Step 1: Find a templateStart by finding a good Advent calendar template. You can find lots of inspiration on the web. The only constraint is to make sure there is enough space to insert small gifts for your cat. We particularly like the templates proposed by HEY LOOK, Yellowblissroad, Mr P and The Lovely Drawer.
Step 2: Cut, stick and decorateDepending on how good you are with your hands, this can be the most difficult or the most fun part! Grab a pair of scissors, some glue and some colouring pencils, and set about making your Advent calendar based on the template you have chosen. If this sounds like too much hard work, you can also buy some pretty envelopes or small boxes and label them from 1 to 24. The C’est bientôt Noël (“It’s nearly Christmas”) blog has a great selection of printable number sets that you can download for free to pimp up your calendar!
Step 3: Prepare your cat’s surprisesHere’s where things start to differ from a traditional Advent calendar. Chocolate is out of the question (it’s poisonous for cats), but you can insert cat treats and small toys instead. For the latter, you can choose between toy balls, a homemade toy with a string and bell or a small bag filled with catnip (a plant with euphoric properties that cats love), to name just a few. Then, place a surprise into each window of the calendar, and be sure to save the best for last ;)
Step 4: Hang up your calendarChoosing where to hang your calendar in your home will depend on your decor and your own personal preference. We recommend making sure it is out kitty’s reach – your cat may not have the patience to wait until the 24th of December for their final treat when they catch a whiff of all the delicious scents behinds the windows of their calendar!
Step 5: Start the countdown to ChristmasNow that your calendar is finished and hanging up, all you have to do is wait to open one of the 24 boxes each day in the company of your cat. Take advantage of this daily ritual to spend some quality time with your furry companion, to pet them and to play with them.
You can also follow a video tutorial on how to make an Advent calendar. We recommend the YouTube tutorial by Crêpe au citron (Crêpe is the name of his cat!) – it may be in French but the images are fairly self-explicit!