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15 Ways to Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree

Christmas comes with warm, fuzzy feelings, but for cat owners—there is a dreaded side to the holiday season. It seems like every year your angelic kitty is pulling some new stunt to destroy your perfectly decorated tree. You may have bad experiences with your bulbs shattering on the ground, icicles all over the floor, or your cat dangling by their leg from a string of lights.

It’s hard to tell what kind of shenanigans they’ll try to pull this year. So, if you’re having issues, it’s time to get inspiration from these creative ideas. Thankfully, there are tons of DIY, trendy ways to outwit your cat at Christmas time.cat face divider 2

The 15 Ways to Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree

1. Baby Gate

Cat Fir Christmas Pine Tree
Image Credit: Jumpstory

If you can’t keep the attacker out, it’s time to add reinforcements. Some baby gates are long enough to wrap around the tree, serving as a good barrier between your cat and fragile breakables. You may have to pay a little upfront, but the investment year after year will be worth it. Just make sure it’s tall enough to keep those kitties at bay.

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2. All Hail the Sweeper

Maine coon cat with green eyes sitting at little christmas tree with lights
Image Credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj, Shutterstock

Are any of your cats terrified whenever you get out the old dirt sucker? Use this to your advantage. Place a vacuum or two around the tree to frighten any furry creatures lurking in the room. It may not be the prettiest site to have vacuum cleaners surrounding the tree, but it’s a good deterrent none the less.

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3. Use a Decorative Enclosure

If you want to know how to keep a cat out of a Christmas tree and you can’t beat them with any method you may have tried, it may be time to close off Christmas tree access instead. They make absolutely adorable enclosures that you can put in your home to showcase your tree without destruction.

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4. Frame a Tree

Sure, it may not be the biggest or best-dressed tree, but you can still manage to take a creative approach to tree decorating. Draw, build, or paint a tree that you can spruce up with bulbs, garlands, and lights. Or you can even make it your own, using old keepsakes or unique glue-ons. Then, you can frame and hang—no worse for the wear.

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5. Put it on Your Balcony

Father and son trying to assemble the artificial Christmas tree together
Image Credit: Dekazigzag, Shutterstock

Are you a lucky duck with balcony access? Perfect, use it for your tree. You can still view it directly from your screen doors like it’s inside, but it’s inaccessible. You can even place presents in front of the door to give it a Christmas-esque feel without compromising the safety of your pine stylings.

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6. Saran Wrap, Anyone?

Sure, this idea won’t work for everyone, but it may get a few laughs and definitely make a few memories. Taking a few rolls of Saran Wrap to wind around your tree like a leftover keeps those pesky felines away from your stream of lights. Sure, the sight of it may confuse visitors and passersby alike, but it might be worth it. Then, you can store it away for safekeeping without taking anything off.

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7. Trim the Branches

cat lying under christmas tree
Image Credit: jhenning, Pixabay

If you’re feeling rather Charlie Brown-ish this year, giving your tree a trim could be the ticket. It may look scraggly and out of place, but if you prune carefully, it may work out quite well. Trendy, no. But your cat won’t be able to jump up and snag off another glass bulb anytime soon.

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8. Decorate an Invisible Tree

If you’re crafty, confident, and ready for a challenge, you can decorate your invisible tree. This method involves suspending your bulbs from the ceiling on a string. You can create quite an intriguing look. And while it’s no Christmas tree, it’s cat-friendly and exciting.

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9. Use a Wall Decal

christmas tree wall art
Image Credit: Mallmo, Shutterstock

Can’t have a tree that stays up? Use a wall decal instead. It’s hard to bat the bulbs off a flat image. Several sites sell decals of all sorts, and a Christmas tree is undoubtedly among them. It’s even easier to put up and take down, saving you hours of time, too.

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10. Turn Christmas Upside-down

upside down christmas tree
Image Credit: Fusionstudio, Shutterstock

Sure, it may look a little Dr. Seuss-like—but if it’s done correctly, it can save a world of headache. You can suspend your tree from the ceiling, turning everything upside down for Christmas. To be fair, this method works best for high vaulted ceilings. Doing it with a regular ceiling can give your cat just as much access.

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11. Cage the Tree

Have an old kennel around with no current purpose? Get a smaller tree this year, and keep it in a cage. This way, everyone can admire the pretty lights from a distance without removing your cat every few minutes. If you go this route, be sure to measure your tree to be compatible with the cage.

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12. Wooden Wall Hang

If you have a rustic or primitive decor style, this tree could complement your home quite nicely. You can make it out of a few pieces of lumber or dismantled pallets. You could even pick up a premade design in stores or online. Your friends may think you’re being uniquely festive, but you just have a misbehaving cat. That can be your little secret.

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13. Squirt the Cat

spray bottle
Image credit: Mimzy, Pixabay

Of course, you can’t be around your cat all the time to see what they’re up to. But when you are, take a squirt bottle and spritz them every time they attempt to assault the tree. They’ll hate it—and hopefully hate it enough to think twice before they act.

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14. Decorate Your Wall Instead

With a few nails or wall stickies, you can create a perfectly lovely tree on your wall. Using garlands, you can make a zig-zag effect to map out an adorable tree on the wall. Just remember not to hang any breakables where your cat can reach.

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15. Reduce the Decorations

cat sitting near christmas tree
Image Credit: jhenning, Pixabay

Keep a minimalist approach. You don’t have to trim the tree with tinsel, garlands, bulbs, and ribbons. Put a few simple, adorable additives on your tree and call it a day. Or, you can use a Christmas tree-shaped object to string a few lights. Your cat may bore with it and not pay it any mind this year—and you get to enjoy the spirit of Christmas. Everyone wins.

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16. Cat-Friendly Tree Stand

christmas tree with cat
Image Credit: thehrhpaul, Pixabay

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. You can buy or create a tree that is just for your cat—because how could Christmas be about anyone else? You can decorate this wooden stand with dangly, festive cat toys, or other safe objects. Now, they can sit there on their throne doing what they wish with no consequence—and you get a pretty unique-looking tree, too.

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17. Fiber Optic, Anyone?

You can opt for a fiber optic Christmas tree that you don’t have to dress up at all. The ends of the bristles light themselves, and you can buy them in tons of tones, colors, sizes, and designs. You can have quite the colorful tree without worrying about all your knick-knacks breaking.

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18. Wooden DIY Tree

It wouldn’t take much lumber or pallet board wood to pull off this tree. You just have to have a few tools to make some cuts and viola! A cat-friendly, rustic looking tree that you can customize as you wish. This option saves a lot on the time it takes to put up and take down a Christmas tree.

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Final Thoughts

We can’t really blame our furry kitties for their interest in Christmas trees. Look at all those shimmery objects and trunks that serve as terrific scratching posts. It’s only natural for them to assume they are the ones who own this obscure object. But hopefully, this year, when it comes to bothering the tree, your cat will skedaddle and you will remember how to keep your cat out of your Christmas tree.

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Featured Image Credit: Nadtochiy, Shutterstock