preparing cats for group gatherings
Don't let your cats get stressed out during large gatherings

 

So, you like entertaining during the holidays. You’re not alone. Millions of people look forward to all of the hub-hub and insanity that accompanies readying for a party or group gathering: the food, the cleaning, preparing guest rooms, all of the planning down to the last little detail. But there’s one thing a lot of people overlook during these times, and that’s how their pets will handle the comings and goings of a crush of people, many of which they’ve never met.

If you’ve got cats, readying them for a gathering should be just as important as all of the rest of your party plans.

cats of all ages can suffer from stress
Keep party decorations out of reach of your cat

Party Decorations & Cats

First off, if you’re going to go all out and include decorations at your little fête, consider your pets before putting them up. Cats like dangling objects and they can spend hours clawing at them and batting them around. Hang festive decorations up high enough that they are well out of reach of your cats. In their view, they might seem like a toy.

preparing your cats for visitors
Readying cats for visitors

Preparing Cats Before an Event

Also, before the party starts make sure they’ve got a quiet part of the house to retreat to with some of their favorite toys and litter box placed where they won’t be disturbed. Once the doorbell starts ringing and the noise level picks up, all of the comings and goings could raise your cats’ stress levels. Preparing a place for them in advance can help.

Easing stress in cats
Pay attention to your cat's needs during an event

Checking On Your Cats During an Event

Just because they’ve got someplace to slink off to and hide doesn’t mean your cats are fine for the duration. Check in on them from time to time to make sure they’re handling the change in their normal routine. Cats are creatures of habit and may need reassuring during a large event full of strange faces. An occasional pat on the head or soothing word from mom or dad could help them cope better.

skittish cats shouldn't be forced to socialize
Inform your guests that feeding the cat is off limits

Feeding Pets Table Food

One of the biggest problems with houseguests is their feeding your pets foods they’re not allowed to have. Make sure they understand that your cats have a set-feeding schedule that you’d like to maintain and that feeding them — no matter how cute or interested they look when begging for food — is verboten. You also want to make sure food plates aren’t left on coffee tables with tempting scraps and that garbage pails are securely covered. Poultry bones can be lethal.

Don't feed cats table scraps
Anti-social or easily spooked cats should be left alone

Skittish Cats & Socializing

If you have a cat that is skittish, warn guests to steer clear of them and not to try to engage them socially. Sometimes after a little too much holiday cheer in a glass or a can people will try and force themselves on pets, insisting all along that, “All animals love me!” No animal should be forced to socialize against its will, and doing so usually ends badly.

With Easter just around the corner, try implementing some of these easy tips for readying cats for holiday parties and group gatherings and see if they don’t help ease the strain on your pets.

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