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Tips for Preparing Your Cat for Holiday Visitors

Space and routines that cats depend on can be adjusted before and while you have house guests.

Meghan Lodge  |  Dec 18th 2014


With the holiday season upon us, our usually quiet household has become bustling with visitors. Our cats have to make some pretty serious adjustments, including dealing with new smells and faces, and giving up their room (aka the guest room) for our company. In order to make everything go as smoothly as possible, we’ve created a pre-holiday routine to help our cats deal with all of the changes in their world.

1. Optimize the litter-box situation

One of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects in a cat’s life is the litter box. It’s important that your cat has a clean box of adequate size, and that it’s placed somewhere the cat feels safe using it. We have a large guest bathroom that plays host to the litter box. This works great for everyday use, but company means significantly increased traffic in that room. Before our guests arrive, I put another one in a room that won’t be used. Our cats still have access to their usual box, but the extra litter box offers a quiet, private place to handle their business when they’ve had enough people time.

2. Establish a safe room for the cats

It’s important to have an area that your cats can always go to take a break from all the holiday bustle. We move a favorite cat tree into such a room, along with some toys, a litter box, and a bowl of fresh water. We also open the blinds so the cats can enjoy lounging in the natural light. Because we live in a pretty warm climate, we’re also able to open the windows to let in fresh air for them to enjoy. I think this helps our cats come out feeling more confident than if their only option of retreat was under a bed or another piece of furniture.

3. Protect against runaways

Both of our cats are very curious about the outdoors, but Odin is a Class A door-darter. With all of the in-and-out traffic that comes with visitors, it’s super important to make sure the cats remain safely inside. We typically put them in their safe room while our visitors are bringing in luggage, for example. Once everyone has settled in, we let the cats back out with a few basic instructions to our visitors, including being aware of the cats’ presence when opening outside doors and not leaving the doors open.

4. Give your cats adequate attention

Cats have feelings, too, and they certainly don’t want to feel left out of all of the fun. If your company enjoys cats, that’s a bonus! Your cats will love getting the extra attention — I know mine do. If your guests aren’t fans of the feline, make sure you set aside some time to play with your cats. This keeps them active and happy, and it can make future visits easier to handle.

In what ways do you make your holiday routine easier on your cats? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby, Odin (cats) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.