Anyone who has a cat (note, I say “has,” not “owns” – as no one can own a feline), knows of the problems that arise during the holidays. Let’s face it, Cats love Christmas trees and like nothing better than scaling the heights, while batting at – and often destroying – those precious family ornaments dangling from the branches.

It seems whatever you do, or however high you place your Christmas tree, those dastardly felines make a plan and get access to it. Pine needles fly and ornaments go bouncing all over the living room. Short of hanging it upside down from the ceiling, as suggested by Bored Panda, or fencing the tree in completely, what can be done to prevent festive feline disasters?

There are a couple of options, besides taking your beloved pet to the nearest cat hotel.

Cat repellent for Christmas trees

PetMD came up with the plan to use feline repellents to keep sneaky cats away from that twinkling piece of holiday décor. They say there is evidence that cats don’t like citrus oils. The recommendation is to place orange peels under the tree or soak cotton balls in citronella, however, they do warn these items should still be kept out of the reach of your cat. As Grumpy Cat would say, revenge would be sweet, even if the smell was sour. Another option is to spray a diluted solution of vinegar, camphor, or hot sauce over the base of the Christmas tree, as cats tend to hate all of those nasty smells.

There are also a variety of items on the market produced especially to repel felines but always bear in mind that the scent does eventually tend to fade, so you will need to reapply the repellent on a regular basis over the holidays. If not, your sneaky feline will get used to the scent and eventually attack the tree anyway.

Barricade that Christmas tree

Another method is to barricade the tree with objects to prevent your cat from accessing the tree from the base. Using tin foil can be useful or any other materials cats have problems getting their claws into. However, as felines are known to make swooping aerial attacks on trees, this won’t always work.

A tried and true method, however, is to simply make a loud noise whenever you spot your cat getting too close to the tree – let the animal associate Christmas trees with scary sounds and that might put them off.

If your cat tends to knock over the entire tree, there are methods to increase its stability. For instance, you could use fishing line and hooks to attach it to the ceiling or wall. However, this won’t protect the most fragile of ornaments, so place those at the top of the tree, with more sturdy (and cheaper) ornaments near the base where those little paws can easily reach.

Cat safety around the Christmas tree

Another thing to bear in mind is the danger of electric shock, which can occur if your trusty feline decides to chew on that fascinating string of lights.

The safest plan is to unplug the Christmas lights at night and check them every now and then to spot any damaged areas which could cause problems. Also be aware that tinsel offers an irresistible attraction to cats and can cause severe medical problems if eaten or chewed.

Hopefully using some of these methods will lead to a perfect and happy festive season, with peace and goodwill to cats! Meanwhile, enjoy scenes of other people’s cats destroying their Christmas tree in the video below.