- Put the tree in a heavy stand so it's stable and can't be knocked over.
- Screw a hook into a wall and attach a string to both the hook and the tree. Or screw the hook into the ceiling and connect the string to the hook and the top of the tree.
- Before you decorate the tree, spray it with Bitter Apple. You won't notice the smell, but the cats will hate it. Most pet supply stores sell Bitter Apple.
- Place your tree away from furniture, so the cat can't jump from a table, the arm of a chair or the back of the sofa onto the tree.
- Use an electronic deterrent, like a ScatMat, which causes a tingling sensation when stepped on. Most pet supply stores sell ScatMats. Other electronic deterrents that are safe for cats include devices that emit a blast of air or make a high-pitched noise that only cats and dogs can hear. Or try putting pine cones around the base of the tree. While they'll look festive to you, the cats won't like walking on them.
- Leave the bottom third of your tree undecorated or use unbreakable ornaments and tie them on with twist ties. Don't put tinsel where the cats can reach it. It can be a choking hazard.
- Tape down excess wire from the lights or wrap it around the base of the tree. Dangling wire can look like an enticing toy to a cat.
- Cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett suggests putting a corrugated cardboard scratcher near the tree. Use an inclined scratcher and sprinkle it liberally with catnip to give the cats something even more fun than the tree to sink their claws into. Empty cartons and boxes also make great scratchers and hideaways.
- Give the cats their own little tree with lots of dangling kitty-safe ornaments to bat around. Make your own, or buy felt ornaments and remove all the tiny pieces that could be a choking hazard.