Tis the season when we bring in a tree and industriously put it in its base, then trim it profusely. As we stand admiring the newly-decorated tree, the cat saunters in.
Knowing how much we adore him, he immediately assumes that we brought that tree in and put all those shiny playthings on it especially for him. “My, my, what a nice present,” he thinks in cat-equivalent thoughts. He walks closer to inspect…
…and before his human staff can catch him, he springs into the tree and settles himself among the branches.
What to do now?
Have you had a similar experience with your cat? Have you come up with a brilliant idea as to how to cat-proof Christmas trees?
Some cats look over the tree, sniff it, and leave it alone. These cats own fortunate humans. However, some cats simply can’t resist that wonderful, glittering tree.
I researched a bit and polled several friends, and came up with a list of suggestions from these people. Maybe one of these tree problem solutions will be helpful.
1. Bring in the tree and fasten it to the floor firmly enough so the can can’t knock if over. Then just leave the tree, undecorated, and let the cat play in it to his heart’s content.
2. Put the tree in a cage. Hopefully, you can find one big enough.
3. Hang your tree from the ceiling. This time you’d best get a tree small enough so it is definitely out of the cat’s reach. I have one question about this technique: Do you trim the tree before you hang it up? If so, won’t the ornaments fall off?
4. Spray the base and lower branches with something the cat doesn’t like. Citrus spray works well, as cats do not like the citrus smell. You can also make ornaments out of the orange peels. These will deter the cat. At least, all those ornaments will be left alone.
5. Don’t decorate the lower branches. Just put lights on them. I used to use this technique, and it helped a bit.
6. To help avoid damage, place delicate ornaments high in the tree. Of course, if the cat pulls the whole tree over, sayonara to anything really delicate.
7. In case a cat does climb your tree, make sure your ornaments are not hazardous, or prone to cause fires… Not the kind of house-warming you want.
8. Keep a spray bottle of water handy at all times. Use it if the devil-cat has staked out the tree and is readying for an attack. We all need our defense weapons.
9. Hang up wreaths instead of a tree, or…
10. Don’t get a tree
11. Put your decorated tree outside and keep the cats inside.
12. Lock the tree in a separate room where the cats are not allowed.
13. Surround the base with something sticky. If you can find a way to make the lower branches sticky as well, that would be helpful.
14. Another suggestion comes from a friend who is an avid hunter. He suggests spraying the lower part of the tree with coyote urine. He says the smell will dissipate for humans, but the cat will still smell it and it should serve as a deterrent.
15. Another suggested deterrent: Leave a full-grown German shepherd under the tree.
16. I used to put the vacuum cleaner under the tree. If a cat approached, I turned it on. The cat left promptly. It was an effective solution. Eventually, the cats got the message and stayed away from the tree.
However, one time I had to leave the tree alone with the cats while I ran some errands. When I came home, my one cat had one end of a piece of tinsel hanging out of his mouth, and another end hanging out under his tail. I removed them both, of course, and the cat showed no ill effects. However, I’ve often wondered. If I had grasped each of those hanging ends and pulled them back and forth, would I have cleaned out the cat?
I jokes. I wouldn’t do that, but the image still presented itself.
I think my favorite suggestion was the following: Get two trees, a big one for you and a smaller one for the cat. Put catnip toys, other cat playthings, and a few treats in the little tree and let the cat(s) enjoy it.
Knowing my cats, they probably would have removed everything from the little tree, then started on the big one. I still think it is an idea worth trying. After all, the cat deserves a celebration too.