The holiday season brings in plenty of festivity and fun. It may also bring house guests to your home, which to date has been the personal haven of your furry companion.
Cats are not that friendly pets and may find it difficult to accept new contenders in their domain. So what can you do as the pet owner to ease their discomfort and at the same time make your house guests equally comfortable and welcome?
Start by inquiring your house guests if any of them are allergic to cats and inform them about your pet. If you do have a guest who is allergic and will be staying with you, you will need to vacuum clean your house completely to get rid of cat hair and other allergens.
Groom your cat before their arrival and limit pet access to their room. Try placing a HEPA filter in their room as it can help them cope with mild allergens during the day after a pure allergen free night. You may even have to request your guests to consult their doctor about recommended doses of their allergy medicine.
If your guests are not familiar with cats you may have to help out with their behavior with your pet. Tell them that they need to give the cat its space and also not to try to be over friendly with it. The cat will make friends at its own pace and according to its whims. Tell them not to play power games by trying to stare down the cat.
In case you are expecting children, let the parents know that they need to keep their children from teasing or disturbing the cat. In case of toddlers you may do well by placing a child gate to the pet’s safe haven.
Prepare your cat with the help of anxiety reducing products like Comfort Zone® along with Feliway®. It helps the cat to reduce anxiety and feel less stressed when seeing new faces around. It should be plugged in 4-5 days before the arrival of guests.
This is especially beneficial if your cat is not used to have new faces around and you are worried it may react with inappropriate elimination or aggressive behavior.
You may also need to relocate the litter box if it is in an area where the cat may be disturbed by the guests. Relocate it a few feet everyday till you reach the desired new space.