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Safely Decorating The Christmas Tree

Posted on December 17, 2011 at 3:20 AM

Question:  Would you post something about how to keep Siberians off Christmas trees?   Ours is going up this weekend!

Answer: Doors.That's the only definite way I know of. However, our Siberians rarely climb the tree (though they LOVE being under or behind it!). Perhaps this is because we have many tall climbers all over our house for them?

Aside from installing doors during the holiday rush, here are some ideas that may help ward off your budding mountaineers:

Think ahead: when you set up your tree keep it away from mantles and book cases that provide launching pads for your Siberian to gain foothold in the tree.  Use a very sturdy tree base and consider using twine or thin wire to attach tree to wall.

Strategies that work for many cats are various aversion techniques – helping them associate the tree with something unpleasant.

Warning! Although some folks recommend using dryer sheets under the tree, the fibers from them are dangerous to cat’s lungs and should be avoided.  (n.b. in fact at ForestWindSiberians we use white vinegar in the wash as the fabric softener and do not use dryer sheets at all).

·        Purchase a chair mat or two and turn nub side up, then place under  Christmas tree.  Many cats hate the sensation on their feet and will avoid the area.  

·        Another sensation cats dislike is stickiness on their paws. Get a product called "Sticky Paws," a double sided tape and tape out in a radial from the tree base.

·        Many cats strongly dislike the smell of citrus, and also of clove. Make it an old fashion Christmas this year and hangpommondar oranges or clementines, or even slices of them, on your tree – the more the merrier, but if you need to use fewer, concentrate them in the lower branches.

·        Scattering small pine cones scented with citrus or clove oils under the tree has also worked for some families.

·        There is also something called a scatmat that gives a mild shock when stepped on.  Similar ideas can be found with a motionsensitive air blast or sound.

·        Some cats hate tin foil and will avoid the tree if you wrap the lower part of the trunk in it, and/ or leave pieces of tinfoilunder the tree. Fair warning: I said “some cats” for a reason: ours LOVE tinfoil.

 

The aversion ideas are to use a tactic that is NOT connected to you. Spraying water at a cat is not a good idea since electricity and water do not mix and the Siberian knows it was you who sprayed her. When your Siberian can associate the aversion tactic directly with you,  all she  learns is that  people are unpredictable and to be wary of them.

Finally, a novel concept:  don’t use the tinsel, leave the heirloom decorations in the box this year, and decorate with un- or less- breakable ornaments and toys, then sit back and enjoy the season with your Siberian babies!

Happy Decorating!
ForestWind Siberians

 

Categories: Safe Decorating, Behavior, Problem Solving