Q: I am planning on some remodeling in my home. How can I safeguard my cats?
A: This is a great question and one I get asked often.
Construction in the home can be stressful for all, particularly your kitties who don’t like change. With all the noise and workmen coming in and out, a frightened cat could cower under the bed or get seriously hurt. Before construction begins, please designate a “safe room” to keep your cats in for the duration. Make sure all the essentials — food, water, litter, toys — are there. Close the door and hang a sign on it that clearly states “Do Not Disturb!”
I once had a client who decided to go on vacation while some work was being done to her bathroom. She assured me it was only “minor” renovation to one bathroom and her cats, Precious and Trouble, would be in a safe place. She added that the workmen would be aware and taking precautions, such as keeping the unscreened window and front door closed. I told her I wasn’t happy about it but trusted her. However, on my first visit to care for them it was frighteningly clear that I had been misled.
There was massive construction going on everywhere and the door of the room the cats were supposed to be in was wide open! I ran around in a panic but finally found the terrified kitties and managed to get them back in their room. The workers, who had not been told cats were in the house, thought I had lost my marbles. I asked them to please not open the door again and to have the contractor call me.
When the contractor called, he said the cats really should not be there and I agreed. However, with a closed door and my watchful eye, they got through it — though, in my opinion, their owner put them through a terrible time unnecessarily.
If you are planning construction while away, please don’t leave your poor cats at home — they deserve better. Find a safe location with a friend, relative or a boarding facility. If my client had been honest with me, I would have suggested these alternatives.
Readers, listen to your cat sitter please. We have your kitty’s best interests at heart. As always I welcome your comments and stories.