Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many of us, but cats, unless they’re super gregarious and social, probably aren’t too crazy about all the activity that surrounds friends and family gathering for the festivities. Additionally, humans often get stressed getting ready for the holiday. Cats are creatures of habit and don’t like to have their routines disrupted. They also pick up on our stress, and your stress can actually make your cat sick. I highly recommend managing your own stress during the holidays and take some time to enjoy the season rather than constantly rushing through the days – your cats will thank you for it.
There are things you can do to help reduce stress for your cats during this often hectic time of year.
Maintain regular routines
Feed, cuddle and play with your cats at the same time you always do. If you haven’t already established regular play sessions, now is a great time to do this. 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day will provide stress relief for you and your cats.
Chances are, you’ll be spending more time away from home, whether it’s shopping, going to parties, or even traveling. Make up for this by spending extra time with your cats when you are home.
Calming remedies such as Rescue Remedy* or Jackson Galaxy Solutions Stress Stopper* formula can help your cats cope with the increased hustle and bustle during the holidays. Pheromone products such as Feliway can help reduce environmental stress.
A safe room for kitty
If you’re going to be entertaining and your cat is not the social kind, create a safe room for her where she can be away from all the commotion. Make sure she has a litter box, toys, and water in the room with her. Periodically visit her in the room even while you have guests in the house, and reassure her.
Don’t feed these leftovers
While a little turkey as a special treat is perfect fine for most cats, be careful with feeding other table scraps, especially those very high in fat. Never give cooked bones to cats; they can splinter and perforate the intestines, which can lead to a life-threatening emergency. Don’t let cats eat leftover stuffing, as most stuffing contains onions. Onions (and garlic) damage red blood cells & can cause hemolytic anaemia.
The best thing you can to do ensure that everyone will have a happy holiday season is to manage your own stress and, in turn, help your cats manage theirs. You may just find that by slowing down a little, you and your cats will enjoy the season that much more.
This article was first published in 2015 and has been updated.
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