How to cat-proof your Christmas Tree

CLEVELAND - My 3-year-old grand daughter came over the other day with quite a story to tell. Seems her two year-old feline named "Bokey" decided to play "knock down the Christmas Tree." The cat commenced to climb the fully decorated tree at the base and by the time it reached the top the tree was teetering over. The final result was a 7-foot tree on the floor,  ornaments all over the living room, and a broken tree stand.

Seems this is a common problem for folks with indoor cats. Lets face it, a decorated indoor tree is like Disney World to a cat. There are plenty of limbs to climb, light bulbs to chew, and ornaments to knock around.

But, there are ways to keep you feisty feline out of ye olde tannebaum.

1) Orange Peels - Cats are rumoured to despise citrus smells. Try attaching a few orange peels to the lower branches. Some household cleaners also have a citrus scent. Soak some absorbent objects (a small piece of wood) in the cleaner overnight and hang these from the lower branches. Make sure they don't drip on the floor.

2) Double-sided tape - Wrapping double-sided carpet tape around the trunk or lower branches has been known to confound your kitty and keep them from ascending your tree.

3) Squirt the kitty - That's what my grand daughter calls it. Whenever the cat gets near the Christmas Tree (or any other contraband for that matter) have the squirt bottle ready. That sudden mist of water in a cats face will send him or her runner. They will soon learn to associate the tree with the squirt in the face and avoid both. There actually is a company that makes a motion-activated, automatic squirt bottle that you can set under the tree. When the cat approaches, it gets an automatic squirt. Problem solved: (http://www.multivet.net/en/products/ssscat/)

4) Floor runners - A plastic floor runner turned upside down under the tree will deter most kittys. Cats don't like to walk on the little plastic bumps. Beware that small cats can step around the bumps...

5) Get a Dog - Big, ferocious dogs tied to the trunk of Christmas Tree can be a deterrent to cat-climbing. Although, dogs sometimes mistake the trunk of the tree for the nearest fire hydrant...


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