!Header Top Bar

HVS is open for business / Now Hiring / Veteran & Locally owned and operated

!Let's Talk! Button

We’re hiring Veterinarians
We’re hiring Veterinarians

Keeping Your Cat Out Of The Christmas Tree

December 1, 2023

The holiday season has officially arrived, along with all of its trappings. For our feline friends, this time of year often means that it’s time to make maximum mischief. It’s probably safe to say that at least some of you are going to find yourselves trying to keep your kitties from toppling your trees over. We can help! A local vet offers some advice on keeping your cat out of the tree in this article Hassayampa Veterinary Services, serving Wickenburg and the surrounding communities.


Sometimes you just have to look at things from another purrspective. You can’t blame Fluffy for wanting to climb a tree. After all, in the wild, trees serve as napping spots, nail care stations, and lookout points. You might even say that our furry pals are hardwired to scale trees. Of course, cat towers also fill those same roles for our feline buddies. Consider getting your kitty a new one. The idea is that Fluffy will be so busy playing that she’ll overlook the actual tree.

Revoke Access

You may have seen online memes and photos about people who have gone to extremes here. Some have even hung trees upside down from the ceiling, or surrounded them by a protective battalion of vacuum cleaners! You don’t have to go that far, but a small puppy gate may just do the trick. Avoid putting the tree near things like sofas or desks, which make easy launching spots for frisky furballs.

Kitty Workouts

Another thing you can try? Tire Fluffy out with a fun game of Catch The Red Dot or Pounce On The Feather Toy. If your playful pet burns off her zoomies playing, she may be more interested in napping under the tree than in trying to climb it.

Decoration Subterfuge

Our feline pals are very playful, and they really just can’t resist batting at anything that dangles. Keep this in mind when decorating. Put most of the tinsel, lights, and shiny and breakable ornaments on the top half of the tree. The only things within paws’ reach should be fairly dull, unbreakable ornaments.

Fake It

No luck? You may want to consider getting a fake tree. Cats can easily scale real ones, but they can’t get much traction on artificial ones. Plus, you’ll be able to reuse it, which will save you money and resources in the long run. 

Our Advice on Keeping Your Cat Out Of The Christmas Tree in 2024

What specific types of decorations or ornaments are most attractive or tempting to cats?

Cats are drawn to dangling objects, so decorations like tinsel, lights, and shiny or breakable ornaments are particularly tempting. To deter them, place these items on the top half of the tree where they’re out of paw’s reach. Opt for dull, unbreakable ornaments lower down. This strategy helps minimize the allure of the tree’s decorations and reduces the risk of your feline friend causing mischief.

Are there any particular scents or smells that can deter cats from climbing or playing with Christmas trees?

Cats are sensitive to certain scents, so using them strategically can deter them from Christmas trees. Citrus scents, like orange or lemon, are known to be unpleasant to cats and can discourage them from approaching the tree. You can place citrus-scented air fresheners or diffusers near the tree or even use citrus-scented cleaning products on the floor around the base. However, it’s essential to ensure that these scents are not overwhelming or harmful to your cat’s health. Always monitor your cat’s behavior and adjust the scent deterrents accordingly.

What are the potential dangers or health risks to cats if they ingest pine needles, tinsel, or other common Christmas tree decorations?

Ingesting pine needles, tinsel, or other Christmas tree decorations can pose serious health risks to cats. Pine needles are sharp and can cause gastrointestinal irritation or blockages if swallowed. Tinsel and other small decorations can become lodged in the intestines, leading to potentially life-threatening blockages or perforations. Ingesting materials like tinsel can also lead to choking hazards or intestinal injuries. Prompt veterinary attention is necessary if a cat ingests any of these items to prevent complications and ensure their well-being.

Are there any specific breeds of cats that are more prone to climbing or playing with Christmas trees than others?

While individual personalities play a significant role, certain breeds like Maine Coons, Bengals, and Abyssinians are known for their energetic and curious nature, making them more likely to climb or play with Christmas trees. However, any cat, regardless of breed, may be attracted to the novelty of a tree and engage in such behavior. It’s essential for cat owners to anticipate their pet’s tendencies and take preventive measures to ensure their safety and the preservation of holiday decorations.

Are there any natural or non-toxic deterrents that owners can use to keep their cats away from the Christmas tree?

While not guaranteed, some natural deterrents like citrus-scented sprays, diluted essential oils (such as lemon or eucalyptus), or aluminum foil placed around the base of the tree may help discourage cats from approaching or climbing the Christmas tree. However, it’s essential to ensure that these deterrents are safe and non-toxic for cats. Owners should also supervise their pets closely and provide alternative sources of entertainment and enrichment to redirect their attention away from the tree.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us here at Hassayampa Veterinary Services, serving Wickenburg, AZ and the surrounding communities, today!

[am_post_grid posts_per_page=”3″ paginate=”yes”]