Do your cats enjoy the holidays, or does it add stress to their world? With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a good time to offer some tips for keeping your cats (and guests!) happy. Read on for 6 holiday tips to keep cats calm (say that fast five times, LOL!)
You’ll also like how to pet-proof your holiday in this post.
6 Holiday Tips to Keep Cats Calm
Schedules goes out the window during the holidays. School breaks mean kids come home, holiday shopping and parties take hours away, and family visits mean absences or STRANGER DANGER in the house.
Less worry about your cats being stressed, and your guests being offended by cat-centric issues (WHEW, what’s that bad cat litter SMELL???!) means less stress for you and more time to enjoy the holidays. Here are ways to make a cat safe Christmas tree, and use these tips to help keep your cats cool, calm, and collected.
Change Schedules Slowly
Cats love the status quo. They dislike abrupt change. Anything that throws their routine out the window may prompt them to “spread some spray” around to self-calm. Yes, I mean they may urinate outside the box, because the smell of their own signature odor comforts and helps to keep cats calm. So if you KNOW the schedule will change, introduce changes slowly to keep cats calm.
Give the Sniff Test
A clean kitty potty helps ensure your cats will maintain litter box allegiance. Remember that a cat’s sense of smell is many times more sensitive than our human noses. So by all means, keep the box clean but also avoid spritzing strong holiday scents that may offend your cat. Baking aromas and roast turkey smells as well as a pine-tinted tinge on the air are fine.
As much as possible, maintain the status quo. Feed at the same time even if you must move the food bar away from the guest bedroom, for example. As long as MOST of the routine stays the same, most cats will be flexible.
Use Baby Gates
I love using baby gates to control temporary access to portions of the house. Baby gates can keep the cats (or young kids) away from each others’ territory. You don’t want the toddler in the cat’s litter box! And neither does the cat. When a youngster will visit over the holidays, invest in some baby gates and set them up early so your cats become used to the notion. Kitty can still see through them, too–and may be able to vault over some. That works well to keep obnoxious visiting dogs away, while allowing the cat continued run of the house. Or, if you don’t want cats to get through, you can stack two shorter baby gates to keep climbing cats at bay.
Train Your Guests
Many of our friends and family also love cats, and the people who don’t…well, maybe they aren’t great friends, LOL! Just be sure to set down some rules of the house. Too many treats can upset kitty tummies. And even the most affectionate cat may get fed up with being passed around like a stuffed toy.
Give Cats Privacy
We want our cats to be part of the celebration. Some kitties, though, become fearful or over-excited by strangers in the house. In these cases, it is not cruel to shut the cat in a room by herself. She’ll consider it a vacation from stress, and you won’t have to worry about her hissing at a guest or leaving a hairball in someone’s shoe.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!
Fantastic tips, most cats dont appreciate company and like to be left alone. It is so important to give them the required space
Great info and ideas thanks
I always look forward to a couple of weeks relaxing with my girls during the holidays. It’s a must that litter box odor is controlled.
The holidays are definitely the time to start planning how to reduce stress & keep the stinkiness to a minimum. Great suggestions.
Love & biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
I wish more people had voted for something that didn’t stink! This sounds like a kitty litter worth checking out!
I am currently without a cat in the house but I wish I’d had these tips when I did. Fortunately, the cats I’ve had (except for my two feral fosters years ago) loved dogs so I never had to separate them and they loved people so company was never stressful for them. I always had one extra litter box than I had cats in the house and that seemed to help a lot!
I just bought a box of this litter and Trout didn’t hate it and we didn’t notice any stink. I’m not sure what color the box was, but since he’s out already I’ll see which versions are available in my area! I don’t even know how to talk about the election. We did well here in Maryland anyway with our congress people, so that’s good. I’ll go shopping tomorrow!
Great tips and sounds like great litter. We got a baby gate to keep Kilo and Nala separate and keep Kilo out of Nala’s litter box and food.
I am looking for a good litter and have tried several I don’t like. I don’t like clumping ones that create concrete blocks. I’ll try this one to and see how it goes. (Also, I’ve got baby gate ‘scars’ all over my walls and I’ve never had a baby in the house).
Me too, Sherri, I’ve been looking for about six months now. I hope to do a round up on the blog soon, comparing the various litters and how I liked each.
So no pumpkin spice litter? Baby gates are great until your dog figures out how to knock them over..
Yes, some dogs will do their best to bull through. Magic was taught as a pup that he could not go through…and it’s stayed with him although he’s now 90+ lbs. *shrug* Depends on the incentive, of course!
7-day odor control! That sounds pretty darned effective – most definitely will share this info with our kitty loving friends!
Yes, that’s a big plus with this litter.
Important tips to keeping your cats calm and relaxed during the upcoming holidays. Cats are so very sensitive to changes in their environment and they thrive with routine and of course, a clean litter box 🙂
Thanks Kelly. It’s funny but my two cats have swapped ownership of the boxes…now the big cat uses the little one, and vice versa.
Lots of helpful tips. My cats were always quite fearful, tough starts in life. The best thing for them when company would come was to be together in one room with the door closed. Less stress for them, and I could enjoy my guests without worrying about how the cats were coping.
Exactly! That’s often the best option for everyone.
LOVE your opening humor in this post. What I can say is that we use Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal and LOVE it! Our home does not smell bad, even for those non cat loving visitors!
Thanks Joely! I couldn’t resist…chose the date for the post and then at the last minute realized what day it was, so…
Sounds like a great kitty litter! We’d use it if we had cats.
Thanks for visiting the blog, Nichole.
Great tips. Kitties can be so sensitive, it’s so important to take things slow with them. Thanks for sharing.
Appreciate your note, thanks!