Any advice on cats and Christmas trees?

CaseysMom

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Since it's that time of year a lot of people start putting up their Christmas decorations, I would love to hear how you all manage with a cat or 2 (or more!) in the house. I have experienced a young kitten years ago who did knock down the tree several times, but never chewed on ornaments or anything or got hurt. He eventually got bored and left it alone after the first year, I think. Then Ive experienced my geriatric cat, Casey, who simply lay under the tree and looked up at it in awe, but never messed with anything (you can see an example in my profile picture :hearthrob::hearthrob::hearthrob:).

Now I have Tiny Dancer who is 8 months old, a ball of never-ending energy who climbs everything and has been chewing periodically on my Fall decorations. :frustrated: So, I am nervous about putting up a tree and debated even doing so. But I just can't imagine Christmas without a tree! So, I'm going to try. I know the little metal hooks are a no-no, and glass ornaments in general. And no tinsel, although I rarely use that anyway. My tree is on the shorter side, so I'm not really worried about her getting hurt if she DOES climb it. What else? It seems like there was an article on this site, but I don't know how to find it. TIA.
 

tiggerwillow

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Can you put some sort of barrier up around the christmas tree that they cannot get over?

I still dare not put a tree up, my Tigger decided on her first year here that christmas tree makes a delicious delicacy and chews it .......
 

rubysmama

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CaseysMom

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Thank you all!

tiggerwillow tiggerwillow I think that the only barrier that would work for her would be a whole enclosed cage like the one in the cartoon rubysmama rubysmama shared! :lol: And yes, that was the article I was looking for, thank you! Not sure if it specifically mentions Christmas trees, but it's good to review all the safety items. OMG, A ArtNJ , that is terrifying! I'm really lucky my first kitten never swallowed any (that I know of). He did knock a few ornaments off the tree and chase them around, so he could have. I'm glad your cat is okay!

I wish we had a room we could shut off, but the layout of my house is very open, unfortunately. I could shut her in a room, like a bedroom, but I think she would be very upset about that. Hmmmm, we'll see. I did read an article that suggested putting the tree out with no ornaments for a few days to let her get used to it and (hopefully) bored with it, or at least see what she's going to do before you deck out the whole tree. I think I am definitely going to do that.
 

Kflowers

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We found the lights were what attracted our cats to the tree. No lights they couldn't care. Our trees were fake -- paper I think and they'd seen a lot of paper. All the ornaments were unbreakable. Please note, a puppy did eat one and threw up the gold ribbon from it on the way to the vet to be professional persuaded to vomit.

We know of some trees that were secured with guy wires. But then you have to worry about them climbing the tree and falling on the wires.
 

danteshuman

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Am I the only one that twists the ornament hook around the branch so it can’t come off the tree? Also use plastic/paper/metal ornaments on the bottom 3-4 feet depending on how far up your kitty can stretch when on their back legs. No ribbon at all because my idiot will eat the curly ribbon! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Make sure they don’t eat the tree of the tree water.... or better yet get a fake tree. Expect all kittens to climb it.... and some adult cats. You can wrap boxes or gift bags with some bricks or milk jugs filled with water....... to help weigh the base of the tree down, from kitty antics.

Take tons of pictures when your cat climbs the tree! 😻🤣

Cami in the tree branches:
742209A0-B02D-4A68-BAC6-8E90468FFB2F.jpeg
 

ArtNJ

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Although, as noted above, I did have a hook-near disaster, the more ordinary disaster I had several times over the years is a cat knocking the tree over. Never seemed to injure a cat, but breaks a massive quantity of ornaments and is a huge PITA. To minimize the risk, we always put the tree in a corner, and if it wasn't completely 100% even, we had the slight lean towards the wall. Obviously the better job you do getting the tree even in the base, and keeping the base well watered, reduces the risk, but I'm not sure its even possible to totally cat proof a tree. Some years / some cats its not an issue, and some years / some cats your probably just doomed.

Wife gave in a few years back and we have a nice looking artificial tree now. Not sure it really changes much, risk of tipping over wise. Might be more even with a possibly sturdier base, but the artificial trees are lighter, no water in the base, and you can't face the lean into a corner if there is no lean.
 

Mamanyt1953

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danteshuman danteshuman , nope. Not the only one. I, too, twist those puppies tight, at both the ornament end and the tree end. It has worked very well for me. Of course, I've gotten a few looks when I've said, "Bring me the pliers, I want to get this tree decorated!"

Now that Hek is an old lady, no longer climbing thing, I always put a few plastic balls and the plastic icicles like this:

1669448631529.png

(BOY that was bigger than I expected!) at the very bottom of the tree, so that she can bat at them without her arthritis bothering her too much.
 
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CaseysMom

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Thank you all! That does give me some great ideas! I know it's doable, or nobody with a cat would ever have a Christmas tree! I do use artificial trees, because I am allergic to real ones. Or so my mom has told me since I was a kid! LOL. I really don't like the idea of the mess of a real one. Love the picture of Cami in the tree, danteshuman danteshuman ! 🥰
 

TardisDance

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We finally bought a fake tree after not having a full size tree for years (even before having 2 cats). We bought a tree that has a mix of wire branches but also has all plastic branches. The all plastic branches are what my 2 year old male likes to nibble on and took off 4 tips within the first day. We bought the Nature’s Miracle Advanced Platinum Cat Pet Block spray and it seems to be working. I guess they call it cat safe because he won’t step anywhere near the tree now . It has essential oils which I thought was not cat safe but if he doesn’t touch the tree, no worries then?

An employee at the Pet Smart we went to said she rubs vaseline on the bottom branches and sprinkles cayenne pepper on them. She said to try that if the spray doesn’t work. It will probably make your tree kind of gross but I guess try that if nothing else works?
 
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CaseysMom

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TardisDance TardisDance Thank you! I was wondering about the sprays, if they did any good! I think I will definitely try that. I'm pretty sure I've seen it up at our Petco store.
 

TardisDance

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TardisDance TardisDance Thank you! I was wondering about the sprays, if they did any good! I think I will definitely try that. I'm pretty sure I've seen it up at our Petco store.
Be careful not to get it on your hands. The first time I used it, I got some some spray on my hands and even after washing my hands like 3 times, my cat would stiff my hands, his eyes would almost water and then he’d start to walking backwards away from me :lol:

My 5 year old female cat could care less about the smell, but she doesn’t bother with the tree. She’d rather jump on my dining table when I’m not looking (I see her on my Wyze camera so I know LOL).
 

Spookyandsammy

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Sylvester has a thing for ornaments my ornaments is going to be broken I have glass ones I mine as well give them away
 

Mamanyt1953

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Sylvester has a thing for ornaments my ornaments is going to be broken I have glass ones I mine as well give them away
Don't give them away. In a few years, you'll be able to use them again. Just get some plastic ones for now, and then when your cat no longer wants to actually CLIMB the tree to get to them, you can hang the plastic ones on the very bottom, for easy batting!
 
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CaseysMom

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Well, for now, Tiny has won the battle! She toppled the tree this morning, which thankfully, still did not have any ornaments or lights on it. I had it out like that for about a week hoping she would tire of it before I decorated it. I even got her her own Christmas tree scratching post hoping to distract her. Nope, She got more and more wound up about it the more I shooed her away from it. I think she thought it was a game. 🙄 I could live with her breaking a few ornaments, but the way she was chewing on the branches, I didn't dare put any lights on it. I keep envisioning the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with Aunt Bethany's cat getting zapped chewing on the lights! :kitty:

Maybe next year...?
 
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