Back in 2004, I wrote down some ideas on how to keep a cat out of our Christmas tree. As our kitten grew older, the issue went away. However, this year we have a new kitten so it’s top of mind again. Lucky for us, there have been some good advancements over the years.
The best option is to get a shocking mat to place under the tree. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s not that bad.
We got the PetSafe ScatMat and it has three settings (low, medium and high). Once the cat steps on it, they’ll get a shock. At the low setting it’s much like static electricity. That little shock may or may not get your cats attention. On medium, our kitten ran away in fear. I touched it and I agree, it’s a decent shock. After one shock, he doesn’t get anywhere near that mat anymore even when it’s not on. We use ours for the table, the counter, or under the Christmas tree and so far it’s been fantastic!
A similar idea, with no electric shock, is to get spikes for under the tree. Nothing that will draw blood, but annoying enough that they won’t want to walk on them. This is on our list of things to get if we have the need for more protection as they’re much cheaper than the electric mat.
Another great idea is a motion sensor spray. As long as you can find a good spot to put it, it’ll freak out your cat when they get to close. The downside is that you’ll need a few if your cat can access your tree from multiple angles.
There’s also a cat defender that is basically a plastic gate you can put in your tree. That way the cat can’t climb up it. Not sure how well it works, but seems like a good idea.
Some have luck with a baby pen (play area) as well, but our cat can jump right over things like that so I’m not sure it’ll work for us. Maybe you though.
Most of these ideas do create issues if you’re trying to put presents under the tree, but keeping the tree up is probably a priority on your list.
The other tip I have is to anchor your tree to something. We’ve used fishing line to tie it to the staircase or placed command strip hooks on the wall and tied the tree to them. You’ll want to tie it about 3/4s of the way up for the most stability. Even when our last cat climbed the tree, at least it didn’t tip over.
So far, our new kitten hasn’t been overly interested in the tree but I’m sure that could change any day and we’re prepared this year.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas to save your Christmas tree from your cat.