Are Your Cats Ready for Holiday Gatherings? 5 Tips for Calming and Readying Fussy Felines

Got a kitty that has difficulty adjusting to visitors, added commotion, and/or more noise than usual? While some cats are oblivious regardless of the situation, others just aren’t happy when their routines are disrupted and will show it in the most pointed ways. If you have one of these easily irked felines, or you’re planning on hosting the holidays at your house this year and you’re not sure how your little darlings will react, we’ve got some tips for you.

startled cat
Photo: Pixabay/Sbringser

1. Holiday Decorations with Pets in Mind

Consider this before starting: few things captivate cats like dangling objects or unusual displays they can spend hours clawing at or batting about. Unless you don’t mind them being shredded, place most of your decorations high enough so that they are well out of reach of your kitties. In their view, they’re nothing more than toys for their personal amusement and pleasure. So, thanks, mom, for providing them.

Photo: PixabayJamesDeMers

2. Forewarn Your Guests

You can always try segregating your cats from your guests, but if they’ll be staying over, that could get tiresome and tricky. The alternative is to ask guests to steer clear of physically interacting with them and not to try to engage them socially until they adjust. Sometimes, well-intentioned people will try to force themselves on pets, often insisting, “Animals love me!” Cats aren’t creatures to be cajoled into socializing and will only do so when trust is established and they are good and ready. Otherwise, things usually end badly.

frightened cat
Photo: Kurt K.

3. Preparing Cats Before the Party

Before your gathering commences, make sure Puddin and Mr. Pickles have a quiet part of the house to retreat to stocked with some of their favorite toys, food and water, and a litter box placed where they won’t be disturbed. Once your guests arrive, and the noise levels pick up, all of the commotion could raise your cats’ stress levels. That’s why preparing a spot for them in advance is recommended.

Photo: Pixabay/vivienviv0

4. Checking In Periodically

While you don’t want to obsess about it and ruin the party for yourself, it’s a good idea to check on your putty tats every so often to make sure they’re doing alright. If they seem freaked out, it may be time to put them somewhere off-limits to the rest of the folks. Cats are known to be creatures of habit and may need reassurance during large events littered with strange faces. An occasional pat on the head or soothing words from you could help take the edge off and help them adjust.

cat hiding
Photo: Kurt K.

5. People Food & Table Scraps

A big problem with having company — especially guests that have been drinking — is their habit of feeding pets that aren’t theirs. If they’re staying with you, make sure they’re aware that your cats have a set-feeding schedule that you’d like to maintain and that feeding them — no matter how cute or interested they appear when scoping out food — is a no-go in your home. Just as importantly, make sure food plates aren’t left unattended on tables or counters with tempting table scraps and trash cans are securely covered. While seemingly innocuous, many foods and spices can be lethal to dogs and cats. Now, try to enjoy the party!

People, Pets & Planet

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