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Not a happy kitty owner this past weekend.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

For some reason I wanted to put up a tree this year. I think it was mostly because I haven't been able to because up until this year I either lived with someone else or my apartment was too small. So, anyway, this year I decided I wanted to put up a tree.

Last payday I went to Wall-mart and bought myself an artificial tree. It was suprisingly cheap. I took it home and put it together right away. I wanted to give the cats time to get used to it. There was the natural curiosity, and some biting at the botom, but I squirted them and they left it alone. Then this holiday weekend came.

On Thanksgiving day I came out of my bathroom to Trouble sitting under the tree next to two of the removable branches, and when I looked up, Marbles was sitting in the tree. It wasn't decorated so I removed her and told her no.

Then, on Saturday morning I decorated the tree. They seemed entralled by the lights, and actually slept under the tree...it was all very cute. I went shopping with a friend to buy some ribbon for the tree and a tree skirt. I came home, put on the finishing touches. It was a cute tree. Well, I went to fix myself a Turkey sandwich, and Marbles must have been ticked I didn't give her any, and took a flying leap right into the center of the tree. I walked over and removed her, straignted it back out and got my squirt gun at the ready. I squirted her every time she did something to the tree I didn't want her to be doing. And dear god she was a wet cat. Oddly, Trouble was being a good girl. So, it comes time to leave the house, I went to the video store to get a movie. And I came back to the tree on the ground, ornaments scattered (but not broken).

I picked everything up, put it on a shelf and left my decision as to what to do until yesterday. Well, yesterday I dismantled the tree and put it away. I was very frustrated with my cats, and quite frankly, a little depressed about the whole thing. I don't know why, but I wanted the tree up this year.

And I have already been told it is just natural for cats to want to climb trees, but the truth is, I am still upset about it. So, as the subject says, I was not a very happy kitty owner this weekend. Has anyone else had this problem? Has anyone found any solutions? I sprayed them, I sprayed the tree with this herbal stuff my neighbor gave me that was supposed to keep the cat away from the tree. In the end I guess it doesn't matter because I am not going to put the tree back up anyhow.
post #2 of 11
I have 2 trees up, and although my cats are interested in it, they are staying away. I've been spraying the tree, the tree skirt, and the area surrounding it w/ a citrus spray since they don't like that scent. They pretty much avoid the whole area.

My advice is put your tree back up!! The holidays just arent' the same without a beautiful tree to look at!!
post #3 of 11
Well well, I think it's a cute little story, but I do feel your annoyance! I've had cats now sense I was 10, and it's either been really hard to keep a tree around, or we were unable to have one at all.

I didn't have one last year, but this year I do, a fake on, right in my living room... Cats haven't really bothered with it at all frankly. Though someone be it a cat or my daughter keeps on knocking this one ornament down.
3 years ago, on my parents fake tree, we had about... I dunno 4-6 cats there at the time. And I've had cats who break the ornaments, try to eat them, one who sleeps at the VERY TOP of my tree, you name it, some cat has done it. So I took that lemon juice, the juice you buy in the fake lemon from your grocery store used for cooking. And I put that in a spray bottle, along with some other citrus thing... I can't remember. Sprayed the whole bottom of the tree with it, sprayed the floor. None of the cats broke it that year. One cat came up and chewed on a branch for a second, but didn't like the taste and then went on her way.

Have you tried squirting them, and then giving them a time out for being near the tree?
For the past 5 years, except for now, we would only put simple small lights on the tree, and that was it, less interesting for the cats. But you can still have a tree.
post #4 of 11
Hi Jamie,

The updated TCS homepage is up. There is an article about this very problem on it. Included are tips on making your holiday tree cat-safe.

This is a common occurance, and you should not get mad at your kitty for following her natural instincts and investigate all the strange new things we introduce them to during the holidays. Here is the link. I hope you reconsider, put away the squirt bottle and put your tree back up after reading the article.

Christmas Tips
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks hissy.

I am not so much mad at them as frustrated with them. Thats why I ultimately decided to take the tree down, I don't enjoy being frustrated with them, that and I found a piece of a light bulb from the tree lights on the floor, and I figured if they would chew them when they were unpluged they might while they are plugged in and I didn't want to risk electrocution.

Thank you for the tips though, I read through them and the only thing that was not cat proof I guess was the base of the tree. I didn't have the wodden "block" around the base.

I am not going to put the tree back up, though now I am considering keeping it instead of returning it to the store. There is always next year I guess.

I think I was just feeling slightly sorry for myself. Childish I know, but what can I say? It is the small things in life that make me happy sometimes.

Thanks all.
post #6 of 11
Jamie, could you maybe have a little tree up on a table or something? At least then you could have the Christmas spirit around. Then, too, they can get used to that new thing with all the sparkles and shineys on it without destroying your house or (more importantly) themselves.

I swear, in a couple years you will look back on this and laugh.
post #7 of 11
There's always the option to set it up in another room with the door, and you can go in there and admire it when you want, but the cats can't get to it.
post #8 of 11
I too have cats that love the Christmas tree, but hey what should I expect when I put a tree in the living room. I'm sure they say "WOW, look what Mom got us, our own tree." Through the years I have learned some tricks to decorating and keeping tree upright, and not to mention patience.

My tree is artifical and the stand that came with the tree is just 3 plastic things and worked well when I could nail the tree stand to the floor (if you have carpet and a wood slab), this kept them from knocking it over, but now I live in a condo that has a concrete slab so I can't nail to the floor so I got the type of tree stand you use for real trees and a piece of PVC pipe and put that in the stand and then the tree pole in the PVC pipe and filled the base where you would put water with heavy rock. Put my tree yesterday and it is still standing, it slants a little, but standing.

I do not use hooks to put decorations on I tie then securly with ribbon onto the branches (make sure they are tied tight). I don't use the little lights, because one of my cats could take them out and I was afraid she would swallow one, so I use the bigger lights. I do not use any tinsel of any type because this is dangerous to cats if they eat it (and mine would).

My cats do chew on the tree, if I catch them I say no to them and shoo them away. Now I have to straighten the tree up everyday (put candy canes back on, fluff up holes when cats have be laying) because I can't keep them out of it. So it less stressful for them and me that I accept the fact that I will not have the perfectly decorated tree. And occassionaly they pull the bottom branches out.

Also I do not leave the lights unless I'm in the room and can watch them. I'm afraid they might bite into a cord.

To me this is no different than having a small child and a Christmas tree. My granddaugher is 22 months old and I've had to put branches back in because she has pulled them out, not be mention she would probably eat the tinsel too.

Good Luck.
post #9 of 11
For 10 years I had two cats, and I never wanted a full size tree in the house with cats around. I have always put a small 3 foot tree on a table, (like Heidi mentioned), and it has really worked out well. When I decorate the tree, I use the type of ornament that is unlikely to break, and I never use any tinsel. After the tree is decorated I place small decorative Christmas objects and candles around the tree so there's no room on the table for a cat. I have never had to use a squirt gun on them or spray the tree with a citrus scent.
post #10 of 11
Here's a picture that was taken a few years ago. It isn't anything fancy but it has worked at my house.
post #11 of 11
Mine don't climb it, but they love picking the ornaments off and bringing upstairs in the middle of the night and dropping them on me while I sleep.
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