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Birthdays, Christmas and New Year – all times for celebration and all events where you may find a few extra people in your home. But while you may be busy planning your food, decorations and music, there is another member of your family you need a plan for. Your cat.
While a get together with close friends and family is exciting for you, for your cat it is a potentially stressful experience. Help your cat get party ready with our step-by-step plan:
You may have heard of a pet den as this is used by pet-owners during fireworks, but can be useful for parties too, particularly at New Year. Having more people than usual in your home could make your cat feel overwhelmed, causing them to hide, so providing a space where they feel safe is a good idea.
It’s more ideal to choose somewhere your cat already spends a lot of time, but if this isn’t possible you can try to create a new space. Once you’ve found this space, plug in a Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Diffuser. This releases pheromones, which promote feelings of reassurance and happiness in cats, into the environment, and will indicate to your cat that the area is a comfortable, safe space to be in. For optimum results, we recommend you plug your diffuser in at least one week prior to your event, as this allows time for enough pheromones to be released into the environment to have a calming and reassuring effect on your cat.
Furnish the space with your cat’s bed or blankets, and spray these with Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Spray. The spray contains pheromones, and will also help your cat feel reassured. Finally, add some of your cat’s favourite toys and treats. All of these will help your cat form a positive connection with the space, so they will happy spending time there.
At Christmas and New Year in particular, you may have lots of different people coming and going throughout the day. While unlikely, there is a chance the unsettled environment may prompt your cat to stay outside for longer periods.
At New Year in particular fireworks are common and can be a source of fear for cats. Even though, as cat-owners we take extra care to ensure our cats are safely indoors, there’s still a chance they slip out, become spooked and run off.
To make sure you and your cat are reunited as quickly as possible, check the information on your cat’s collar and microchip is up to date.
Everyone knows cats love to play, and colourful party decorations provide a massive temptation.
When choosing your decorations, try to avoid anything that hangs near to the floor your cat could try to play with.
If you’re decorating for Christmas, keep in mind that some seasonal plants like holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies are toxic to cats. Even pine needles from Christmas trees pose a hazard, as the needles can get stuck in paws or throats when swallowed, leading to serious health problems or even death. When decorating you may wish to have a fake tree or plants instead, or choose a tree with a low needle drop and vacuum regularly.
To help your cat ignore your decorations, spread some of their toys around the space instead. If you see your cat showing an interest in your decorations, distract them with a cat toy so they get used to ignoring them but are still entertained.
Make sure you have some Beaphar CatComfort® 30 Day Refills on hand. For the Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Diffuser to remain effective it needs to be plugged in continuously, and don’t want to run out just before your party.
Double check that your Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Diffuser doesn’t need a new refill, and use the Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Spray on your cat’s bedding.
The spray remains effective for up to five hours. We recommend that you use it a minimum of 15 minutes before an event, but you may wish to use it 30 minutes before just make sure your cat is settled before people begin to arrive.
If you intend for your cat to stay in this room for the duration of the party, be sure they have food, water and their litter tray too.
If your cat’s feeding time clashes with your party, feed them a little bit earlier. Once people start arriving your cat could become unsettled and not want to eat. You may wish to consider feeding them in the same room as their cat den.
If you’re having an evening celebration and don’t want you cat staying out all night, choose one door as your main entrance. Make sure all other doors and windows, as well as your cat flap are shut.
Having a New Year celebration? All of the above is a MUST to limit the chance of your cat getting out and being spooked by fireworks. It is also a good idea to close the curtains, particularly in the room containing the cat den, to shield your cat from the flashes and muffle noises from the bangs.
Nobody wants to be a party pooper, but to make sure your cat is as happy and calm as possible, be sure to give your family and friends the following information:
· Only use the main entrance door, and only open it to go in and out.
· Let them know which room is assigned to you cat and ask them not to go in.
· If your cat is roaming the house during the party, ask your guest not to feed them any party food to avoid any potential tummy upsets or health problems.
No cat owner wants to see their cat upset or distressed, and will do everything they can to make sure they feel safe and reassured at times of upheaval. Having a few more people in your home is a potentially stressful experience, but providing it is a small number following this guide should help your cat feel more settled.
If you are planning a larger party with lots of people, then it may be better for your cat if you consider a different party venue, ask someone else to look after your cat for the night or taking them to a cattery.
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||Planning a Party: A step-by-step guide for your cat|