Christmas trees are always going to grab a cat’s attention; you have just given them a tall natural object that just beckons to their climbing instincts. Furthermore, that tree is loaded with a bunch of novel scents your cat will demand to identify and file away for future use.
If there is one thing you should never do to train your cat to leave the tree alone is to spray it with water. Yes, you will cause the cat to flee for its life but at the long-term cost of a healthy relationship between cat and owner; unlike with attacking another of your pets or doing something detrimental, the water will do nothing to quash the cat’s joy at having something new in the house to use as a climbing post. Anyone whom has owned cats long enough knows that cats are smart enough to find ways to clamber atop something, usually once they figure out your schedule.
One thing you should consider when decorating your tree is to many tinsel or garlands. If your cat gets curious enough to try eating some of it, you face a coin flip of the cat’s poop sparkling with the stuff or blocking up their digestive tract, the latter of which entails a costly trip to your vet’s emergency room.
If you want to keep your cat away from the tree, the best solution is to keep it separate from whichever room you keep your tree, shares countryliving.com. In the event that this is impossible, consider a tree mat loaded with double-sided tape; it may not hurt the cat but will definitely cause it to reconsider all of that sticky tape preventing it from beginning its problematic ascent. If even the tape trick fails, consider fixing the tree to a wall and use an eye hook to keep it upright.
Plastic ornaments have the benefit of being shatterproof, meaning your cat will inflict minimal damage on your ornament collection. Strings of lights should be hung tightly to the tree. You may also consider spraying a spray of bitter apple flavoring along the lights in order to deter your cats. One final approach you might consider would be to provide your cat with several high, climbable platforms for it to enjoy throughout the year. This way, the cat’s interest in the tree will shorten as it has better, higher surfaces it knows are good spots.