How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

Happy FRI-YAY! Christmas is officially THREE DAYS AWAY. THREE. DAYS. THREE. Let that soak in. I can’t believe another year is almost over. I have been celebrating the holidays for a month now already – I started right after Thanksgiving. This is both of my sweet kittens FIRST Christmas with a tree and to say the last few weeks have been exciting is an understatement. The cats are 100% certain I brought this tree home specifically for them to climb and the fact that I put jangly, sparkly, dangling ornaments on the branches was an added bonus. I love both my cats dearly, but I love my tree, too. I would prefer if it was still standing by the time Christmas actually rolled around. It took a few trial and error experiments to figure out how to get them to stop parkouring onto my tree. Let’s dive into it this guide on how to keep your cats away from your Christmas tree.

How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

First things first, you want to give yourself a fighting chance when it comes to protecting your tree. Always go with an artificial tree if you have pets (dogs AND cats) because the water from the base of a real tree can be toxic to them. Also, if possible, choose non-breakable ornaments so if they do get knocked off your tree, they don’t shatter and potentially hurt your little fur babies. Do not use any type of tinsel: this decoration can wrap around your kitties intestines and can seriously injure or kill them.

How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

Way #1: Deterrent Spray – 5/10

This was the first method I tried. It smelled like oranges, which supposedly is a deterrent for cats. Apparently, they don’t love the citrus-y fruit. I started off by spraying the lower branches of the tree where the cats were most attracted to, and did that periodically throughout the day. It isn’t possible for me to close a door to hide the tree, and the cats just open the doors anyways, because our tree is in the living room. They didn’t love the way it smelled or tasted, and it was kind of helpful during the day but the spray didn’t do much while we were sleeping at night and I still woke up to ornaments all over my floor. So, it was mildly successful but not quite. 

Way #2: Orange peels in the lower branches – 6/10

According to cat forums online, orange peels are another deterrent for cats. They don’t rot because they’re just the peels. I attempting to do this, and the cats didn’t love it when they got near the lower branches so it did help a little bit. HOWEVER, this helped them discover that they could launch themselves off the window sill and into the center of the tree where the orange peels were not. So while my lower branches were generally left alone, the middle of my tree was assaulted.

How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

Way #3: Loud sounds when they ran to the tree – 5/10

I also heard a loud startling noise when they went near the tree would help deter them from going by the tree at all. I tried this with an app on my phone. It was supposed to be something akin to a dog whistle but for cats. They definitely hated the noise, but it was only effective if I caught them in the act. SO – while we were sleeping (which is the worst part), they had a field day on my tree. So, if you want to sit and watch your cats 24/7, this is a great method. If not, it’s not that useful.

Way #4: Bitter Anti-Chew Spray – 7/10

This was pretty successful in keeping the cats away from the tree cords. One of the issues we were having was the cats were nibbling on the tree cords, and I was worried about them getting shocked and hurt. I discovered anti-chew spray and now I use it on a bunch of our cords to keep the cats from biting and chewing at them. It worked GREAT for keeping them away from the cords but not quite as well when it came to keeping them from jumping into the branches.

How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

Way #5: Febreeze – 9/10

Ok. This ended up being the method that saved my tree. I bought a pine scented Febreeze spray so that my tree didn’t smell funny (and matched my pine scented candles) but I mostly tried this because my cats HATE the sound of Febreeze. I don’t think they care so much about the smell – but it’s to the point now all I have to do is shake the Febreeze bottle and they go running. I never sprayed it at the cats direction, just into the air so it made the spray sound. A few days of this, and they no longer bother the tree! Right now, they’re both fast asleep underneath the twinkly lights and I haven’t had a broken ornament for a week and a half now. I sleep soundly knowing that my tree isn’t going to be destroyed while I sleep.

REMEMBER: It’s mainly cats under the age of 4 that are most enticed by the Christmas tree. Kittens and young cats are more active and energetic than older cats, so it may help you to know that they WILL eventually grow out of their tree attacking behavior. While I want them to be little kittens forever, I will be glad when I’m not constantly diving to save my Christmas tree.

