Purr-fect Housecat Hosts
Once your visitors arrive, encourage them to treat your cat gently. Ask them not to challenge your cat by staring at it, looming over it or speak loudly. Remind them: if the cat approaches them, allow it to sniff their fingers. If the cat grants permission, pet it gently. Also, ask them politely to keep the door to the guest room closed at all times and to exercise extreme caution when opening windows and when leaving your residence. If children are guests in your home, simply explain to them that they are to leave the cat alone and ask their parents to help enforce your policy. If a toddler is in the house, put up a baby gate across the entry to the cat’s safe haven so that your feline won’t be bothered.
If guests are willing, ask them to help your cat overcome its fear of strangers. Have friends or family sit on the couch and toss your kitty tasty morsels. To ensure your cat’s interest in the treats, remove its food bowl a few hours before visitors arrive. If the cat comes out and takes the treat, have your houseguest repeat the process. With such pleasant consequences, you will allow your cat to make friends at its own pace, rewarding your cat along the way.
If your cat does engage in inappropriate elimination or even manages to eliminate on guests possessions, recognize that your pet is extremely stressed and is marking its territory. Don’t punish your cat. Clean up the mess with an odor neutralizer, deny cat access to the room where the accident occurred, confine the cat to its retreat for the rest of your guests’ stay and try to spend as much time with your cat making it feel comfortable in its retreat.
Over the holidays, cat owners can prepare for houseguests by having realistic expectations of their feline’s behavior and discussing their cat’s personality with their visitors. Although it is much easier to introduce a kitten or a younger cat to visiting friends and family, overtime a shy and fearful cat can learn to enjoy human company too. With a lot of love, patience and determination, your cat can become an excellent host!
How does your cat react to houseguests? How do you keep your furry friends calm around visitors? Share your tips below!
5 years ago
I think cats will vary in their reaction to visitors, based on the nature of the visitors. For example, cats may be curious about a single visitor but be fearful when multiple people come into the house.
When I have people coming into the house, I just make sure that a door to the outside is NEVER left open. My cats are not likely to run outside (they know they are indoor-only kitties), but I still want to prevent any possible "escapes".
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