Cats are creatures of routine, and most cats won’t appreciate having this routine disrupted by the arrival of a stranger who may take over the spare bedroom, make demands on their human’s time, and generally disrupt their previously peaceful existence. In order to make having guests a pleasant experience for all members of your household, a little planning ahead goes a long way.

Prepare your cats for your guest’s arrival

If the guest bedroom is a favorite place for your cats to hang out or nap, consider moving some of your cat’s favorite items out of the room to another part of the house. If you know your routine is going to change during your guest’s stay, especially if the visit will affect your cats’ feeding times, consider adjusting your schedule a few days ahead of time.

Safety first

Your cats’ safety needs to be your first priority when you have house guests. Make sure guests know not to leave out any items that could harm your cats. This includes hair ties and ribbons, jewelry, plastic bags and other small items that could be ingested.

Doors and windows

If your cats are indoor cats, make sure guests know to be mindful when entering and leaving your home. Cats may be easily spooked when visitors are present, so be extra careful. Make sure all window screens are secure. Many cats don’t like closed doors within the home – let your guests know what your preference is.

Your cat’s routine

Try to keep your cat’s routine as close to normal as possible. Make sure feeding times are uninterrupted and peaceful. If you have a shy cat, provide a safe room she can retreat to. Never force your cat to interact with visitors. Make sure you make time to play with our cats at least a few minutes each day.

Let your house guest know about your cat’s quirks

If your cat has certain unique behaviors, let your guest know ahead of time. Allegra loves to smell freshly washed hair, and it can come as a bit of a surprise to an unsuspecting guest when she jumps up on the back of the chair they’re sitting in with their morning coffee and rubs her face against their head!

A word about house guests who are allergic to cats

I’m not going to mince words here: I won’t entertain house guests who are allergic to cats, unless they assure me that they can manage their allergies around my cats. Allegra and Ruby are my family, and they will always have the run of my house. No matter how well I clean, there’s always going to be cat hair. I believe that offering to put someone with cat allergies up in a nearby hotel of B&B is the most comfortable option for everyone involved.

In the video below, Cole and Marmalade’s dad shares some of their house rules for guests – enjoy!

What do you do to prepare your home for house guests?

17 Comments on Cats and Houseguests

  1. We’ve had Marty Cat for 4years and he’s not the friendliest of cats but he has settled into our family of just my husband and myself and is tolerant of our children and grandchildren who visit every couple months.
    My husband had a stroke this past November and since then when his sister or someone who isn’t here on a regular basis comes by he will stand on his hind legs and growl or hiss and I witnessed him strike at my brother in law, my question to you is and I believe this is him taking care of my husband as my sister-in-law was just here and I told him to be nice and he didn’t bother her except to sniff her, can you tell me if I’m correct in thinking that he is looking out for my husband?

    • It does sound like Marty Cat is very protective of your husband to the point of being territorial. It’s also possible that he smells something on the people he acts out toward that triggers the aggression. I would try to create positive associations for him with the people that are coming by to visit. If Marty Cat is treat motivated, they could give him treats when he’s not around your husband. Just be very careful with the timing of the treats – you don’t want to inadvertently reward the behavior you’re trying to change.

  2. I have a granddaughter who is allergic to cats yet she wants to come over and spend he night. It is tough because it is hard for her to control her allergy. My daughter is not too thrilled whenever she comes over because she has to deal with allergy when the child goes home.

    • Not giving medical advice, tho I’m a long time peds RN who is an avid kitty lover. Check out the medical sites of the Academy of Pediatrics, & the Asthma & Allergy. Impt is to keep the room she sleeps in as a “no kitty zone.” Those sites will have practical info on what to do. And, usually people w/”allergies” to cats have other allergies, like dust mites, pollen, other mammals. Good luck

        • Hi i have house guests for 6 months now. My cat Sydney isn’t accustomed to it yet, though she meows at them now and then and rubs herself afainst the guest’s legs.
          But i have noticed she poops a lot out of the litter, I have taken her several times to the vet and yet they send her back saying shes fine.
          And now my guests are angry that i am an unhygenic soiled house owner. Help!

          • Your cat is most likely stressed and pooping outside the box is her way of marking her territory. You can try adding additional litter boxes, maybe even put a second litter box next to the box she’s not using. Some cats like separate boxes for peeing and pooping. As for your guests’ reaction, I’d rather not comment or I’ll say something I’m going to regret!

  3. Houseguest should also keep track of any small pills that look like treats. LG ate some pill one of guests dropped and got *very* sick. Now I keep a better eye on what people bring in.

  4. I loved this video! so funny! i love that he says cats are the priority! yeah!
    INgrid, i like watching the videos you attach to the posts.

  5. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to houseguests! This is great information for people who haven’t thought about the mischief their cats may get into if friends who aren’t familiar with cats come visiting.

  6. These are great tips! I typically don’t invite people with cat allergies over because my cats will always have the run of the place, too. I’ve made the decision to manage my cat allergies with meds, but I don’t expect other people to do the same if they don’t want to. My kitties are definitely my family and they come first. 🙂

  7. I love Cole and Marmalade’s human’s video! There haven’t been any houseguests here since I moved in, but I should bookmark it just in case.

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