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What to Do When the Cat's in the Christmas Tree?

Share your worst stories of pets and the holidays.

My husband and I own a 4-year-old Maine Coon cat named Lily. Her mission in life is to destroy our Christmas tree. 

We knew she'd probably get into the tree the first year we brought her home. She was into everything, all over the counter tops, leaping on top of doors, slinking into corners. We could see the problem coming before the tree was out of the box. 

In the middle of the night, she climbed the branches and knocked the whole thing over, breaking one of my favorite ornaments. Chris, my husband, secured the base with some landscaping stones - but not before she knocked it over a second time. 

We've tried a number of methods in the past few years to keep the cat out, including: 

  • Place mats covered in double-sided tape on the tree skirt. 
  • Tin foil on the tree skirt.
  • Orange rinds hung on the lower branches. 
  • A wall of tape (facing outward) that stretched from presents to the bookcases blocking off access to the tree. 
  • Spraying the cat with a water bottle each time she gets close. 

This year, we took the standard steps to secure our tree: landscaping stones on the base, no ornaments on the bottom two feet of branches, keeping the precious glass ornaments in the box. 

I also bought some "pet block" spray, even after reading reviews online that said it did nothing.

I sprayed the tree with pet block (it smells like citrus and cloves). Lily walked right over, sniffed the branches and curled up underneath. 

It was then that I decided to adopt a new philosophy: just ignore her.  

We'll see how that works out. 

What's your worst holiday story involving pets? 

Joe Barker December 03, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I've never had cats, but my parents did right after they were married. Had. The story always told at Christmas was the family cat going up in the tree and eating tinsel. Then, since it's not real food, the cat would have trouble digesting the stuff. My dad would have to help by pulling the tinsel out of the cat (use your imagination). Since then, they've been a dog family.
Tamara Duncan December 03, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Our old cat, Scooter, liked pulling the bows off packages. He didn't climb the tree or break ornaments, just pull off the bows and scatter them all over the house. This will the first Christmas for our new cat, Caesar Underfoot, and we expect that it will not be pretty. Caeser is not afraid of anything--the world is his catnip-filled mousie toy.
Brian Spear December 06, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Kalen, That is quite a funny story about the Main Coon. If she destroys it we will be more than glad to donate a Christmas tree.
Kalen Ponche December 06, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Thanks Brian! We'll see!

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