Holiday Hosting Guidelines for your Cat

With the silly season fast approaching, there will be plenty of parties happening at home. While this will be fun for you and your guests, your cat might feel a bit different.
Our vets share some guidelines every cat owner should know before hosting a party.

HIDE AND SEEK

Prepare a hiding spot
Cats are generally solitary creatures and very territorial. They may become stressed by visitors to their house. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to set up a dedicated cat sanctuary. Ensure your cat has a quiet, dark room they can retreat to should the party noise become too much. Even the most social of feline friends should have an area that is off limits to house guests. Make sure they have access to water, food, a litter tray and comfortable bedding.

GUEST PREPARATION

Who is coming to dinner
Pre-warn guests that your cat prefers interaction on their terms. Ensure guests do not force your cat to receive unwanted physical contact. If guests are bringing dogs and children, keep them well away from your cat to avoid any mishaps.
Cats feel more comfortable with height so consider investing in a cat tree which doubles as a scratching post. Keep the scratching post in an area frequented by your cat. Even better if it’s near a window so they can watch the world outside for some environmental stimulation, as this promotes good mental health. Some cats will love if you install a wall shelf for them to perch high on to escape visitors. Others prefer having somewhere to hide such as an igloo bed or wardrobe.

NOISY PARTIES

Avoid noisy items such as party poppers
Sudden loud noises can alarm cats, especially if they are on the more anxious end of the spectrum. This coupled with other changes in their environment can be very stressful. Some cats are prone to urinary issues as a result of stress, so it’s best to minimise it where possible. Keep your party decorations and props to more visually appealing rather than auditory. Your guests may enjoy some soft party tunes. You could also consider playing some classical music for your cat as they tend to find this soothing. Ensure to pick up streamers and strings to prevent your cat showing interest in eating them.

TEMPTING FOODS

Keep the healthy treats close
Cats are usually more discriminate in their eating compared to dogs therefore don’t succumb to food toxicities as often. However, some cats may be tempted by delicious party treats, so make sure they won’t have access to these. Feed your feline and give your cat a special treat prior to the party so they’re less likely to be tempted by the party food. If your cat has eaten something they shouldn’t have, please contact your vet for advice.

FLOWERS

If your guests bring flowers to your home, please be mindful that some flowers are very toxic to cats. Although they are beautiful to admire, lillies in particular are deadly to cats. The petals and leaves are poisonous, but the pollen is also dangerous because if your cat brushes up against the pollen they can get it on their fur and ingest it when grooming. If you suspect your cat has come into contact with lillies, it is an emergency call your vet for advice.

UNUSUAL BEHAVIOUR

While you may do everything, you can make sure your kitty is feeling happy and well during the party, some will inevitably feel stressed regardless. Consider using products such as Feliway to help calm them.
Above all, you know your pet better than anyone else, if you are noticing some inconsistencies in their behaviour or movement, reach out to your nearest Greencross Vets for advice. If your cat doesn’t like to visit the vet, get peace of mind with WebVet where you can get vet advice 24/7 via video call in the comfort of your own home. WebVet is free for Healthy Pets Plus Members!

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