Cat Christmas Tree Olympics
Time for Cat Christmas Tree Olympics! I'll never forget the year that, at about 2:00 in the morning we heard a loud crash downstairs.
We jumped up to find the entire tree on the floor! What a mess! I lost some favorite ornaments, too. How to avoid cats in Christmas trees, I wondered?
These days Alice and Leo are more interested in warming by the fire than climbing the Christmas tree. But, we did learn a few things. Here are my top tips for cat Christmas tree problems.
Make your tree sturdy
Some cats are just going to go for it, no matter what. If this sounds like your cat, make sure your Christmas tree is nice and heavy, with a strong, heavy base. You can even use rope or bungee cords to secure it to a wall.
Don't put out your finest ornaments!
Find a different place to display your treasured, expensive, breakable and sentimental ornaments. Or, at least put them high up on the tree.
You can try putting only lightweight, unbreakable ornaments on the lower branches.
Try an Artificial Tree
Some cats are completely obsessed with the tree's smell, and the fact that it is a piece of the outdoors. That pine smell can drive them nuts! Also, the fact that there is water involved can be too much to resist. Especially for a Maine Coon cat who loves water play!
It would be logical to point out that cats should have an alternative, such as a cat tree, cat scratching post, or plenty of cat toys. But, we all know that no amount of cat toys in the house will distract that one-track-mind!
When you are sitting by the tree, keep an eye on your little troublemaker. Use the same cat training tactics you would employ if he were climbing the curtains. For many cats a simple "Psst!" will do the trick. For others, you may need a squirt bottle. Use it only if your cat actually tries to climb the tree, or pull down ornament.
If he or she just visits the tree, sniffs around, and hangs out there, that's cause for reward!
A last resort would be to keep your cat separate from the tree, in a different room.
Separation makes a lot of sense when you are not home, too. No need to leave a curious kitty alone with the one thing he'd love to destroy!
Lastly, take heart. Almost all cats outgrow the desire to participate in Cat Christmas Tree Olympics. Soon, he'll prefer to nap under it or just supervise the setting up. And of course help out on Christmas morning! There are boxes to inspect, paper to examine, and hopefully a little catnip under the tree!
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