General Cat Care and Tips

Help! My Cat Won’t Stay Out of The Christmas Tree

It’s that time of year and if your a cat owner you know your cat will be into your Christmas tree and there is nothing you can do to stop it or is there?

For most cat owners keeping your cat out of the tree seems to be a dream and you have just given up all hope of having a tree. If this is you, I have you covered below just keep reading and you will find a few things you can do to keep your cat out of the Christmas tree.

How to keep your cat out of your Christmas tree.

Set up your tree early, but don’t decorate it yet

By setting up your Christmas tree early you give your cat a chance to get used to it before you add all of the shiny items. Your cat is going to be curious about this new item.

You will want to keep an eye on them once the tree is up so you can deter them from climbing it. Use clapping or gently tap them away from the tree. Once they have an idea that they don’t belong there you can then distract them with other toys.

Use larger decorations

Once you are ready to decorate your tree think about what your cats will be attracted to. They love playing with small objects and having small ornaments is just going to make your cat want to be in the tree more.

Using large ornaments will keep your cats from trying to play with them and will help keep them from going into your tree to play. Lare ornaments are also very trendy as of 2020, so use them and enjoy them.

Skip the ornaments

If your cats are attracted to the shiny ornaments and not the tree itself you may want to try decorating your tree with something other than ornaments. You could use pictures, wooden toys, and decorations or you could use flowers to create an amazing tree.

Personally, I love seeing flowers on a tree in areas where the weather is warmer. You can keep them festive colors such as red and white, however, you do want to make sure they are fake and are not on the very bottom of the tree. Just in case your cats decide to chew on them.

Add bells to your tree

Another way to keep cats out of your tree is to use bells along the bottom. Doing this will alert you to when they are trying to climb the tree and allow you to stop the behavior before they ruin your tree.

If your not a fan of bells you can find any item that will make some noise. Motion-activated musical ornaments may help or even some crinkly paper or bubble wrap.

Use Deterrents to keep your cat away from your tree

Keep them away with Citrus

You can use citrus to keep your cat away from your tree. Use dried orange peels around your tree to create a great scent for you, but one that most cats don’t like. This will keep them out of the area of the tree.

You do want to watch your cat when it comes to citrus. Normally cats won’t eat it because they don’t like the smell, however, they can get sick if they do eat it. Make sure to watch them for a while once you put down the orange peel to make sure they are not going to chew on it.

Spray your tree with a commercial deterrent spray

You may find that a deterrent is easier for you than using citrus. There are many cat deterrents out there that will keep your cat out of your Christmas tree.

Deterrents create a smell that your cat will not like. That alone will keep them away from the tree. You do however want to apply these sparingly as it may also keep them out of the room or aggravate them a bit. Test out the spray to make sure they don’t have any strange reactions.

Here are a couple of cat deterrents I recomend:

If you don’t want to use a commercial spray I found that apple cider vinegar put on the tree once a day works very well to keep my cat from trying to chew or climb the tree. I just put it into a spray bottle and spray the bottom of the tree every morning.

Scat Mat

If you don’t want to use a spray you may want to check out the scat mat. A scat mat is made of flexible adjustable spikes that won’t hurt your cat, but it will make it uncomfortable for them to walk on.

This is a safe option and is often used in gardens to keep pets and other animals out of your vegetables. You can buy a Scat mat on here.

Use cat grass to distract your cat

Your cat may, like mine, enjoy chewing on your tree. That is why cat grass may be the perfect distraction for your cat. It’s good for them and they can chew it to their heart’s content.

I love the selection of cat grass on They even have some really fun containers for your cat grass. You can check them out here.

Create a cute barrier

Keeping your cat from chewing your Christmas tree may be as easy as decorating under the tree. The area under your tree can really be very useful in keeping out your cat and any other unwanted tree visitors.

There are a few different ways you can do this. It just all depends on what fits with your style, decor, and budget.

Create a large gift with a cardboard box.

If your short on funds or just have a ton of larger amazon boxes sitting around you can get crafty and make a large gift to block off your tree. Just pull out your favorite wrapping paper and get wrapping.

Make sure you place it around the entire tree and make it large enough to block all branches from your cat. You don’t have to wrap all of the sides either, just the ones you will see from the front or sides of the tree.

Use fireplace screens to block off the area under the tree

There are so many cute fireplace screens that are holiday-themed and they may just help you keep your cat away from your tree. For our tree, we have used a combination of boxes and a fireplace screen and it works really well.

We still have a few issues with Pumpkin, but he is an extremely curious cat, so we also have sprayed the tree to keep him out. It’s really helped with the other two cats however, they seem to stay away from the tree without the spray.

Use a fence to keep your cat out

If a fireplace screen does not fit your style, you can get fences that are designed to keep all your pets and young kids away from your tree. These fences surround your tree completely and keep those unwanted visitors out.

Move furniture away from the tree

Remember however for any of the blocks to work you need to have any furniture moved away from the tree so that your cat can not jump into it from anywhere. Make sure your tree is away from your sofa, chairs, and other major furniture.

Keep even the smallest furniture pieces away from the tree, especially if you have a jumper as I do. They will use anything to jump off of and almost have no fear of doing so. Pumpkin will find even the smallest thing to climb on and jump from, not just to get to the tree, but to any high up location.

Put a cat tower in the same room

Sometimes your cat just wants to be up high. That is the only reason they are trying to get into your tree. Adding a nice tall cat tree with lots of fun toys on it will help to keep your cat occupied and away from your tree.

Make sure to buy a tree they will actually use, not just the cheapest cat tree you can find. I recently bought a new cat tree and I knew it had to have a basket and a tall perch for pumpkin. They love it and use it all the time

Use a thinner tree

Thin trees are starting to be more common and there is a reason for this. Cats cant climb them, and they fit in smaller spaces. This helps to keep cats out of the tree. Thin trees are much easier to find than they once were as more and more people have downsized or live in apartments. In fact, you can even order a thin tree on Amazon find one here

If you’re looking at a real tree you can still find a few good thin trees, you may just have to hunt a bit for them. You can also just trim your tree down to make it thinner. However, this may not look as visually appealing as just buying an artificial thin tree.

Skip the tree and use boxes or crates

Why fight the inevitable. If you have cats that are just really curious why even bother with a tree? Make a fun tree out of crates or boxes where your cats can hide, play, and have fun.

You won’t have to worry about your furry friend in the tree and you can still have something that looks fun. Paint the sides of the boxes or crates with fun Christmas themes and sit back relax and enjoy not trying to get your cats out of the tree.

I have seen crate trees that had beds, hanging toys, and even tunnels built into them so your cats can run through the tree with each other. I think this is a great way for any cat parent to still keep the Christmas spirit, but without the worry of a tree.

Hang your Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling.

This may seem a little extreme, however, many cat parents are trying this out and really loving it. Not only is it a great way to keep your cat out of your Christmas tree, but it also leaves so much space in your living room during the holidays, and who doesn’t want more space?

I also love this idea for people who live in small spaces, you still get the feeling of a tree, but it’s not in the way. You also don’t have to hang it upside down, you can also hang it right side up if you want a more traditional look.

Keeping your cat out of your Christmas tree will be a series of trial and error. I have tried most of these options myself. for example, I have not made a crate tree or tried a thinner tree.

I also have never hung my tree from the ceiling, though I may try that next year. However I found for my cat Pumpkin, the best option was the apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.

I have two other cats in my home, one is Dixie and my brother is living with me now and he has a cat. Both of them stayed out of the tree after a couple of days, just because they were no longer interested. Keep trying these different ideas until you find the one that works for your cat.