Be Mindful Of Christmas Lights
Lights and their dangly cords are enticing to cats as well, and its important to keep it from getting tangled up or biting the bulbs and wires. According to The Spruce Pets, this can lead to choking, burns, and electrical hazards, so its best to restrict access by start your string of lights a few layers of branches up from the ground.
Prevent Your Cat From Drinking Water From The Tree Reservoir
If you have a live tree, cover the water reservoir to prevent your cat from drinking there. Tree sap is toxic and so are any tree preservatives you may add in the water. Aspirin is something that people commonly use in the water to keep the tree fresh and thats highly toxic to cats. Use netting or Sticky Paws for Plants over the reservoir. If you use Sticky Paws, place the strips in a criss-cross pattern so you can still water the tree but the cat wont be able to get his face in there. Some tree stands have covers that go around the reservoir as well.
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Wrap The Lights Tightly Around The Tree
The reason why a Christmas tree is so appealing to a cat is due to the many dangly and shiny objects it houses. Wrap the lights tightly around the branches to limit any wires that dangle down. This will make it not only safer, but also less enticing to your cat.
Similarly, opt for steady lights, rather than flashing, to reduce the chances of your cat wanting to play with them.
Create A Safe Climbing Space For Your Cat
Keep in mind that cats who climb door or window screens might be trying to explore the exciting world outside, so do your best to keep them active indoors.
We cant think about our house just as floor space, we have to think of the third dimension, Collins said.
Offer your cat hammocks, shelves, scratching posts, and cat condos or cat trees where he can climb for safety and fun. And try limiting access to areas with long curtains or screens, or tie back the curtains.
If you have the space, set up a designated climbing room for your cat. Collins suggests arranging shelves and furniture so your cat can jump safely from one level to another, and making it interesting, with toys and treats hidden in different places.
You need not spend a lot of money on cat trees or toys. Both Collins and Siracusa suggest using what you have on hand. If you want to try the DIY route, you can build your own cat condo with wood and carpet remnants, or attach carpet swatches to the step surfaces of a small to medium height step-ladder to give your cat a climbing and scratching space, as well as a space to rest and view his world from on high.
Even simpler ways to keep your cat entertained include tying feathers or a ball to the end of a strong stick and using it to mimic a small prey animal that your cat can chase and catch, or bringing home a strong cardboard box from the grocery store and cutting an entry hole in it.
Defend The Base Of Your Tree
Try wrapping the base of your tree with aluminum foil. Many cats hate the feel of foil on their paws and the loud crinkling noise it makes when they walk on it. If youre worried this will take some of the holiday cheer away from your tree, place the foil around the base of your tree and then cover it with a nice festive tree skirt.
You can also use the , which works GREAT at preventing cats from climbing up a tree from the bottom! It can be used on other potted plants as well.
See how it’s installed in the video below.
Note: Don’t be tempted to put a shock mat or prickly pad around the base of your tree to keep your cat out. Though such tools may prevent your cat from climbing up your tree, it is more likely that they will cause them distress and discomfort that could lead to problems ranging from peeing/pooping outside of the litter box, stress diarrhea or vomiting, or other destructive behaviors. Besides, such tools will do nothing to prevent your cat from launching themselves into your tree from a nearby perch, easily bypassing the shock mat or prickly pad!
Tips For Keeping Your Cat Off The Christmas Tree
Here are some of our best tips for keeping your cat and Christmas tree both safe this season. Use some or all of them as needed:
- Spray the needles with deterrent spray.
- Shake a can of coins or clap your hands loudly when your cat attempts to chew on the tree.
- Provide an alternative, cat safe catnip or cat grass plant nearby for your cat to chew instead, and praise her when she does.
- Water the tree well while you have it, so it drops fewer needles, and get it out of the house soon after the holiday before it starts dropping tons of them.
- Remove chairs or other platforms from near the tree. These can serve as launching pads for your cat to use to jump into the tree, so get rid of as much of that temptation as you can.
- Secure the tree to the wall if possible, to make it steadier and decrease the chance of it falling if your cat does scale it.
- Place a strong, sturdy, sisal fabric-covered scratching post in the same room as the tree. This gives your cat a positive alternative to climbing or scratching at the tree. Be sure to praise your kitty for using the post, and don’t put it close enough for her to use it to launch into the tree.
