Happy holidays, my human minions and cat cohorts.
Forrest, here, coming to you with some things to remember about hosting holiday gatherings. For cats, ’tis the season to be stressed and exhilarated all at once.
To start the holidays, you bring out bins and boxes filled with crinkly ribbons and sparkly ornaments. Oh, and the temptation of tinsel! Then comes the tree, which cats naturally love, and you add all those lights and touch-worthy stuff to it. Finally, here comes the boxes, wrapping paper, and bows. And we’re expected to stay out of it all! Puh-lease!
But the battle with the Christmas tree and the gifts is only part of keeping cats happy and safe during the busy holiday season. By the time the big celebration day arrives, the newness has hopefully dropped back into an altered form of normal, which purrhaps means you don’t have to chase your cat out of the tree anymore.
Don’t celebrate your win too much yet, because once the holiday guests arrive, the whole world turns upside down for your cat once more—no need to fret, though! Your buddy Forrest has the rules you need to help your cat enjoy their holidays when the house is in a Christmas tizzy.
Holiday Gathering Rules as Dictated By Cats
#1 – Don’t force us to socialize.
Some kitties love to play host and hostess, while others prefer to watch the holiday fun from afar. That might be on the back of the couch or even hidden in the bedroom. Whatever your cat’s preferred method, let them stick to it. Shoving a cat in a stranger’s arms if the kitty is unwilling can lead to gifts of shredded skin and hurt feelings. Just remember, we’ll give our greetings when we want to!
#2 – Ply us with treats and tempt us with cat toys.
What’s one of the best ways to make friends with a feline? Treats! If you have guests excited to spend some quality family time with your cat, hand them some treats and tell them the purrticulars of what your cat enjoys when it comes to petting. A toy wand also works for ice-breaking between people and cats too. Hand your guest your cat’s favorite wand for a playtime session that ends in friendship. Basically, teach guests your peasant secrets on handling feline royalty in the manner that best suits your little prince or princess.
#3 – Offer lots of cozy hiding spots.
Even for the most social of cats, all the different smells, noises, and newness of guests can wear thin. Offer all cats, both shy and chatty, extra spots to hide or just chill when they need a break. Even if it’s just an extra fluffy blanket on your bed, give your cat a peaceful spot all their own away from the holiday hubbub.
#4 – Be sure guests know not to let the cat out.
Cats can freak out in stressful moments, and an ajar door can be the out we need. Maybe we aren’t the most rational when scared, but when a cat sees an opportunity for escape in a stressful moment, they tend to bolt for the first out they see. If that happens to be an exterior door, well, that could lead to trouble on a whole other level. So, be sure everyone remains mindful of closing the door and keeping their eyes peeled for lurking cats when they go in and out.
#5 – Have guests check bags for “gifts” from your cat.
I’ve met a cat or two in my day that enjoys gifting humans their toys by dropping them into bags or shoes. If your cat is a gift-giver, ask your family and guests to check their purses, luggage, and shoes for any toys kitty dear wanted to share with them. You might also mention this when giving someone a present in a gift bag, especially if that gift bag has been under the tree since it’s one of a kitty’s favorite places to ruminate on the universe.
With all those twinkly lights and glittering balls, a cat can certainly get lost in their thoughts in that joyful beauty. But I digress… Help your cat hang onto their toys by checking bags and shoes.
#6 – Last but certainly not least, keep feeding schedules as close to normal as possible.
Cats are creatures of habit, and one thing stands paramount among our routines—the feeding schedule. With guests visiting and staying, a typical day’s routine indeed shifts. And while we can be flexible on some things, the dinner bell ain’t one of them! Be sure you stick to feeding your cats at their regular times to reduce the stress of all the hubbub in their home.
So, to put it simply, don’t forget to feed the cat if you’d like a silent night this Christmas!