Friday, 16 December 2016

Christmas: Cat-friendly decorating tips

Image: Pinterest
This year, we'll be celebrating Christmas with our two new additions - the kittens. We're so excited! I've even bought a little present for Martha and Decca to open (although I draw the line at a kitten food Christmas dinner...). 

Kittens are like toddlers at their most rampagingly destructive, so while we're celebrating with them we'll also be finding ways to prevent all our well-executed decorations from being sabotaged, feline style. Christmas, with all the temptation and glitter it entails, is a time for scaling the tree and bauble-eating. Or so it seems. Thinking back to when my children were at that stage, I've taken the following approach to festive decorating with new kitties in the house.

1. Wood, felt, biscuits, paper, pine cones - decorations don't have to be glass/breakable; these are all good options for the tree if your cats like to bat the baubles. Obviously you may also come a-cropper with non-breakables as we have found this year - a much-loved felt pine cone has been completely dismantled already!

Toddler-friendly Christmas decorations | Oyster & Pearl blog

2. If you do want to use your glass decorations, put them up high. Tie baubles to ribbons and hang them from the picture rail, a curtain rail in the window or a hook in the ceiling. I love the way this looks, especially when the light catches them.

Toddler-friendly Christmas decorations | Oyster & Pearl blog

3. Paper garlands are really, really easy to make, and it doesn't really matter if they get trashed. If you have a sewing machine and a stack of those little paper discs used for jam-making, you can make a beautiful, ethereal garland in about ten minutes. Just keep feeding the discs through until your garland is as long as you need.

Toddler-friendly Christmas decorations | Oyster & Pearl blog

4. Berries in a vase up high on a mantlepiece. Nothing Christmas-ier in my book. I like to bundle branches of ilex together in a shapely vase, but obviously exercise caution with foliage and check what's poisonous to cats (lilies are a big no no) if your kits are agile enough to reach your high ledges.

Toddler-friendly Christmas decorations | Oyster & Pearl blog

5. A white chalk pen is a Christmas must: write a little festive note on a mirror or draw snowflakes directly onto the window. My favourite bar in Bristol (Bar Buvette) has drawn spruce-like branches around its central window which looks ace, especially when the glass is all steamy from the merry chatter inside.

6. If you're really worried about your kitten's lumberjack capabilities, secure your tree in several places. Our tree sits in the bay window and we've tied the trunk to one of the window fastenings - fishing line is a strong, heavy duty way to tether - and have weighted the base with bricks. Fingers crossed...

Toddler-friendly Christmas decorations | Oyster & Pearl blog

7. A giant chalk tree drawn on a blackboard is a nice alternative to a real tree, if you really can't face it. Or have a look at some of the alternative trees over on Pinterest - my faves include this, this and this.

Readers with exuberant pets - what tips would you add?

Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with WHISKAS®, but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website for more information on their cat food and their YouTube channel for fantastic Kitten Kollege videos.

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