It's almost impossible to believe that a week from today is Thanksgiving. All year long I eagerly await the arrival of the holiday season and all the joy that it brings, but as wonderful as this time of year is it can be downright stressful as well, for us and especially for our pets. Cats don't like change, and between trees suddenly sprouting in the living room and home invaders (otherwise known as your friends and family), they must feel like their little worlds have turned upside down!
The holiday season should be a happy occasion for every member of the family, whether you have two legs or four, so we put together some tips to help keep kitty stress-free from Thanksgiving right into the new year!
1) Prevent tummy troubles by not sharing holiday "people food" with your cat or decorating with edible items. Instead keep your cat's favorite treats on hand to make them feel part of the celebration. Just don't overindulge!
2) Decorate with your cat in mind. My Christmas tree is always anchored to the baseboard to prevent it from being knocked over. Breakable ornaments go on top (if they're used at all) and pet-safe ornaments hang at the bottom. Avoid using tinsel and garland (which landed my childhood cat Patch in the ER one Christmas); and remember that holiday plants such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are poisonous to cats, as is Christmas tree water if chemicals from the fertilizer used on the tree transfers to the water in the stand.
3) Let Santa arrive early. A new toy of their own can help to distract your cat from bothering the ornaments on the tree. If you don't already have a cat tree, consider buying them one for an appropriate place to climb.
4) Set up a safe space away from the holiday hubbub. Don't force your cat to socialize if they don't want to. Keep one area of your home closed off to everyone but them, and fill it with their favorite toys, blankets, food, water bowl and litter box. (This room can also double as a "safe space" for you when you need to get away from your visitors for a few minutes and decompress with your cat!)
5) Keep life as normal as possible. Don't get so busy with holiday activities that you neglect your cat's basic needs. Take time each day to cuddle and play with them as you do the rest of the year, and don't neglect to clean your fastidious feline's litter pan!!! Your cat doesn't want to be embarrassed by litter box odors any more than you do!
This holiday season we'll be using ARM & HAMMER™ CLUMP & SEAL™ odor sealing litter, the biggest advancement in cat litter history. No other litter forms a tight seal around odor and destroys it with unique odor eliminators and baking soda. Many cat moms don't realize that even after you scoop bacterial odor can keep growing. The innovative, new MicroGuard technology seals and destroys immediate odor, plus prevents the growth of future bacterial odor for 7-day odor control, guaranteed.
PetSmart carries the entire line of ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL cat litter so you can easily pick up a box while shopping for your cat's stocking stuffers! (Hint, hint!)
How do you prepare your cats for the busy holiday season?