Monday, December 14, 2009

Sour Puss

After the Christmas Tree fiasco I did some major googling for ways to kitty-proof your holiday decorations. I found some ok suggestions but the majority of them included major decor upheavals (surround your tree with child gates) or 24/7 surveillance (lock up your cat when you can't watch him), all of which I was not willing to implement. We already shoot them with a water spray bottle whenever they are being naughty, but contrary to some suggestions, they do not learn that being shot with a jet stream of water means NO, even after 4 years.

Then I came across a Cat 101 page that told me cats naturally do not like the smell of oranges, rotten apples, onions, and garlic. How come I have never known this? I've only owned cats my entire life! I continued reading and found out that by inconspicuously placing orange peels (the best smelling of the latter) around off-limit areas, cats will stay away. You can also spray your tree with diluted citronella oil or rub the trunk with oranges. I was weary of spraying or rubbing my tree with anything in case it discolored it, so I picked up a ¢78 orange from the store and sliced it up. Before I went the distance and distributed the slices around our trees, I tested my cats' reactions and was happy to see them crane their necks back and even run away. All systems were a go at that point.

Various sites suggested placing peels around the trees, but since I don't particularly like eating oranges, I left the fruit attached and put them in small ramekins to keep it clean.

Not only are they an unnoticeable fix, but their scent makes my house smell like I just cleaned everything. Bonus!

So far, I have not had another crime scene in my home and while some ornaments get knocked off occasionally, I prefer that to a whole tree face-plant.

Hopefully this helps my fellow feline-lovers out there!


  1. I've had cats almost my entire life & I didn't know this either. Thanks for the tip! A new kitty this year has us doing the tree in slow stages, (tree, then lights, soon decorations) waiting a few days between each stage to see how he reacts. So far, so good, but it's nice to have a back up plan - just in case!

    I had a cat many years ago that performed the Christmas Tree Fiasco, on a live tree, with LOTS of water. I think that was the last time I had a real tree.

  2. Holy cow - I need to try this! I didn't even put up a Christmas tree this year because I was afraid my cat was going to DESTROY it... This could just be the greatest snippet of info ever.

  3. It's a pleasure to share fantastic tips and tricks with you. Let me know if it works!


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