Temporary Training

How can we keep our cat away from something that suddenly appears... knowing that it's going to go away again, soon?

While the holidays pose special challenges for us, we must not forget that this also goes for our cats. A place they are used to "owning" suddenly has new stuff on it. But now they aren't supposed to use it!

We can see how this is puzzling to them.

There are ways we can communicate these "short term training" concepts to our cats.

Let them investigate. We hope the cat won't notice the three foot angel with glittery wings, long hair, and lace-laden dress; but this never works. So we show it to the cat, letting the cat investigate it from a safe place on the floor, even for many minutes. Sometimes, all the cat wants is to satisfy their curiosity about this new thing. Better on the floor, with us supervising, than over the mantel, where the footing is uncertain.

Give them new spots. If we are taking a "cat's spot" for decorating purposes, make sure we give them a new spot, and make a fuss over it. This new spot can be as temporary, or as permanent, as the old spot is. Now is the time to bribe with treats.

Signal them with cues. Create a system of signals. Wave our hands in front of the garland and say "No." Pat their new holiday pillow or rug, and make happy sounds about it. We can't assume the cat knows what we want unless we tell them.

See more with my post, Sharing the same space.
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