Dec 142012
how to keep cats out of the Christmas Tree

The Tree -after being tortured


So, you’re looking to find a way on how to keep cats out of the Christmas Tree?  I was too a few years ago.  You see, we had a litter of very mischievous kittens that year and in fear that I would awake to a tree tipped over, broken ornaments and water everywhere, I opted to set up an artificial tree despite always having a real tree.

So we set up our new-to-us (I got it off of freecycle) artificial tree, but of course, not without help.  All the fur babies had to get in on the task.  Them helping was a feat in itself.  Finally after getting it standing, fixing the branches, and getting it completely decorated – I thought it really looked nice – for a fake tree.

Well that tree that I thought that looked nice – didn’t look so nice after a few days.  A couple of our older kittens had decided the tree was going to be their playground.  Not only were they climbing the tree, they were taking branches out, as we’d find them on the floor, but not with the ornaments.  The ornaments would be found all over the living room.  We’d find the cats sleeping on branches. The tree looked absolutely horrendous, as you can imagine.  Garland was out of place, ornaments not where they originally were, branches not adjusted just right – you name it, the tree was a mess!  I just had to find a solution on how to keep the cats OUT of the Christmas Tree for good!

I did find something – cayenne pepper.  That’s right.  The spice cayenne pepper worked fabulously.  All I needed to do is sprinkle the pepper throughout the tree and around the bottom of the tree and the cats stayed away – all of them!  I’d stay away too if I were a cat.  I accidentally breathed some of the pepper in while I was sprinkling it about – not good!  You will need to sprinkle the pepper about the tree every 2-4 days for the duration your tree is up.  I imagine the reason for having to reapply is because of the scent of the pepper diminishing.  Once you start to see the kitties go near the tree again, that’s when you’ll know to reapply.  Of course, you don’t have to wait for a signal from them…nothing will be harmed by sprinkling the pepper every day if you’d care to.

I have heard from someone else that they use cinnamon scented pinecones.  I cannot attest to that working, as I’ve never tried that.  I can tell you though, that I have made a basket of cinnamon scented pinecones, with lights and decorations, and placed it on my dining room table.  This did NOT keep the cats from wanting to lie on the table.

If you happen to know of another solution – I’d love to hear what’s worked for you 🙂

  15 Responses to “Furry Friday – How to Keep Cats Out of the Christmas Tree”

Comments (14) Pingbacks (1)
  1. Yes I have heard of using cayenne pepper to keep animals away before. I would of never guessed to use it for the Christmas tree, what a great idea TY.

  2. Thanks for the tip! My kittens are always attacking my tree also =D

  3. We have four cats and our tree has been knocked over twice already. We tried lemon juice and some “no stay” cat spray but nothing was working! Thank you so much for this post. I can’t wait to try the cayenne pepper.

  4. I’ve used cayenne pepper to keep the kitten out of the pantry but I’m worried about using it on the tree as I have small kids. Will it hurt them if they get it in their eyes?

    • I imagine if the kids got it in their eyes that it would burn. Maybe you could sprinkling it more towards the trunk of the tree and under the tree?

  5. I used diluted vinegar and it seems to be working so far. He lays by the tree, but not under it. He did go sniffing around, wrinkled his nose, and off he went.

  6. I never thought of using cayenne pepper, thanks for the advice.

  7. Interesting I would have never thought of putting cayenne pepper on my tree. Great idea

  8. Our cats destroy the tree every year I will definitely be trying some of these thank you for sharing

  9. Oh wow, i never thought of that! That is a better, more practical solution that only having the top half of a tree.

  10. What happened when you took the tree down? Did you get pepper in your eyes or breathe it in??

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