The Cat Proof Christmas Tree DIY Plan

Christmas Trees and Cats.  Disasters in the Making.

Even Thinking about the Tree and this Crazy Cat was making my Head Hurt.

Reading about how dangerous Tinsel Eating and Pine Oil is to Cats, I Was Dreading the Whole Christmas Tree Thing.

But Christmas Without a Tree?  Not Going to Happen.

So over the Last Few Months…YES, MONTHS…I tried to come up with a PLAN to Outsmart the Cat.

What Can We Do to Have a Beautiful Christmas Tree and Keep the Cat OUT OF IT?

I Did Research and Hatched My Master Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Plan.

You are Invited to Follow Or Laugh Along.  Comments are Invited.

The Cat-Proof Christmas Tree 2-Step Plan.

Step One.  Make Fake Soap Snow.

Are you old enough to remember Ivory Soap Flakes?  Yes,  Me Too.

I Found a Recipe On-Line for Making Fake Snow from Ivory Soap Flakes.

My Theory is the Smell and Taste of the Soap should Deter the Cat.

But No Perfumed or Colored Soaps.  Only Pure Simple Ivory.

Great.  Sounds Like a Workable Plan.

But After Checking All the Big Box, Dollar and Grocery Stores…and even Amazon…No Ivory Soap Flakes.

Here’s the Scoop…Ivory hasn’t made Ivory Soap Flakes since 1978.

Great.  Doomed before I get started.

But a Brilliant Ah-Ha Moment…We’ll Make Our Own Soap Flakes from BARS of Ivory!

Grating the Soap.

To Flock an 8′ Foot Live Tree, Buy 10 Bars of Ivory Soap.

(We bought 40 bars of Soap and Had enough to Flock the Neighborhood.)  Yes, Really.

Use Cheap Graters to Grate the Soap.  Throw Away after Using.

Wear Heavy Duty Work Gloves to Prevent Cuts and Gashes from the Graters.

Grate the Bars into Flakes.  Big Flake Chunks are Good.

Store Flakes in a Box to Keep Dry until Ready to Froth into Snow.


Whipping the Soap Flakes into Snow.

Bring an Electric Mixer Outside to Whip Up the Soap.

Or Whip in the Kitchen, but this can get Messy.

Add Some Water to a Bowl of Flakes.  Mix till Thick and Frothy.

Looks Delicious, Right?!

Flocking the Tree.

First Set the Tree in its Tree Stand.

Next Add Lights.

Keep the Tree Outside for Flocking.

Wearing Plastic Gloves, Blob the Whipped Soap on the Branches.

Go Crazy with the Snow.   Some Soap Will Melt In and Disappear

Sorry.  No Photos.  We were Covered in Soap Glop.

Head to Toe.  🙂

Carefully Carry the Tree Inside in All its Flocking Glory.

Anchor the Tree with Baling Wire.  This is an Important Step to Keep the Tree Secure.

Keep Telling Yourself…Hey, it’s just Soap.  It Should be an Easy Clean Up.


The First Whiff.  And She’s Gone(!)

All Clear.  Set the Tree Topper.

Add the Trimmings.

Tiny Glass Icicles are Delicate and Look Real Against the Snow.

Felt, Non-Breakable Ornaments Just In Case the Plan Fails.

The Mouse King.

The Nutcracker Prince.

A Sweet Kitty.

Clara and Her Nutcracker.


The Final Step in the Plan…

Step Two.  Apple Cider Vinegar Pine Cones.

Load Up the Base of the Tree with Pine Cones.

Spray Apple Cider Vinegar on the Pine Cones.

Cats Hate the Smell of Apple Cider Vinegar.  Who Knew?!


IT IS WORKING!  Cue the 5 Foot Singing Dancing Snowman.

Now that the Cat is Staying Clear of the Tree, I really think the Apple Cider Vinegar is the Key.

Maybe We Didn’t Need to Do All the Whipping and Frothing and Crazy Mess.

But While I Miss the Blown Glass Ornaments of Yesteryear…

This Year the Snow-Covered Tree is the Star.

If Only I Could Get Rid of the Overwhelming Laundromat and Easter Egg Coloring Odors.

And to Complete Our Décor…Some Snippets of Christmas Joy.

Merry Christmas to All…

And To All a Good Night.  Magic.

6 thoughts on “The Cat Proof Christmas Tree DIY Plan

  1. You are SERIOUSLY hard core in the cat deterrent zone! I wondered why they stopped making Ivory flakes? Probably too many liquid detergents. Well, all I can say is hats off to you! (Or “cats off to you!”) And it looks pretty too! What a clever idea. (As for me, the tree stand legs are anchored with a box of cat litter on each one and only felt or unbreakables near the bottom!)

    The tree itself and your home is lovely. The chandelier — I swoon. So many lovely things, ornaments. As beautiful as your family.

    I send you special greetings for a Christmas together with all the love you Doodles share.

    A side note: I’m having a drawing for my Marmelade Gypsy 10th Anniversary that closes on Christmas Day. There’s a link to the drawing on any post above it you might land on. I do hope you’ll enter!

  2. Thank you Jeanie – the tree is smelly but there are no cats climbing through the branches so we are good. Merry Christmas to you and your family and here’s to good health and happiness in the New Year.

  3. Only you would go to such lengths! I love the ivory snow look and the Apple cider vinegar pine cones are genius. I will make sure the girls have seen this post. They all have cats now and have been dealing with the cat in the tree issues. Merry Christmas to you all and a happy and healthy new year! The shells in the fireplace…fabulous!!

  4. Your dedication is impressive. Our cats have never turned over the tree. They generally are curious about the tree the first year and the biggest challenge we’ve had is that they drink the water out of the tree stand. I’m glad you were able to have your tree this year, though.

    1. Hi Paulita – thanks for stopping by…Yes, my cat-proofing was a bit over the top but it really did work. But the soap/snow was a smelly mess. Next year we’ll only do the apple cider vinegar sprayed pine cones at the base of the tree…cats hate the smell and stay away. 🙂

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