Having pets in your home during the holidays can sometimes prove disastrous for decorations, but one cat-loving couple built a unique Christmas display that doubles as a toy.
Chris Poole and Jessica Josephs run a YouTube channel dedicated to their two cats, Cole and Marmalade. The Illinois couple told ABC News they had to "get creative" with their Christmas decorations since a traditional tree was out of the question.
Their solution? A DIY "gingerbread" house for cats.
"The reason we decided to build a 'gingerbread' house is that we can't have Christmas trees anymore [is] because Marmalade, our ginger cat, destroys them," Poole said.
Poole and Josephs show the step-by-step construction process using cardboard boxes as the frame for the structure to resemble the festive cookie and other materials, including glue, paper plates and wrapping paper for everything else.
"Purrlease be sure to use cat safe materials for the decorations," the YouTubers note in their video description.
"Not only is the gingerbread house cat safe, it's also great enrichment for Cole and Marmalade since they're indoor cats we do lots of things to keep them entertained," Poole said. "We hide cat treats in and around the [gingerbread] house each day now so they can 'hunt' them down," he added.
Using round white paper plates the roof gets a snowy shingle effect, just like a classic gingerbread house. And scrunched up white paper gets glued around the exposed edges to "frost" the joints of the house.
They complete the look with cat-safe plastic Easter eggs and colored paper to give the gingerbread house its signature candy-like facade.
Poole and Josephs even built a festive sleigh "cat bed" with the leftover materials for an extra bonus. Poole said the project took them a full day to build and film the making of the gingerbread house.
"Each year we create a different Christmas-themed cat plaything to have in our living room," Poole said. In the past, the duo created a cat-proof Christmas tree, a box maze and a deluxe cat ball pit.
Marmalade and Cole love to play all over the festive and cat-friendly setup, and Poole said they love hearing that the videos inspire other cat owners to create fun things for their own cats to play in.