Ah, the sanctity of your cat’s house. Kitty knows where everything is, he knows all the people in his house, and he knows the family’s schedule. Then the holidays arrive, and his safe little world gets turned upside-down, disrupted by holiday parties, loud visitors and a complete deviation from his carefully crafted routine.
You want to enjoy the holiday festivities, but you don’t want to drive your cat crazy in the process. Help maintain your cat’s sense of serenity this holiday season by following a few pre-party preparations and establishing guidelines for your visitors.
1. Be careful with cleaning products. Christmas often sends us into cleaning overdrive, sprucing up the home in anticipation of visitors. Take care, as many of these products contain chemicals that could harm your pet. If you suspect your cat has ingested any cleaning products or their harmful residue, call poison control immediately.
2. Create a safe haven. Before the guests begin to arrive, set up a quiet spot for your cat in a room removed from the celebration. Put his litterbox and bed in the room, along with his food and water bowls. Turn on some quiet music to help drown out party noise. About 30 minutes before the first guests arrive, help your cat settle down in his refuge. A short petting session may help him get comfortable.
3. Give guests a heads-up. Despite your best efforts, your cat may not want to stay cooped up in a room by himself. Let your guests know ahead of time that you have a cat. Allergic guests can take the proper medicines ahead of time, and non-cat people can prepare themselves, too. If your cat likes visitors, he’ll enjoy a few minutes in the limelight, then head off for a quiet spot to rest. If your pet prefers to be left alone, let your guests know. Be sure to tell any visiting children how to properly treat your cat, too.
4. Make sure your cat has proper identification. With a steady stream of people walking in and out your front door, your pet may slip outside unnoticed. By all means, watch the front door carefully to prevent any door-dashing, but also be prepared for the worst. Outfit your cat with a collar and tag, complete with your name and phone number. Consider other forms of identification, too, such as ear tattoos or microchips.
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