Protecting your Christmas tree from your cat

Protecting your Christmas tree from your cat

You know that feeling? When you've just finishing putting up your Christmas tree, you sit back and then you see your cat eyeing it off? Do you wonder how long you’ve got before the cat is climbing it, nibbling the branches, knocking the decorations off or going whole hog and pulling it down? You’re not alone.

We asked Joii nurse Abbey for some easy tips to help keep your cat entertained (and your tree looking its best) this Christmas.

1. Location, Location, Location

Cats are naturally curious creatures, so it’s expected that they might be attracted to the new shiny climbing frame placed suddenly in the home. Make sure the tree isn’t positioned in an area your cat uses frequently (like where they sleep or play).

If you can, move it away from surfaces your cat could use in a Parkour fashion to reach the tree (like bouncing off the radiators or shelves). It’s a good idea to weight the tree down to prevent any topples. Keep wires and lights tied to the tree to prevent any tangling or chewing. And of course, switch the lights off when not supervised.

2. Let the tree do the talking

Opt for a rustic-looking tree. Using things like pine cones hung around the base of the tree enables you to pop a few drops of a citrus oil or citronella spray on the pine cones. Most cats will be deterred by the smell of citrus and will steer clear of it.

Some owners opt for physical clementines arranged at the base, creating a force field around the tree. Feel free to get creative with this.

Most cats would rather stay well away from tin foil as it is a sensory overload, from the noise it makes, to how it feels on their paws. Some even believe it’s due to its reflective nature. Either way, you can use a sheet of tin foil underneath your tree to prevent your cat from heading over to investigate.

3. Keep it positive

We want to keep your relationship with your cat the happiest it can be. Telling your cat off or using negative punishments can actually make them more prone to repeating the behaviour as it’s a form of attention. It can also have the opposite effect and make them wary of you, not the tree.

Reward the behaviour you do want to see by using treats and toys. Schedule more time than usual to play with your cat away from the tree, ideally before their next meal. Make sure they have vertical space they can climb and rest to make the tree less appealing. And lastly, provide plenty of areas they can scratch.

Need more advice for your cat?

If your cat’s behaviour is becoming a problem in any way, our vets are online 24/7 to help. We even have a dedicated behaviour team on hand to help support you, all from the comfort of your home.

Download the Joii app today for 24/7 online vet calls for £24.

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