- If your cat is still insistent about messing with the tree, consider using a deterrent like:
- ScatMat: When a kitty steps on a ScatMat, she receives a tiny static spark, and most cats take that as a sign they shouldn’t go near the mat again. You can use these for counters and other areas that are off-limits too.
Avoid Tinsel And Other Shiny Things
Unfortunately, cats absolutely love these eye-catching accents as much as we do, and Pets At Home notes that things like tinsel garlands and beaming ornaments are a no-go when you have a cat. While it may require a bit more effort to find baubles that arent super shiny, itll pay off when your tree is still standing come December 25. Try searching for felt or wooden garlands and colorful matte ornaments to create an equally stylish finish.
Make The Tree Less Attractive
Dont use tinsel cats are extremely attracted to the dangly and shiny nature of tinsel. And its not only attractive, its also very dangerous for them, as it can easily cause a linear foreign body digestive obstruction.
Dont hang ornaments down low where they can easily get to them. Or, if you must, only hang large, sturdy ornaments there wood, paper, plastic, burlap, or felt ornaments can be good . And use a very secure way of attaching them to the tree dont use regular metal ornament hooks, as theyre not very secure and pose an ingestion/puncture/paw injury risk.
Here is one area where it can be good to use twist-ties . The benefit of twist ties on lower ornaments is that you can tie them down tight on the tree to really truly secure the ornaments so cats cant knock them off. Be cautious though and make sure to twist the ties very tight and secure, as cats can and have swallowed twist ties when they get the chance, leading to digestive upset or even puncture due to the thin wire inside. For hanging other ornaments higher on the tree, you can still use twist ties or .
Also keep in mind that, like tinsel, if you hang shiny ornaments, cats are more likely to be curious about them. Either dont use shiny decorations, or put them well out of reach.
Are Christmas Trees Safe For Cats
Toppling over tends to be the biggest concern when it comes to owning a cat and a Christmas tree. While there is a chance your cat can get hurt, they usually come out fine from the fall, but your ornaments and tree may not be so lucky. But the nature of the tree itself can pose more threats to your cat. Blue Cross for Pets notes that some oils that are released by real trees can be mildly harmful causing minor irritation to a pets mouth and stomach if its consumed. The company also says that any kind of fertilizer or plant food you use can end up in the base of the tree, where its easy for pets to access and drink, so its best to avoid.
What about those pesky needles? PetMD explains that ingesting needles can cause stomach upset, and in the rare case it eats a large clump, the poky nature of the foliage can be a problem for your cats insides. To keep this issue from happening, its best to routinely clean up pine needles or look for trees that rarely shed.
So if your cats knack for climbing on anything and everything is the only deterrent from you getting festive this year, scroll through these tips to help keep your kitty from making your Christmas tree its new home.
Think About Why Your Cat Is Interested In The Tree In The First Place
There are many reasons that a big lit-up Christmas tree with shiny ornaments would grab your cat’s attention. The shiny ornaments might seem like toys. The texture of the tree might seem perfect for them to chew on, and for a cat, it must seem like the perfect place to climb.
Make sure that your cat has plenty of entertaining toys and scratch pads around. You may be able to redirect their chewing with a cat-appropriate plant, like cat grass, and you might be able to redirect their climbing to a cat tower.
This is definitely the easiest approach to keeping your cat out of the tree, and as most of us know, cats can have their own agenda. This might work for an easy-going cat that can be distracted with a jingle ball, but if it doesn’t work there are several other methods to try!
How Do I Stop My Cat Climbing The Christmas Tree
4.8/5Cat-proof your tree
Spray some stink.There are a number of spray repellents you can use to keep cats away from your tree. We have been using Bitter Apple spray with some success. Other choices include citronella or citrus oils sprayed directly on the tree, or a diluted vinegar solution sprayed on the tree’s base.
Additionally, how do you stop a cat from climbing a tree?
Additionally, how do you cat proof a Christmas tree?
One of the very best ways to cat–proof your tree is by spraying it with an orange-scented spray . Another solution is to use a bitter spray, available at most pet stores.
Why does my cat like the Christmas tree?
Christmas trees are also like massive perches, and cats love to climb up them. This is probably because cats descended from a tree-climbing carnivore Proailurus clearly, that ancient impulse hasn’t worn off.
Ornament Placement And Decoration
Kitties just love batting at and playing with decorations. They are generally the size of your cats prey in the wild so this behavior comes from a natural instinct to hunt rather than to just annoy you! To protect your ornaments, hang easily breakable and sentimental ornaments close to the top of the tree and hang plastic and fabric ornaments on the lower branches. Or dont hang ornaments at all on the lower branches.
