With the holiday season in full swing, many cat owners may be wondering how to stop their felines from going after their Christmas trees once they set them up inside. According to PetMD.com, cats are inherently curious creatures and therefore bringing a tree indoors may stir up a reaction from a kitty.
The site recommends several ways to deter cats from interacting with the tree in a negative way. Using fragrant natural scents around the tree may stop the behavior. Placing orange peels around the tree stand or applying citrus oils to the base of the tree may also keep cats away. Some natural oils are toxic to cats, so ask your veterinarian if you have questions.
Owners can also consider obstacles to prohibit cats from getting to the tree. The room with the tree can be gated or the door can be kept closed, although persistent kitties will often get through these by jumping over or hiding until someone opens the door. A barricade - such as a childs playpen - can be set up right around the tree or owners can wrap tin foil around the base of the tree to act as a deterrent.
For owners who know their cat will get to the tree no matter what, it may be best to do damage control. When picking out a tree stand, try to find one that has a covered water reservoir to prevent the cat from drinking the tree water and to avoid spills should the cat play with the water. Letting the cat explore the tree when it's first brought in can also ease some of its curiosity. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that pet owners should be sure to unplug their trees at night and keep lighting and electrical cords tied up so that their pets don't choke or suffer electrical burns. The tree should be securely attached to the wall or other sturdy surface to avoid falling over in the event the cat jumps on the tree. If an accident does occur, bring the animal to the veterinarian health clinic immediately.