The Holidays should be a happy time for your whole family, including your furry ones. If you are welcoming friends and family into your home, this might create a stressful situation for your cats. Advanced planning, some extra attention, and a little assistance from guests will help keep your cats calm during Holiday festivities.
Make sure your cat has a sanctuary to get away from it all with access to food, water, litter box, and familiar items (like toys, blankets, cat trees). If these items are normally in an area that will be occupied by guests, move them several days early and help your cat discover them in their new location. Cats are creatures of habit, so they may not like to find their favorite things suddenly in a new location. Give them a few days to get acclimated.
Remind guests that you have cats and ask for their help. Ask them to make sure no kitties bolt out the door unexpectedly; mind children to make sure they are treating the cats kindly or leaving them alone altogether if desired; ask about guests’ allergies in advance so overly friendly cats can be spared rejection; remind guests not to feed people food to your cats, even if they beg for it.
If a guest brings holiday plants or flowers, keep them away from your cat until you can ensure they are not poisonous to cats. You can view of list of plants toxic to cats at the ASPCA’s website.
Most importantly, give your cats extra love and attention. This will not only help keep them calm, it will help keep them safe from the many holiday hazards for cats: tinsel, ribbons, ornaments and hooks, candles, candy, alcohol, and more. Things that make the Holidays merry and bright often do not mix well with curious felines.
Wish you and your kitties a safe and happy holiday season!