If your cat tends to get into the tree to play with the decorations, consider using all plastic or fabric decorations, or not placing ornaments at all. Be cautious of ornaments with small parts as well that your cat could choke on. Again, its best to leave these out of reach of your cat.
For ornaments you do hang, try replacing all hooks, which are usually string and easy to break, with wire ornament hangers. Simply place on the ornament and clamp the hook around the branch to make it much harder or even impossible for your cat to pull ornaments from the tree.
When decorating your tree and the rest of your home, its best to avoid tinsel. It is very easy for your cat to pull down and is a choking hazard for cats. Try replacing tinsel with paper garland, its still pretty and festive but isnt a hazard to your cat.
How To Train A Kitten Not To Climb Screens And Drapes
Both doctors stand firm that, from the feline perspective, your cat is not doing anything wrong and should NOT be punished.
Kittens will climb curtains and screens out of boredom, Collins said, so offering them a rich environment will help to curtail the behavior.
Kittens, like children, learn by exploring, experimenting, and playing, and climbing is an important part of this, Collins said. We dont want to prevent them from doing it. We want to give them viable alternatives and reward their behavior with treats, he explained.
Siracusa notes that suppressing a kittens natural behavior constitutes an unwarranted punishment that may potentially cause aggression in the growing cat.
A better approach is to provide your young cat with appropriate climbing alternatives that are particularly appealing. For example, provide a comfortable resting spot at the top of a cat tree and place high-value treats there, hang toys with feathers at various levels, keep plenty of engaging cat toys around the house, and play with your kitten for a few minutes every day. If he likes catnip, use that to coax him toward a cat tree, scratching post, or toys.
Why Are Cats Attracted To Christmas Trees
Is your cat fascinated by your trees shiny baubles? Wont stop trying to climb it? If so, youre not alone. Cats are naturally attracted to Christmas trees for a number of reasons:
Decorations look like cat toys. Christmas trees are usually filled with shiny tinsel, baubles and sparkly lights for them to bat, which look just like their toys.
Cats are curious creatures. In general, cats love exploring new, unfamiliar things in their home, and will attempt to climb or clamber on the object if they can, to get a good look at it.
Climbing is a natural instinct for cats. They love high perches, and the top of the tree is no exception. They may try to climb the tree to get a good vantage point of their nearby environment.
The bark makes a good scratching post. Scratching feels great for cats; it relieves a natural instinct and helps to wear down their claws. If your cat doesnt have a scratching post nearby, they may be tempted to scratch on the bark of the tree.
The pot and soil makes a good litter tray. If your cat doesnt love their current litter situation, they may be tempted to do their business in the tree pot. Cats with a tendency to urine mark may also be tempted to mark their territory on the new tree!
Tether The Top Weight The Bottom
A tether can hinder your tree from falling over should an energetic cat make a dash to the top.All you need is fishing line, molly screws, and a pair of scissors. Put a molly screw into the wall behind your tree or into the ceiling above it. Cut the fishing line with scissors, wrap it around your tree, and tie the line to the molly screw.
Anchor the tree with a 35-lb flat weight on either side of the base. Your tree skirt can disguise the weights. Once you stack packages on top of the skirt, no one will notice anyway.
How To Make Cat Repellent To Put On A Christmas Tree
Cats are naturally curious creatures who love to explore and climb. While it’s fun to watch your furry friend make its way to the top of a cat tower, you don’t want it climbing up your real or artificial Christmas tree. Not only can this action knock the tree over, but there also may be items on the tree that are unsafe for your pet, such as tinsel, which Purdue University warns can cut through a cat’s intestinal wall if ingested. In addition to anchoring the Christmas tree to your wall, you’ll want to use a cat repellent to keep your feline at a safe distance.
