The holidays go together with parties and having lots of guests in your house. Some cats take this pretty good, but some cats (especially the shy and timid ones) may end up pretty stressed in this time of the year. So what to do if your cat(s) can’t handle all the party stress?
A Special Cat Room
A few days before the party is going to happen, create a special room for your cat(s). Make this is an awesome cat paradise. Include water, food, and litter box (not next to each other) and several sleeping places and places where he can hide and climb on to. Scratching posts or shelves. Use toys and/or catnip. Try anything to make this the most awesome room for your cat in this house. He has to like it, to be in there. Use your own sense and his own sense to make the room more familiar. Also put a little radio in there that can be used during the party.
You can start 2 or 5 days in advance, it depends on how easy your cat adapts to changes. The first day you can let him explore the room. Play with him in there, feed him in there. Everything you always do with him, do it with him in there. But always make sure that the experience is good and positive!
After the first day, you can let him in that room and close the door. In meanwhile you play with him, and distract him from the fact that the door is closed. He has to like it in there after all.
Over the days, gradually make the times he is in that room longer. Even try to get him in there alone and see how he reacts. When he is in there alone, make sure he cannot get bored. Make sure he has toys he can play with on his own. Does he like catnip? Use catnip, or even valerian!
Does your cat freak out? Go back to when things were going okay, and continue from there again. Has your cat separation anxiety? Make sure that your smell is all over the room, and check out on him every once in a while. You can also record your voice and play it in that room, but chances are big that he is going to look for you and only make him feel more sad.
When you use the room together with your cat, or just your cat. Play the radio (classical for example?)
In the end, you know your cat better than I do. Figure out what works best for him. Take the time and try not to rush into things.
When The Party Is Happening
The day when the party is happening, get your cat in that room before the party is going to start. Hang a note on the door that this room cannot be opened at any time because there is a cat inside. Of course, you don’t want your curious guests opening doors when they are looking for a toilet. This may result in them opening the special cat room, your cat escaping and freaking out or — even worse — escaping outside (if he’s an inside cat). Because some people have trouble reading, tell every guest not to enter that room where your cat is in.
The radio… Why the radio? The radio, classical music can be very relaxing to us humans, so I assume this can also be very relaxing to cats. But it also may lock out sounds and noise from the party. The music doesn’t need to be very loud, you don’t want your cat ending up deaf, right?
During the party, be ready to sneak out so now and then to check up on your cat. Maybe he needs to be fed, or just a bit of attention. Depending on what your cat likes, you can either give him lots of love and huggles, or you can just check where he is, see if he’s okay and continue partying. You know what your cat likes the best after all.
To get your cat to relax you can also try Feliway or Bach Rescue Remedy. Start with these things atleast a few days or weeks in advance. Feliway calms down cats by using cat pheromones and Bach Remedy Rescue is a flower essence used to calm people or animals down.
Is your cat scared for visitors and/or parties?