Keeping Cats Off Christmas Trees

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  • The festive season is once again upon us and it’s time for the Christmas tree to be put up. Cats are curious creatures and many of them cannot resist the tree and decorations.

    How to keep the tree safe

    The only foolproof way to keep your cat away from your Christmas tree is to put the tree in a room the cat can’t access, however for most of us this is often not practical, so the next best solution is to make the tree as safe as possible.

    • Make sure the tree has a good solid base so it won’t easily be knocked over by your cat. Try not to have the tree near furniture and or shelves which the cats could use to jump onto the tree.
    • Place the tree in an area free of furniture the cat can potentially use as a launching pad onto or into the tree.
    • Keep valuable and breakable objects closer to the top of the tree where they can’t easily be reached by your cat.
    • Properly secure breakable objects with wire hangers or twist ties.
    • Place a Scat Mat under the tree. This mat either emits a static charge when stood on or emits a sound to deter your cat.
    • Secure your tree by attaching some clear fishing wire to the top of the tree and attaching to a ceiling hook.
    • Try placing some orange or lemon peel around the base of the tree. Cats dislike the smell of citrus. Replace the peel often.
    • If your cat is prone to nibbling on the branches, spray some bitter apple on.
    • Place some plastic carpet runner, turned upside down on the floor around the tree. Cats dislike the feel of this on their feet.

    Christmas tree safety and cats

    • Unplug Christmas lights from the socket when nobody is around. Apply a cat repellent such as bitter apple to the lights to deter your cat from chewing the wires.
    • Place plastic tubes around the light wires which goes from the tree to the electrical outlet to prevent your cat from chewing through it.
    • Avoid tinsel and garland, which can easily be swallowed and cause intestinal obstruction.
    • Real Christmas trees are more dangerous to cats than fake plastic ones. Pine needles can puncture internal organs if eaten, some species of Christmas tree are also toxic to cats. Vacuum needles daily!
    • If you do have a real tree, make sure the drink stand has plenty of water to prevent the tree from drying out and losing needles. Make sure your cat can’t get to the water, which is toxic.

    Have a very Merry Christmas.


    • Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio