Nov 192014

How to Keep Cats Out of the Christmas Tree

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.

Related Post: Christmas Dangers to Cats  Household Dangers for Cats and Kittens

  72 Responses to “How to Keep Cats Out of the Christmas Tree”

Comments (72)
  1. I have never had a cat that climbed in my Christmas tree, I had no idea that cats like to climb inside Christmas trees. Great tips for cat owners.

  2. Never having had a cat, I didn’t realize they liked it so much. Great tips!

  3. Now, I’m off to sprinkle some cayenne pepper around my tree! The kitty will not stay from it at all. I have been almost considering putting away the tree because of her extreme mischievousness. ~lol~

  4. Every single cat we have had has climbed our Christmas tree.
    The bottom branches of our last one were so trashed we had to buy a whole new tree this year.
    We tried everything from spraying them with water to cayanne pepper around the bottom of the tree.
    They are just too curious for their own good!
    Now we have no fur babies so I think our tree will last a few years 🙂

    • Oh – I put that pepper all through the tree and around the bottom. The trick is to redo the application every couple of days. The scent seems to disappear fast. We can’t smell it – but them cats – they can!

  5. Great tips for a problem that every cat owner seems to have to deal with at this time of year! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Cinnamon Scented pincones seems like a better alternative for us. I’d be sneezing up a storm with the pepper!

  7. I can’t even imagine how tricky it must be to keep them away! It’s fun to read about what you’ve been trying!

  8. Great tips for cat owners. I can just imagine some of the problems that can happen!

  9. We don’t have cats but can you tell me how to keep my kids out of the tree? Lol! Sharing this with my cat lover friends!

  10. this is hysterical. I don’t think my cat has ever been in our tree.

  11. Oh I have no clue. We used to have a fake tree and would have to re-fluff every day, ha! Maybe Pepper or Cinnamon will work? HA!

  12. I think cayenne pepper would keep a lot more than cats our of the Christmas tree. Nice idea!

  13. How interesting! I had never heard of using cayenne pepper to keep a cat out of a tree.

  14. I wish I would have known this back when I was younger! Our cats would ALWAYS climb up the tree and knocked it down many, many times! I’ll have to share this with my mom just in case her cat decides he want to hang out in the Christmas tree, lol!

    • You know – as a kid, our cats were very sedate. They loved sleeping under the tree, but wouldn’t touch a thing on it. Not sure why my cats decided to change what I was used to!

  15. My cousin’s cat eat the pine needles from her Christmas tree one year and she had to have surgery to remove them from her stomach. It was awful.

  16. I never knew cats liked christmas trees! How funny!

  17. I love this tip. I have a cat who would climb our tree every year. This should keep her out. She goes up and never knows how to come down.

  18. This is something I need to think about. I have puppy so this post has made me start thinking about what I am going to do once I have the Christmas Tree up to keep him off of it.

  19. I need something like this to keep the cat off my kitchen table.

    • I have one that gets on the counter – he and I are going to brawl one of these days. I’m thinking about making a ball of pepper to hang at his height – let him walk into it and see if he learns his lesson. UGH.

  20. A friend of mine is always talking about how one of her cats like to climb her tree. I think it is just a certain type of cat because her other two don’t do it.

    • When I had the issue with my cats – we had roughly 20 cats at the time. There were only two that would be that mischievous. They were relentless and our tree was the worst you’d ever seen – worse than a Charlie Brown tree.

  21. I don’t have inside cats. My neighbor does and has had that happen a couple of times.

  22. Great tips! Wish I’d known some of this when we had two cats 🙂

  23. We have a curious little kitty, so this is awesome!

  24. I cannot even tell you how many precious ornaments I’ve lost due to the cats climbing and running under the tree and batting at the swinging branches and ornaments! This is great information. Thank you for sharing!

  25. I always have that problem with my cats.I will definitely have to try this

  26. Huh! Who knew? Thanks for this from me and my cat

  27. I’m a plethora of information. I don’t get online much but, talk to me. Being on this site was a fluke when I searched for cleaning straws. Two things: CLEAN STRAWS…mixing vinegar and baking soda creates a fizz just like denture cleaner and does the trick nicely. SCAT CAT: put a bit of Ammonia at the base of the tree. It will soon dissipate and the odor is gone. Cats and dogs do smell it and stay away. Even outside, I “circle the wagons” as I call it, when I pour it around my front porch or around our vehicle. The neighborhood cats no longer pee here. The only time u will have to redo this outside is after it snows or after a very hard rain. Even then, most likely they will have already learned to stay away. Just be careful not to asphyxiate yourself in the process, ok? :>) Merry Christmas!

  28. Great tips! When we were kids our cat knocked our tree over more than once!

  29. I didn’t put a tree up last year because I had just gotten a cat. Now I know what to do so I can have a Christmas tree next year.

  30. This is absolutely genius and I’m going to be passing this along to my family members who have trouble every Christmas keeping their cats out of the tree! Thank you for sharing!

  31. I never thought of peeper! great idea, sorry to my kitties!

  32. Thank you for the tip. That’s one less thing for my cat to tear up

  33. I know a tree falling or a cat tripping wires isn’t funny, but love the scoundrels in the trees, hilarious to boot.

  34. I actually wrapped twine around the top of the tree and hung it from a plant hook in the ceiling. Different but no more tree being knocked over.

  35. It was not the cat it was thedogs.

  36. I just wanted to let you know it worked. My cat left the tree alone.

  37. Thanks for the tips! Our car, Frankie, is really clever so maybe we will be able to sidetrack him.

  38. thank you for sharing. you have great tips.

  39. Thanks for sharing!!! I am going to pass along these great tips to my friend!

  40. (How to Keep Cats Out of the Christmas Tree) Well I have to admit that we use to have a kitty cat that would climb the Christmas tree every year. His name was frisky’s and he sure loved that tree during the holidays. He passed many years ago though. 🙁 Love the great tips.

  41. Very helpful post, thank you so much for sharing! We just got a kitten a couple of weeks ago and since Christmas is coming up, this is great info to know!

    • Glad you found the post helpful. Enjoy your little bundle of fur…I’m just a tad bit jealous. There’s nothing more precious than a kitten.

  42. Thanks for sharing

  43. Thanks for the tips

  44. We don’t have a cat, so we’ve never had that problem…lol. The first few years we had our dog she use to nibble on the tree branches. We have an artificial tree. Fortunately, she outgrew it.

  45. I hadn’t heard this but since it works for cats, I bet it will work to keep our dogs from revisiting the holes they’ve dug. Thanks for the hint!

  46. Im allergic to cats but my sister in law has a few cats so I will have to pass this info on to her

  47. I love this post so much thank you for sharing these great tips I will keep this one for the holidays.

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