Our Christmas layout is on the floor and we have 4 cats. Options for snow are quite limited. A few years ago I bought several white shag area rugs. Our main tree where the train layout goes is on hardwood floors. I unroll the shag rugs and put our tree stand on them and then decorate the tree. The cats love the shag rugs; they are soft and provide much better traction that hardwood. By the time the tree is decorated, the novelty of the shag rugs has worn off. So, we have no problems setting up the trains. The cats are a little afraid of them and leave them alone.