cats and artificial Christmas tree

Sally BrownleeNovember 29, 2010

I put up a very small artificial Christmas tree yesterday that I have not used in years.

My one cat will not stop nipping at it. ( I have 3)

I have tried searching the internet to find out the dangers. Not a lot of warnings, but what I found are digestion issues.

He has had digestion issues in the past and been given some lactulose (laxative) so I gave him a little (half dose) this morning.

I haven't seen any evidence of him actually pulling off any needles, just chewing.

Would you take down the tree?

Am I over-reacting?

Have any of you used bitter apple spray with success?

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Supposedly cats don't like oranges. Maybe you could take a bit of fresh orange rind and rub the tree branches where the cat is chewing. You may have to reapply.
Also, not meaning to be funny, maybe you could cut some star shapes out of more rind and hang them on the tree where there is mischief. Your not spraying stuff on your tree that's liquid.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 10:14AM
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My cats would eat the fake ones too. I don't think there's any way to stop it. You wouldn't think it would taste very good, but for some reason they like it. I lost them both last year, and would give anything to be able to "shoo" them away from the tree now.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 10:22AM
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We have 11 cats and only artificial trees. Depending on the tree itself you'll want to make sure they can't cut their mouths and if they eat it, they'll poop it out. Personally I've never had a problem with the tree itself, only some of the ornaments. If I find them misbehaving around the tree I do one of two things, put aluminum foil around the bottom of the tree and between some of the branches. They hate aluminum foil. If that doesn't work, a spray bottle a couple of times will cure it.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 10:56AM
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One of our guys is attracted to the tree, he loves to chew on anything plastic. Nothing really stops him, and even a squirt bottle only delays it till I am out of sight.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:06AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The pictures at this website have always cracked me up. Not much help to you, I'm afraid.

Here is a link that might be useful: Decorating the tree

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 12:00PM
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rhizo_1 That was a cute site. I was going to add (which they mentioned on the site) to keep tinsel and those old fashioned silver icicles away from cats. very dangerous!!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 2:22PM
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I have a water bottle that I put a spray nozzle onto and keep it next to me with water and when mine would go somewhere prohibited, it could shoot a stream across the room with great accuracy. You might mix a little vinegar in there, just be careful not to get it in their eyes.

Another thought is a small bowl of vinegar left by the tree for a day or two. Most cats detest the smell of vinegar and it would likely repel them.

It's probably an issue of something new and trying to mark it.

My tree is on a microwave stand and mine leaves it alone. She checked out the box for many days before it was unpacked but no problems since.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 2:57PM
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I wonder if Bitter Apple would work. We sprayed the real tree the first year we had Sparky, It was from Petsmart.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 8:41PM
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I haven't been able to keep my cat Smokey out of my artificial tree either. He was better last year ~ at least he waited until Christmas was over. He's getting older now and he's an indoor cat. He does chew on it a llittle but I don't know if he swallows it.

Someone else mentioned Bitter Apple spray to me so I'll have to try it. I'm going to FL to see my daughter and grandson this year so I won't be putting up a tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smokey's Christmas Tree

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 5:02AM
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For years we had a cat that used to climb up inside the tree and sleep...nothing stopped her and it kind of became a game of "where's Boo hiding". Sadly she passed years ago.
We also have a very LARGE village set up and the only thing that I have come up with to keep the cats out is pepper. I use white pepper and I sprinkle in around the base of the tree and around the viallage in the snow. We have 3 cats now and so far so good.
Hmmm maybe I should bite my tongue for saying that!!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 6:12AM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

rhizo, that is a great website! Thanks. I'm going to send it to all my cat owning friends. I haven't put up my tree yet. It will be soon. The cat and one dog are good, but I have a new puppy, now seven months old and I'm a little nervous about how she will behave. I was playing cards with friends last night and heard loud chewing. I thought Carmelita was working on one of her nylabones. Turns out she was chewing on the leg of the table we were sitting at!!!!! That was a new one. I wanted to strangle her, but had to laugh. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:43PM
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