Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

How To Keep Cat Away From Christmas Tree?

The best way to keep your cat away from the tree is to provide alternative climbing options like scratching posts and use deterrents like citrus spray. You can also cover the tree stand and hang ornaments out of your pet's reach. 

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The joy of decorating a Christmas tree with your loved ones is unmatched. Everyone enjoys placing the precious ornaments and Christmas lights as beautifully as possible on it. 

But then your furry friend runs to your decorated tree and knocks down all the decorations. The constant stress of saving your cat from the Christmas tree (the tree can fall and cause injury to your pet!) and vice versa is something no one wants to deal with. 

Unfortunately, the issue of cats wreaking havoc on Christmas trees is quite common. In this article, I will try to explain why keeping cats away from the Christmas trees is important and how one can do so easily. Let’s begin! 

Why It's Important To Keep Your Cat Away From Christmas Trees

Why It's Important To Keep Your Cat Away From Christmas Trees

1. Choking Hazards

The furries are not intelligent enough to differentiate food from decorations, so they may eat certain ornaments or tinsels. And since these decorations are not edible, your cats may end up choking. 

This may lead to potential health hazards for your cats. As a result, you may need to rush to a veterinarian as soon as possible, which may ruin your Christmas season celebrations. Hence, it is important to learn how to cat-proof your Christmas tree. 

2. Electrocution From Lights

Christmas light wiring is an important component of Christmas decorations. However, if you don’t know how to cat-proof your Christmas trees, your cat might end up too close to an electrical wire. Being naturally curious creatures, your kitty might even start chewing on the electrical cords - putting themselves at risk of electrocution. 

If your cat gets electrocuted, it might suffer from severe burns and require expensive treatment - not to mention how much your pet will suffer physically. Hence, to avoid a potentially hazardous accident like burns, keep your cats away from your new tree!

3. Risk Of The Tree Falling Over

If you have a Christmas tree with several decorations, your kitty will naturally be allured to it. The cat might jump on the tree trunk to play with the ornaments, making it fall over. And cat owners know most cats don't think twice before jumping on random surfaces.

Tips For Keeping Cats Away From Christmas Trees

1. Provide Alternative Climbing Options For Cats

A common reason why cats climb trees is because they like to climb up an elevated perch. Hence, they run to sit on top of such trees. An effective way to cat-proof your Christmas tree is to provide your cat with an alternative climbing option. 


You can buy scratching posts or cat trees - keeping them in your house will probably distract your cat from the decorated Christmas tree.

2. Use Deterrents

If your cat is adamant about playing around your Christmas tree, no matter how many alternative options you provide, it is best to use a deterrent. For instance, you can use apple cider vinegar or a citrus spray bottle on your artificial tree. Since cats generally do not like citrus scents, doing so will probably kill their urge to play around in that space. 

You can also stick double-sided tape on the floor near the Christmas tree or its lower branches for cat-proofing them. Since cats do not like the feeling of stickiness in their paws, learning how to cat-proof your trees this way will keep your cat away from the decorations. 

3. Cover The Tree Stand

The water in your real tree base stand might be causing your cats to play around it since they think of it as a new water source. To avoid this issue, the best way of cat-proofing your tree is to cover its stand, so your cat won't have access to the water. This way, it may lose interest in the real tree too. 

You can cover the tree stand using aluminum foil or double-sided tape. Further, you may purchase a tree stand cover to avoid the hassles of unwrapping and wrapping covers every time you need to change the water of the tree stand water reservoir.   

4. Avoid Using Tinsel Or Low-Hanging Ornaments

If there’s a Christmas ornament lying within your cat’s reach, it will jump to play with it. Low-hanging ornaments and tinsels are most likely on your cat's radar since they are the most accessible decorations on your trees. 

However, consuming them can lead to many health issues. Hence, it is best to hang your ornaments at a decent height where it is almost impossible for your cat to reach them. It would also help if you considered ditching the idea of using tinsels since they are easily accessible for curious cats.  

5. Consider Using A Smaller Tree Or Securing The Tree To The Wall

Huge trees attract cats because they have several branches to climb on. Hence, it is best to stick to a smaller artificial Christmas tree if you have a cat in your house. Such an alternative can be less tempting to your cat since it has fewer branches and thus, less scope for climbing. 

Additionally, it would help if you considered securing your Christmas tree to the wall, ceiling or furniture. A secured, well-shaped artificial Christmas tree will not fall on the cat even when they try to climb it. 

How To Train Your Cat To Stay Away From The Tree?

1. Positive Reinforcements

The best way to train any pet animal is to use positive reinforcement. Consider using this technique to teach your cat to stay away from the Christmas tree. It requires you to reward your pet with a treat whenever it follows your command to encourage good behavior. 