Help How Do I Keep My Cat Out Of The Christmas Tree
Getting ready for the holidays and about to put your Christmas tree up? Keep in mind that the tree makes a tempting target for many curious cats. Here are some tips on how to pet-proof your Christmas tree.Consider the type of tree to buyWhen it comes to buying a Christmas tree, I prefer and love real trees. After all, they fill our house with the holiday smells of evergreen. However, keep in mind that if you have cats, real trees are much more tempting. Not only are real trees fragrant and the pine needles more fun to chew on but the tree trunk is perfect for scratching and climbing. Consider an artificial tree . If you do get a real tree, avoid one that is very tall, as a tall tree would be more likely to topple. Placement of the Christmas treeLooking for the right spot to put your Christmas tree? Make sure you have plenty of free space on all sides of the tree so your cat doesnt have a launching point to attack the tree! Ideally, place it in an area with an equal amount of free space as the height of the tree .Securing the Crhistmas treeMake sure you use a sturdy base to secure the trunk. While these bases are ugly, it beats having your tree topple over. Also, consider securing the tree from the top for additional bracing and support.Pet-proofing the Christmas treeHere are a few ways to pet-proof your Christmas tree:
When in doubt, avoid a holiday emergency trip to the veterinarian and keep your household safe during this holiday!
Is It Dangerous For My Cat To Play With My Christmas Tree
As fun as your tree can be for your cat, Dr. Richardson explained that “holiday trees can also pose many dangers to cats, so it’s important to discourage them from climbing them.” Almost every part of and around your tree can pose a potential risk to your cats as well as other pets in your house.
If unsecured, your Christmas tree may fall over while your cat is climbing it, potentially causing injuries to your cat, Dr. Richardson said, adding that decorations can cause gastrointestinal problems if ingested. “Tinsel, if swallowed, can get stuck in the intestines and bunch up, where it will cause a painful, life-threatening blockage and infection,” she stressed. Ornaments and decorations, too, she added, whether plastic or glass, may break and obstruct or puncture the gastrointestinal tract â or cut your cat or cause other external injuries.
Lights and cords could also electrocute your cat if chewed on, Dr. Arndt said. He also said your Christmas tree itself could harm your cat: the oils and needles from trees can cause gastrointestinal trouble and may puncture your cat’s intestinal lining.
Even the water in a tree stand poses a potential risk. Pine sap, preservatives, and fire retardant that can be put into the water at the base of the tree are harmful to cats, Dr. Arndt said. Additionally, Dr. Richardson said bacteria can grow quickly in tree water, which can lead to an upset stomach for your cat if ingested.
Other Important Safety Tips
- DO NOT USE TINSEL! These little foil strips are irresistible to cats. If ingested, they can cause serious harm to your cat’s gastrointestinal tract. If you find that your cat has anything string-like hanging out of his throat or anus, DO NOT PULL IT – call us immediately.
- Keep delicate, breakable, and sentimental ornaments high on the tree and out of reach.
- Avoid edible ornaments .
- If you have a live tree, cover the pot with a piece of cardboard to keep your pets from drinking the water.
- Protect cords for lights and other decorations. Pre-cut cord tubing is available at the hardware store, or you can use duct tape to secure the cords from the tree to the base. Unplug decorations when pets are unsupervised.
Use Smells To Keep The Cat Away
Cats hate citrus scents, so another trick to prevent your cat from climbing the tree is to make a DIY cat repellent. Peel some oranges or lemons, put the rinds in an old sock, tie it shut and place it near the tree base. Or tuck it inside the tree in a hidden spot.
If this doesnt deter the cats, consider adding a few drops of citrus essential oils like citronella, orange or lemongrass to a squirt bottle filled with water. Spray the tree to keep your furry friend away. Plus, check out these ten DIY ways to keep a cat off the kitchen countertops.
Safe And Natural Ways To Keep Cats Out Of Christmas Trees
One method that might work to stop kittens from climbing Christmas trees is entirely natural. Its super cheap too. Did you know that cats hate the smell of oranges? Thats right. They have a major aversion to the scent of the oil.
If you dont mind organic clutter, spread fresh orange peels around the base of your pine. The orange peels might work if the kitty climbs the trunk to reach the boughs. If he or she is particularly agile and jumps directly onto the branches orange peels wont work, at least not without actually blocking it.
A motion-activated deterrent that works
Dangers Of Christmas For Cats
There are good reasons to keep your cat off the Christmas tree and out of the presents besides any inconvenience or ruined ornaments that might occur.
- Broken ornaments can cause cuts on cats’ mouths or paws.
- Ribbon, tinsel, yarn, and string, either on the tree or as part of a present’s wrappings, are all incredibly dangerous for cats. They can cause intestinal obstructions that require surgery to resolve.
- Cats can be injured if they climb a Christmas tree and it falls on them.
- Chewing on tree needles isn’t healthy. They can poke your cat’s mouth and may cause GI upset or toxicity if swallowed.