Garden Advice

How to Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree?

The Christmas holiday season is one of the most anticipated times of the year, as it brings so much joy, content, and family time. Amongst all the merriment, though, there is a group of people who often dread bringing and decorating a Christmas tree in their living rooms – cat owners! Regardless of the type of tree and the amount of decoration on it, cats seem to always find a way to destroy the whole thing and give you a major fright wondering whether Christmas trees are poisonous to cats or not (they are not, by the way).            

But don’t worry – there are ways to cat-proof your Christmas tree and secure your serenity without locking your cat out of the room!

Table of Contents:

So if you: 

  • Are a first-time cat owner and wondering how to cat-proof your Christmas tree.
  • Know perfectly how difficult it could be having a cat and a Christmas tree at the same time and looking for a solution. 
  • Worrying about your cat’s safety when it comes to Christmas decorations.

Then, read on! This article is just for you! 

Choose your tree wisely

A plastic tree may be a cat-friendly Christmas tree, but there is nothing that invites the holidays as well as a real one. Cats and Christmas trees can co-exist, but, to make sure you avoid any disasters, it may be best to take some precautions. 

If you are still looking for the best tree for you, then you might want to consider opting for Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, or Lodge Pole Pipe, as they shed their needles slower. Keeping your tree trunk in water can also prolong the tree’s life; just make sure your cat won’t drink from it by covering it with something. And there you go – you’ve got yourselves a pet-friendly Christmas tree!

Make it secure

A sturdier Christmas tree base can be the solution to many of your problems. It would be best to carefully choose not only your tree, but the base it comes with– the heavier it is, the less likely it is to be knocked over. Consult with your supplier at the time of buying or simply add additional weight yourself. 

You can always make it prettier by covering it with a holiday-themed piece of cloth, solving two issues at once- your cat will not have access to the water bucket or base and you will not see it either. If you can also secure the top of your tree to a beam or a hook in the ceiling, do it.

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Choose a safe location

As a pet owner, the location of your Christmas tree is no longer a matter of availability in your home or feng shui. You will have to consider placing it in an area away from any surfaces that can potentially act as a stepping stone for big jumps. Also, keeping a distance from other glass items, shelves, or delicate furniture may be a good idea! If your tree falls, you wouldn’t want it to take anything down with it. Placing your tree in a corner or next to a solid piece of furniture would be best. This can act as a support and lessen the directions in which your tree can fall.

If the height of your tree allows for it you can prompt it on a short table, cupboard, or even a small chair. Keeping your tree above the eye level of your cat and leaving her a floor free of items may also help keep your tree intact.

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Carefully consider your decoration

There are several practices you can employ come Christmas so you and your cat can safely enjoy the holiday season:

  • Bring in the tree early
  • Your cat and Christmas tree need to get to know each other. Bring in your tree and place it where you intend to have it for the holidays. But instead of reaching for that box of decorations right away, it will be best if you give your kitty a day or two to get familiar with it. Too many ornaments and decorations may add to the temptation of diving into it, so it is best to take it slow. That way, your cat may be already bored with it by the time you bring out your favourite ornaments and hang them.

  • Location
  • Although your cat is probably an avid jumper and climber, it still may be a good idea to focus your decoration towards the upper half of your tree, where ornaments will not be as easy to reach.

  • Lights
  • Do you know that cats love to chew on the lights? It will be best for everybody if light bulbs and wires are spread out either on the top half of your tree or deep around the trunk, so your cat cannot easily reach them.

  • To hook or to hang
  • Some ornaments have hooks, some have threads. It is best to inspect them carefully and remove any metal or plastic hooks. Your cat may try to eat any of the hooks it gets access to and you can avoid this altogether by simply replacing them with a bit of thread.

  • Tinsel
  • Better not. Cats are extremely cute while playing with tinsel and the joy and laughter from this sight may lift your Christmas spirits. But the cleaning up afterwards is just too much. Gathering single pieces of tinsel for the rest of the year while worrying if it is okay for your cat to eat it can simply be avoided by using less tinsel and using it wisely.

  • Other festive decorations
  • This may not be a surprise, but let us remind you – your cat will try to eat everything. So, think long and hard before buying new ornaments, deciding to place burning candles on your tree as decoration and using fake snow or any other holiday decoration. Lilies, mistletoe, and chocolate can be dangerous to your beloved pet, so make sure to keep them someplace safe.

Cat-safe deterrents

There are quite a few things you may have to give up to keep your tree and your cat safe. However, there are some ways you can create a sort of protective circle around your Christmas tree and your cat will not even go near it. For example:

  • Use citrus wisely
  • Did you know cats do not enjoy citrus smells at all? Leaving dried citrus fruits or their peels around the base of your Christmas tree may do the trick. Try clementine and orange peels for an even more festive feeling.

  • Tinfoil everything
  • Another thing cats do not enjoy is tin foil. The sound and feeling on their paws is something your cat may try once, before forever giving up on the idea. Wrapping the base of your tree or placing it under your tree stand will deter your cat from climbing or chewing it.

  • Spray solution
  • Bitter apple is a solution you can buy or prepare yourself by combining two cups of lemon juice and one cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray your Christmas tree base, the tree itself, and while you are at it, maybe that sofa leg your cat keeps scratching on? It is a product completely safe for pets, but something about that citrus smell will make your cat forget about going near that corner of your home.

Using one or a combination of these easy ideas will guarantee you will never wonder how to get a cat out of a tree again.

Distraction is key

Another successful technique for ensuring your cat will not be bothered by your Christmas tree is to keep your pet otherwise occupied.

– A tired cat is less likely to bring destruction upon your tree. Up your playtime and make sure your kitty is pleasantly tired and ready for their 20-hour nap.

– Give your cat an early Christmas gift in the form of an interesting toy, or rotate the ones you have. That way it will be busy playing with a new or a well-forgotten toy and your cat will not need to venture on to your tree for entertainment.

– Congratulate and treat your cat when it plays with the approved toys and make sure to let it know it is not okay to play with the tree.

Call for help if needed

If this sounds way too complicated and time-consuming we will be happy to help. From Christmas tree delivery, to the perfect stand and installation service, we can take care of the hassle for you. And after all is said and done and the holidays have been thoroughly enjoyed and it is time to thank your tree and let it go, we can arrange to dispose of it responsibly.


Your pet does not have to be the Grinch who stole Christmas this year. With a bit of careful consideration and preparation for the coming holidays, your cat will not even notice there is a tree full of wonderful toys in your home.

  • Choose a Christmas tree that has lower needle shedding;
  • Use a sturdy, hard to move base or add additional weight to your current one, to minimize the chance of your tree falling over;
  • Carefully plan where you will place your tree in your home;
  • Use as many cat-safe deterrents as needed;
  • Distract your cat by playing with it more or by introducing new toys to it, so it is not solely focused on your Christmas tree.

What do you plan on trying this year with your cat? Let us know how it went in the comments below and make sure to share any other useful tips and tricks you have.


Image source: Shutterstock / Alena Haurylik

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