Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Trees in our house

I get asked regularly how I can have a Christmas tree in the house with all these very active felines... and there is a process that works well for us, so thought I'd put in on my blog to refer people to....

First I have selected a corner of our front living room that is a little like an alcove, we live in a Victorian house and it is beside the fireplace where it is set in a little and then there is a corner, this allows me to clear a corner of the room and then use Ssscat motion detectors to deter the kitties from going near.

I get my Ssscat motion detectors at Pet Club but I know most people haven't access to this great chain of pet stores, Petsmart keeps them though... http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2751025 . Basically they are a can of compressed air with a little motion detector fastened on top, it detects any motion within a yard of the can and then spurts out a little spray of air suddenly. Cats hate the sound but of course it is not harmful.

I put these out on both sides of my little alcove so that it basically protects that corner of the room, I put them out for a few days with just an empty corner of room so that the kitties start to learn to avoid that part of the room. Then I bring out the tree, I only have an artificial tree as I've always thought that a REAL tree would be way too tempting. It's a nice one and looks pretty realistic though and tricks most folk that come to visit us. I put that up and leave that for a few days before I think put the ornaments on...so a gradual process rather than all at once.

It is important to have the motion detector things with their rear side against a wall, so that the cats cannot creep up on them and slap them over, they'd like to do that. If they can't do that, then they never seem to get close enough from the front to do that before it squirts air and them and they run away.

This is my experience to date, of course this year we have a new batch of kittens that have not seen the tree before and they just might be the ones to break the system! It's safer to say "yet" than "never" when it comes to these clever troublemakers, LOL!

Dukie checking out the tree carefully...

Trying to creep up on the the detectors...