|Purred: Sat Nov 12, '11 4:17pm PST |
|I'm a big holiday decorator. And Coop is a VERY curious kitty. So I started when he was a kitten (he's now three), getting him used to Christmas and (even more so) Halloween decor.
Halloween came first, and I started very early. I took a box out every night. I sat on the floor with him while I opened each one. I let him sniff and smell. And I have some very large Halloween animated figures that require assembly. So I made sure that he was right there, "helping" me, as I put each one together. And he enjoyed watching.
If something lit up or made noise, I made sure he was calm, and I'd plug it in to show him what it did. And a firm, "NO!" always worked if he'd try to paw at it. But I didn't take it away right away. The key was getting him used to it and wiping away any curiosity before I put anything in its place.
By the time we got to Christmas, I did the same thing with the tree. (We have an artificial.) I let him smell it, and I took a break between each rung of the tree so that he could see the progression.
I also have the entire collection of animated snowmen from Hallmark that I put under the tree. Took each one out, turned it on for him. Let him watch it and smell each one. Put those under the tree. Then placed the gifts under MUCH later. No ribbons or bows. Just wrapping. And I also made sure that any decorations that might spark his curiosity were at the top of the tree.
I can honestly say that just letting him have his time to check everything out, he has never touched a single decoration. In fact, this year, I was able to just take out the Halloween stuff and put it up. It's become second nature to him.
It took two years of this process, and it IS tedious...but it worked.
And I do remember -- they used to make small fences that go around the Christmas tree. You could try that as a barrier as well.
I hope this is helpful...and I hope you get to have your tree!
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