Cats and Christmas Trees - advice???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mattsmom277, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    We will have a artificial tree this year (my allergies don't allow a real one *sniff sniff*). Anyhow, Matt's 3 year old cat Kobe doesn't care one way or another about the tree or decorations etc. So we've had no problems. But this year we have baby Pepper, easy child's new kitty. She's by far THE most playful kitten we've ever had. She's also very mischievous and gets into ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. She loves to climb the wooden chairs, my iron scroll headboard, our legs (ouch!), anything at all. The higher she can get the better. She's a total doll but she is a TON of work ;).

    Anyhow, wondering if anybody has any good ideas that might actually work about helping the tree situation. I have decided on no table top decorations this year, not on the dining table or the side tables in the living room. The tree however is pretty much a must-have and I know she's going to be so intrigued and I can only imagine the shenanigans I'm in for lol.

    I'd love any advice anybody has for me. Even though it's artificial, we do have plans to anchor it to avoid it getting knocked down. I will not be putting anything breakable on it, and plan to keep decorations off the lower branches. But who am I kidding? She's a climber and a jumper, she's going to be all over that tree!
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I shot rubber bands at the panther boys last year till they decided it was wise to stay OFF the table. Of course, they aren't left roaming loose in the house because they are naughty, so the rule was easier to enforce.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I used to use a water gun, but around light strings it's not a great idea, lol. There are some "keep away" type sprays, not sure how effective they are.
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    KTmom: what are toy panthers?
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I put out tree in the corner and used dark floral wire to wire our tree to the wall. And bought plasstic balls to grace the low branches.

    I was proofing against Wee, but I figure, same difference.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Mattsmom...toy panthers are big black cats. About 18 months ago, a mama cat left five black kittens outside our bathroom window. Son #2 took two of them, leaving us with three. When the kittens were big enough to climb out of the dryer box we had them in, I bought a ferret cage for them, to keep them safe from our Jack Russell when we weren't home, and since they slept in a cage, Miss KT started calling them toy panthers.

    They are now 20 pounds each, and are basically kittens in cat bodies. Pretty much anything is fair game for them to play with, carry around in their mouths, fight over, you name it. They are often destructive in their play, so we put them in their habitat when we leave for work and at bedtime. Their habitat is in a corner of the living room; the penthouse is their bedroom, the middle level is the dining room, and the basement has their box. We have them trained to hop in the cage; we rattle a bag of cat treats and call out, "Panther treats! Panther treats!" and all three come running.

    We'd kept the panther boys and the senior cats separated, because of Hubby's ancient cat (he was blind and had had several strokes, leaving him unstable while walking and unable to defend himself), but now that Dust has passed, we've introduced the two groups.
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I have a friend who, when her son was little, put the Christmas tree inside the playpen. MIght work for cats too.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I've seen some that hang the tree upside down from the ceiling, too.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    The "keep away" sprays kept the cat away for about an hour, but it kept me away for a full day.

    Just make sure the tree has a solid base, or anchor it to the wall, and don't hang any decorations you mind having ruined. I have 3 that get into the tree. One will get on to of the shutters of the picture window and dive into the tree. My goal is just to have it looking still somewhat pretty by Christmas.

    Besides, who can resist this?
  10. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    The "toy panthers" sound adorable! I love the sound of their penthouse lol.

    I'm pretty resigned to some degree to have to just tolerate her kitty antics. Luckily most of my ornaments are not breakable or shred-able. I have a similar cat picture Heather, from Matt's previous cat Whiskers (passed away, he was amazing, still miss him!). Whiskers just lived in the tree. Funny thing though, once he bent a lower branch to cat-hammock shape, he never bothered with the tree itself, just hopped into his perch and napped away. I used to just crack up.

    Pepper however is a climber of considerable skill (and determination lol). She just loves to climb everything and the higher and most precariously perched she is, the happier she seems. I don't see much luck this year in avoiding her having her way with the tree.