Staying consistent with the positive reinforcement method is crucial. Hence, whenever your cat starts running off to the tree, ask it to stop. You can use words like "no" and "stop" to do so. Once your cat stops, you can reward it with its favorite treat.  

2. Train Your Cat With An Undecorated Tree First

To prepare your cat to behave properly around your decorated pine cones, train it to stay calm around an undecorated fake tree first. This would allow you to teach your cat to stay away from the tree without worrying about the possibility of it ingesting decorations. 

Whenever your cat runs towards the tree, gently pick it up and redirect its attention to another toy. With time, your cat may develop the habit of staying away from the tree - and may not run towards it even after you decorate it with ornaments.

Why do cats like to play with Christmas trees?

Why do cats like to play with Christmas trees?

Since cats are pretty playful, a Christmas tree might seem like an attractive toy to them. Additionally, if you flock to your Christmas trees, there is high chance that your cat gets attracted to the sparkly texture of the trees. 

Another thing worth noting is that cats love exploring. Hence, if you place a huge tree in your house, they may see it as an opportunity to explore by climbing it. The scent of a fresh tree might also attract them. 

What are some signs that my cat has been playing with the Christmas tree?

If your cat decides that it wants to play with your Christmas tree, it might imply that it has been playing around with the decorations for a while now. Missing ornaments may also indicate that your cat has been hanging around your tree. 

Other common signs that your cat has been playing with the Christmas tree include broken decorations and displaced branches of the tree. An unexplained scattering of tinsels might also indicate that your cat has been climbing up and down the tree behind your back. 

Are there any natural deterrents that can keep cats away from the tree?

The chemical substance in an artificial deterrent may cause harm to your cat's health, which is why it is best if you stick to natural alternatives to keep your cat away from the tree. Apart from citrus spray, you can go for options like apple-cider vinegar, lemon, and orange peel. You can spray or place the peels right below the tree, and their scent might prevent your cat from hanging around the Christmas tree. 

Cats are also known to dislike the odors of essential oils, such as eucalyptus and citronella oil. Hence, you can use these types of oil at the base of your Christmas tree to keep your cats away. You may also use lavender oil for the same. 

What are some safe alternatives to tinsel and other hazardous decorations?

Tinsels may look beautiful on your Christmas trees but are unsafe for a pet (or even a child!). They can be quite hazardous if ingested and can cause stomach issues like gastrointestinal tract blockage or bowel obstruction. Hence, it is best to switch to safe alternatives like fabric garland ornaments for decoration. 

You can get creative with such safe ornaments as well. For instance, you may make origami decorations using paper or stick with bunting made from fabric. You can also use dried lemons and orange peels to decorate your trees while simultaneously keeping your cat away since they dislike the smell of citrus. 

Should I use a Christmas tree skirt to help keep my cat away?

Cats hate putting their paws on aluminum foil surfaces. They find the creaking sounds and the texture of aluminum foil mats difficult to deal with, which is why they make the perfect Christmas tree skirts in this case. 

To make such skirts, take a few aluminum foil sheets and tape them together. This quick fix will help keep your cat from playing around your trees and decorations while giving off a fancy look (if you get creative with designing the tree skirt). I’d definitely suggest placing it on the base of the tree. 

What other tips for keeping my cat safe during the holiday season?

An important tip for keeping your cat safe during the Christmas and holiday season is to ditch decorating your home with real mistletoes and hollies. Since such plants can be very harmful if ingested, it is best not to buy them in a home with pets (be it a cat or a dog). It would help if you switched to artificial plants instead. 

While sharing your Christmas food with your cat may be tempting, it is important not to do so. Most Christmas treats like chocolates, alcohol, and nuts can harm a cat. Hence, it is best to keep them away from your Christmas meals. 

How can I provide alternative forms of entertainment for my cat during the holidays?

Holiday preparations and traditions can make you very busy, so you may not be able to give your cat the usual undivided attention. Hence, you must provide your pet with an alternative form of entertainment during this time, like puzzle feeders and interactive toys. 

You can also give your cats window perches to stay stimulated and entertained. Providing them with a scratching post or cat tree is also a good idea, so they have something to climb on and thus, stay entertained. 


Christmas trees are beautiful, so cats are attracted to them as well. Hence, the best way to keep your cat away from the tree is to make it lose interest in playing with the decorations. You can use deterrents like citrus spray, essential oils, and so on for the same. 

Further, it would help if you considered training your cats to stay away from the tree by using the method of positive reinforcement. However, it is worth noting that not all cats are the same, and some are more difficult to train than others. 

Pick the solution that looks the most doable to you from above and protect your trees by learning how to cat-proof them!