It’s also important to note that doing things like aluminum foil, spraying them in the face with water or yelling or hitting your animals are NOT effective punishments and cats DO NOT respond to that kind of treatment. Not only is it mean, it can alter personality and make your cats frightened or timid of you. That’s the opposite of we want to accomplish!


How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

I hope this guide for how to keep your cats away from your Christmas tree it helpful in finding the best ways to keep your cats away from your Christmas tree. If you have any tips that I missed – put them in the comments below! I can add them to the list so it may help other kitty cat owners!

How To Keep Your Cats Away From Your Christmas Tree

Let me know if this was helpful to you in the comments below and ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS WEEKEND!

About The Author

Taylor Mobley


  1. Kyla Matton Osborne | 22nd Dec 17

    We no longer have pets, but I had a whole house full of them for many years. So I feel your pain! I had to laugh when I read about them launching themselves at the tree from the window sill. Yes, that sounds like a cat thing to do. Glad the Febreeze worked. I guess it really is just a matter of finding the right deterrent for your cats…

    • Taylor Mobley | 22nd Dec 17

      I know – while I was mad that they jumped into the tree, it was funny to watch them do it! It just depends on what works for your kitties for sure!!!

  2. Amanda | 22nd Dec 17

    My cat is about 4 and this year he’s been pretty good with the tree— we’ve only lost two ornaments. His big thing is messing with the presents, especially bagged gifts. He’s super nosy and likes to dig through them and tear up the tissue paper.

    The only thing I have found that works as a deterrent for him with anything is wide double-sided tape. I put it on the couches to keep him from scratching so that might work if you put it on your tree skirt or ground around the tree (sans presents). Merry Christmas!! 🎄

  3. Neely Moldovan | 22nd Dec 17

    Totally sharing this with my dad. He has a crazy kitten!

  4. Kelsie | 22nd Dec 17

    OMG your cats are just the cutest! I don’t have cats, but I used to have a roommate that had one and we couldn’t have a tree. I will have to pass this along to her!

  5. Holly | 22nd Dec 17

    Omg these are all such great ideas. Our cats don’t really care about the tree, but it’s our little chihuahua’s first Christmas and these tips are going to be perfect for keeping her away too! xx

  6. Helena Marz | 22nd Dec 17

    I don’t have any cats but I know a few people that do have cats and I will have to show them this awesome post! They are great tips and your cats are so adorable❤️

  7. Helena Marz | 22nd Dec 17

    I never had any cats but I know a few people that do have cats and I will have to show them this awesome post! They are great tips and your cats are so adorable❤️

  8. Christina | 22nd Dec 17

    I don’t have cats myself but I have a pup and these are great tips!

  9. Whitney S | 23rd Dec 17

    We have two dogs, so we don’t put any ornaments on the lower half haha. One of my dogs used to like to scratch his butt with the branches, since we get a real tree!

  10. Rachael Thomas | 23rd Dec 17

    It’s funny, the past couple of years I’ve been so occupied making my tree toddler safe, but pets can be even worse! My dog used to love the tree! I’ll have to remember these tips when we get a new pet in the future!

  11. Stephanie | 26th Dec 17

    I’m so lucky that my cat has zero interest in our tree aside from sleeping beneath it. She’s been like that since kitten times and it’s so rare, so it’s nice that we don’t have to use any of these methods. But I know my fiancé’s cat is going to be a brat about things like this, so next year once we’re married, I’ll have to take this all into account. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  12. kileen | 26th Dec 17

    ah i have a cat and definitely needed this post!

    cute & little

  13. adriana | 27th Dec 17

    It must be so hard with pets! These are such great tips!

  14. Kimmie | 27th Dec 17

    Haha such a fun post- glad all those tricks worked for you!
    xo Kimmie

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Read previous post:
Glam Glitter Smokey Eye Tutorial
Glam Glitter Smokey Eye Tutorial

Happy Thursday! I'm sure many of you have a dozen Christmas parties coming up this weekend (I totally do,