How to Keep Your Cat Out of Your Christmas Tree

'Tis the holiday season and your cat might be ready to go "Rocking around the Christmas tree".

Keeping your cat or dog out of your Christmas tree is a very common challenge for pet owners this time of year. There are commercial tree sprays that have mixed reviews, but you can make your own tree spray with water + orange or lemongrass oil. Some people also suggest spraying with apple cider vinegar. Cats don't like these scents and it may help deter them from the tree. With that said, some items on your Christmas tree present more danger to your pets than others.

Here are 10 tips to keep your pets and your tree safer this holiday season. 1. Do not use tinsel. The bright reflective tinsel is one of the alluring decorations for cats. However, if ingested they might cause serious harm to the gastrointestinal tract. Call your vet immediately if tinsel or other stringy decorations are ingested. A good alternative to try is garland paper. It is not as dangerous as the foil strips on the tinsel.

2. Avoid edible decorations like popcorn or candy canes. These are obviously more enticing.

3. Allow them be a little curious but reward them for walking away from the tree to reinforce good behavior.

4. Try to keep very delicate, easily breakable, or very sentimental ornaments higher up on the tree out of reach from the floor. You can also use thin wire or twine to secure them more tightly to the tree limbs.

5. If you have a live tree, consider a base that comes with a cover to prevent them from trying to drink the water. If you don't have one with a cover, precut some cardboard or aluminum foil to create a quick DIY cover for your base.

6. You can protect cats or dogs from Christmas lights with pre-cut cord tubing that is available at the hardware store. Remember to unplug lights when you are not home and the pets are unsupervised.

7. Try securing your tree with invisible fishing line with an anchor to the wall. It won't take away the aesthetic but will provide some extra support to keep it from toppling over if they do end up pouncing at the tree.

8. Fake trees pose less danger than real trees which shed pine needles that your pets may be tempted to chew on.

9. Keep the tree away from other furniture your pets might use to pounce from.

10. Fake snow may also include harmful chemicals so try to avoid using it on your tree.

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