    I'm going to have S/O anchor the tree so at least it doesn't come right down. No tinsel, but I never use tinsel when we have pets in residence. I've read a few things such as clicker training, which can work with smarter cats who respond to persistent coaching. She does seem to be quickly getting the hang of my tone of NO when she goes on my kitchen table. She skitters quick and seems to trying to push her luck there much less. Luckily I'm pretty much home all of the time so it might be easier to teach her to at least try destruction less frequently. Who knows? At least if the whole thing doesn't tumble down, I can always rearrange some ornaments right before Christmas to make it pretty again lol.

    I don't know I've ever heard a real live person I know tell me of a good experience with the sprays. Anyone? I think they might be a waste of money?
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I know dogs dont like Bengay. I had one who decided he wouldnt keep his snout off my back while Tony was rubbing some on my shoulders so he got a snout full of Bengay. Should have seen that dog jump off the bed and rub his nose all over the He never tried to get near me when I smelled of Bengay anymore either! Anything I didnt want him to touch, I just sprayed or rubbed down with that stuff.

    You might try spraying the tree with Icy Hot. Give the kitty a good smidge of it across the nose so it knows what that smell will do to it and then spray away on the tree. If the car is at all bright, it shouldnt want to get near it again.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have mucho experience with cats in the Christmas tree, lol! We anchor ours to the ceiling most years. If you have a playpen/play yard, putting the tree in there can be a deterrent.

    We hang cat/small child friendly decorations on the lower branches. By having some toys that are okay for the cats, ours seem to be willing to not climb the entire thing. We have had to talk to them about it and remind them, but usually they are fairly cooperative. I don't use the repellents because they so rarely have any effect on our cats. they also stink, lol.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Usually when the tree falls over it's a huge deterrent to return to it. It took Bruce only 3 times to decide the xmas tree wasn't for climbing. lol I can laugh now, I was not happy at the time. Last year he left it completely alone. I'm hoping for the same this year. Or else I might invest in some rubber bands and try Mary's technique.
  14. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Hmmm, Hound you have sewn the seed of thoughts here lol. I may just put the tree up with nothing on it a few days before I decorate it. Maybe if I don't tie it for those few days, if she knocks it down she'll decide herself that it isn't for climbing. Worth a try perhaps!!!

    Janet, too funny about the Bengay! Icy Hot might not be a bad idea. She seems to steer clear of me when S/O puts A535 on my back and shoulders. I think I'm pretty set on not wasting the cash on the sprays from the pet store. No matter what I do end up trying, something tells me it should be a amusing holiday season with Pepper trotting around. I had to fish her out of the toilet the other day (she is insane, did I mention that??) and the ensuing need for a bath did not go over well for her at ALL. She gets into everything. I mean everything.

    At the worst, there may be some camera worthy shots lol.
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I've had cats all my life... They love to sleep under the tree, but only one cat has ever climbed IN the tree.

    They do NOT like some of my ornaments - basically cinnamon cookies with no sugar. They also don't like the HUGE sleigh bells.

    Just my $0.02 - good luck!
  16. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    We put our tree in a corner, and tie it to the walls as well. I really got tired of picking the tree up and redecorating it. AND, some of the ornaments will shoot 20 feet away when the tree comes down. My cat (who passed away at 16 last year) would do it time and time again. She didn't even have claws and somehow always managed to climb the Christmas tree. Never really bothered the ornaments themselves, though.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont have a cat anymore but the one I did have used to go after my fake
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, another thought, MM, if you can get a square of plywood a couple foot square and screw the legs of the stand to it, should make it stable, also, and wouldn't have to tie it to the wall and would be basicaly invisible under a skirt.

    We were worried about our jack russel (in his world, its all about the ball) thinking it was a tree of unlimited balls. But he didn't pay much attention to it. Lucked out there. He thinks apples and walnuts that have fallen off the trees are gifts from the Ball Gods....
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    I could sooooo see Betsy doing that..............except she doesn't have access to easy child's back yard where all the walnut trees are. lol
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Apple season is the worst. He brings them in and half eats them when he gets done, then you're stuck finding apple cores everywhere. He's a poopie head. We love him.