The pandemic pet adoption boom means two things this holiday season:

  • There are many first-time cat owners out there.
  • Many of those cats will be seeing a Christmas tree for the first time and thinking, “I’d be crazy not to try and climb that thing.”

To help clients prevent O Christmas Tree from becoming O Cat-mas Tree, here are five tips you can share with clients:

  1. Hang Citrus Decorations

Most cats hate the smell of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. So, hang them around the bottom of your tree. Or choose a selection of different colored fruits and hang them all over your tree for a colorful display with old-world charm. Before the advent of glass ornaments, people commonly adorned their Christmas trees with fruit.

  1. Use a Tinfoil Tree Skirt

Cats prefer to walk on smooth, soft surfaces like traditional cloth Christmas tree skirts. People often suggest placing pinecones on a tree skirt to deter tender paws but pinecones can be a tripping hazard. A simpler solution:  Cats generally don’t like the sound and feel of aluminum foil. So, use your creativity to create a silver foil skirt around your tree. You can even create a coordinated look by hanging silver ornaments on your tree.

  1. Deck Your Tree With Sprigs of Rosemary

Humans may love rosemary as one of the more famous essential oils widely used in aromatherapy, but the aroma is anything but therapy for cats. They hate it. So, fresh sprigs of rosemary hung from your tree will serve double duty as decoration and deterrent.

  1. Nix the Tinsel

Compared to the relatively uninteresting nature of large ornaments to felines, string-like tinsel practically has a built-in “play with me” factor that invites Christmas tree cat-astrophe. Also, tinsel can cause dangerous intestinal-tract blockage in cats if ingested. Skipping the tinsel both eliminates such risks and reduces landfill.

  1. Keep Your Tree Clear of Launch Zones

Placing your Christmas tree beside a table, chair, or couch may seem like the perfect postcard setting. However, such furniture can become the perfect launch point for your cat to pounce and turn the 12 days of Christmas into 12 days of picking your tree back up from the floor.

Whether you choose to try these deterrents, remember not to be cruel. While there are many cat-deterrent products and suggestions out there, many can cause physical and psychological damage to your cat. While the splendor of a Christmas tree lasts a few days per year, your relationship with your cat is something more precious because it’s a gift that last for years.