and lessen their effectiveness. 

 

Use Paper Garland Instead of Tinsel

Tinsel brings sparkle and flair to a Christmas tree but it’s dangerous for pets. Many pet owners report their cat eating several tinsel strands and coughing them up into a perfect little ball afterward. Sometimes, cats can’t cough up the tinsel causing it to navigate through the digestive system which usually leads to surgery. Prevent your cat from digesting tinsel by replacing it with paper garland. 

Paper garland can be purchased at your local home décor store or online. They are available in a variety of colors and are easy to use. 

 

Consider an Artificial Tree

Fresh trees smell great and are fun to decorate due to their unique branches. However, the sap and needles from the tree can be poisonous to your cat. If your cat ingests needles or sap it can lead to skin irritation, vomiting, nausea, and injury to the stomach. In addition, the water located in the tree stand contains pine oils and bacteria due to the stagnant water. Stay worry-free and keep your cat safe when you replace a fresh Christmas tree with an artificial one. 

 

Use a Spray Repellent

Chances are you already know about deterrent sprays for cats. You can use the same sprays on artificial trees to deter your cat from playing in it like a jungle gym specially designed for cats. Avoid spraying fresh trees directly because it can cause discoloration of the pine needles. 


Create Roadblocks to the Christmas Tree

As you already know, your cat can leap pretty far onto other furniture and objects around the house. Remove tables, chairs, and other furniture your cat can use as a launching pad towards the Christmas tree. 


Secure Your Tree with a Homemade Stand

Cats are famous for knocking over Christmas trees and it’s definitely something you want to prevent. 


Try these tips: 

  • Use plywood to anchor the stand 
  • Choose a heavy-duty Christmas tree stand
  • If you have a small tree, add weights to the stand

Distract Your Cat with Their Own Winter Wonderland

Cats love to explore new surroundings and a fresh tree indoors is your pet’s dream. Knowing cats, they probably think you chopped the tree down and brought it home just for them to enjoy. If you don’t want your cat jumping all over your Christmas tree, create a winter wonderland of their own. Use an artificial tree and decorate it with cat toys.

Your cat will be entertained and most likely stay away from the family Christmas tree. However, if your cat still wants to climb the main tree, use some of the other tips on this list for extra protection. 

 

Keep Your Cat Out of the Room

Cats are intelligent and they might find a way around all the deterrents just so they can play in the Christmas tree. Outsmart your cat by placing the tree in a room with a door to help keep your cat away. Or, place your cat in another room or area of the house to keep them away from the tree throughout the season. 


Don’t Put Christmas Gifts Under the Tree Early

Placing Christmas gifts under the tree encourages your cat to explore. If you already have gifts under the tree, chances are your cat has damaged the wrapping paper, ripped the bows off, and exposed the gift. 

Keep gifts hidden until Christmas Eve then place them under the tree. During the process make sure you use deterrents mentioned on this list to keep your cat away from the tree. In addition, you can let your cat sleep in your room or another room in the house that separates them from the gifts and the tree. 

 

Put Citronella Near the Tree

Cats hate the smell of citronella and luckily there are plenty of products you can use to deter your cat. However, a citronella candle located in the same room as the tree will fill the room with the scent and keep your cat away. 

Now that you know how to keep a cat out of a Christmas tree get started implementing the tips now. Begin by moving furniture and objects that can be used to launch towards the tree. If you have a fresh tree, make sure you cover the stand to prevent your cat from drinking the water. Focus on using a few or several of the tips at the same time to ensure your cat stays away from the tree. 


Remember to capture special moments of your adorable pet this Christmas and create a custom cat portrait that you will cherish forever!