You’ve spent hours decorating the Christmas tree, and now it is the centerpiece of your living room. It glows with festive ornaments, family memories, and glimmering lights, all carefully placed in just the right place. Your feline friend has spent hours quietly watching you make the tree look beautiful. Inside that cute furry head of hers, she is carefully strategizing her best line of attack. She will be patient, and wait until all are asleep. Then, she will finally get to climb into those branches during the wee hours of the evening. She has her eye on one particular Santa ornament for tonight. Tomorrow, while everyone is off to work, her plan is to have that faux fur squirrel decoration.
The time has come. The house is quit. Your cat focuses in on her target and begins to stalk her prey. With a stealthy crawl, she gets closer to the tree, and then suddenly stops. There is a fowl aroma. Oh, its just an awful sunny citrus smell! What have the humans done, your cat thinks with a grimace? She must retreat quickly. She scatters off in a frenzy; her plan is foiled!
I have had much luck using citrus peels to deter our cats away from the Christmas tree. To enhance the aroma, I have made a spray out of vinegar and lemon essential oil, that I can spray on the peels once or twice a week. This plan works like a charm. Here is what you need to help keep the cat away from your Christmas tree.
First, peel 1-3 citrus fruit(s). Slice the peels into about 1 inch pieces. Separately, make your spray. Do this by pouring the vinegar into a spray bottle. Then, add the lemon essential oil. (Alternatively, you could try orange or grapefruit essential oil instead.) Once the essential oil is added to the vinegar, shake well. Then, spray onto the citrus peels, rind side up. The rind side is more porous, and absorbs the spray better. Place the peels around the base of the Christmas tree, or anywhere else your cat is not welcome to explore. You can refresh the peels by respraying them regularly, as their aroma diminishes, maybe about twice a week.
Keep away from young children who may eat the peel. Discontinue use if any irritation occurs. Certain citrus essential oils are phototoxic, so avoid contact with the skin and sun exposure.
Spray where you don’t want your cat to be. But her special spots are off limits. Do not spray citrus aromas in close proximity to where your cat likes to sleep, or near her food or litter box.
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
– Norman Vincent Peale quotes
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), Professional NAHA and AIA Member, LMT