Tavares Animal Hospital

418 East Alfred Street, Tavares, FL 32778
Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm

Office: (352) 343-7793 Emergency: (407) 644-4449

How to (Try to) Cat Proof Your Christmas Tree

Another year, another kitty vs tree battle. Try our tips for keeping your tree pretty and your cat out of mischief. Merry Christmas and good luck!

1 Consider an artificial tree.

Artificial trees can be better for cats for a few reasons. There is no water to drink and possibly make them sick. There are no falling needles to eat and cause any number of health problems. They are far less attractive to climbers.

2 Set your tree up a few days before decorating.

Some cats love to climb EVERYTHING. Most are only interested in the toys you attach to it.  Try leaving your tree set up for a few days before decorating it. Maybe your fluffy friend will get bored and move on.

3 Secure your tree to the wall or ceiling.

Use wire or string to attach your tree to the wall or ceiling. If our kitty launches a sneak attack, it won’t fall over on him.

4 Keep your tree away from possible launching spots.

When choosing a spot for your tree, keep it as far away from furniture as possible. The fewer launching spots near by the better.

5 Protect pets from light cords.

Use cord protectors where you can. Try to keep light cords near the center of the tree so they’re less attractive. ALWAYS unplug lights when you cannot supervise your pets.

6 Use sticky paws on the floor.

Sticky paws are basically strips of double-sided tape. Cats hate them. Use them on the floor around your tree to keep your cat out. Every time they get too close, they’ll step on something sticky and go the other way.

7 Add citrus scents.

Cats don’t care for the smell of citrus. Try using dried orange or lemon slices on your tree. It will smell great to you but not your kitties.

8 Use cat friendly ornaments near the bottom.

If your mischief maker loves to play with the ornaments at the bottom of the tree make them cat friendly. Some cats leave the tree alone after they steal what they wanted. If that sounds like your kitty, keep the shiny and breakable things up high and hang something at the bottom you don’t mind them playing with.

9 Skip the metal hooks and go with ties.

Make sure your ornaments are tied on. They’ll be harder to remove and your cat won’t be injured on the metal hooks.


Every year numerous cats have surgery to remove tinsel from their gi tract. Don’t let yours be one of them. Tinsel is shiny, string like and too hard to resist. Skip it.

Cats have a mind of their own and they’re certainly smarter than us. When all else fails, get a small tree that won’t hurt anyone if it falls over. Use all cat friendly ornaments with no hooks or long strings and put the tree back up every time you come home. It’s all about the cat anyway right?

If you’re thinking of adopting a cat or kitten this Christmas how about adopting a cat from a shelter that needs a good home? Click here to read about the pros and cons of adopting a kitty from a shelter.

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