Woman keeps cat from destroying her Christmas tree using his biggest fear: tangerines

Christmas is just around the corner, and many of us have spent the past few weeks putting up the lights and decorations in our home.

But all it takes is one curious cat to undo all your hard work. Any pet owner can attest to the holiday nightmare of coming home to find broken glass bulbs everywhere after your cat knocked down the tree.

There are a number of clever solutions developed to keep your pet away from the tinsel, but one woman found an ingenious way to keep her cat from destroying Christmas using his biggest and weirdest fear.

Irene Olocco, from Turin, Italy, is the owner of a cat named Victor. When he was just a kitten, she discovered that while he was a pretty confident, outgoing cat, he had one odd weakness: tangerines.

“We were together on the couch, I grabbed a tangerine and, as I began to peel it, he hissed and ran away,” Irene told The Dodo.

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"Welcome to my humble abode" – Victor

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She discovered that this phobia applied to all orange fruits. For some reason, he just can’t stand them… and Irene discovered it was useful as a training tool.

“I began to put oranges or tangerines on the furniture where I didn’t want him to climb on and it worked,” she said. 

For the holiday season, Irene put up a decorated Christmas tree, and gave her cat a stern warning to stay away.

But it was clear he wasn’t listening: “I was sick of yelling at him to not touch the balls,” Irene said.

So instead, she decided to use Victor’s kryptonite against him: she set up a “force field” of tangerines around the tree.

“In the middle of the morning I decided to eat a tangerine and the brilliant idea struck … It worked immediately!” she told The Dodo.

She posted a photo of Victor keeping his distance from the citrus-protected tree, not daring to get any closer:

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and this worked like a charm. It makes us wish our own cats had some strange fear of household items we could use (maybe surrounding the tree with vacuums?)

With the Christmas tree safe and sound, Irene can peacefully enjoy the holidays with her cats.

What a clever idea! Share this story with someone struggling to keep the cat away from the tree this Christmas!