Christmas is a fun time for all the family, however our pets may find the change in routine stressful. Cats are particularly prone to this as they like to be in control. To keep them safe and happy this Christmas, here are a few suggestions.
Make a safe space at home
If you are likely to have lots of visitors over the Christmas period, make sure that your cat has somewhere safe to hide where she won’t be disturbed. Be strict with your guests and don’t let them pester your cat, particularly children if your cat is not used to them. Allow your cat to explore in their own time but leave them alone if they don’t want to be sociable. Cats often prefer to sit higher up to give them a sense of control over their environment. Providing a cat tree or suitable windowsill can enable them to do this.
Think about their care if you are going away
If you are taking your cat to a cattery over the Christmas period, help them to cope with the stress by bringing down the cat box a few days before you travel, spray it with Feliway pheromone spray and encourage your cat to go into it voluntarily – put a comfortable bed into it and throw treats in. If you can arrange for someone to look after your cat in their own home, that may be less stressful.
Help them to cope with change
There are various supplements and pheromone diffusers and sprays to help reduce your cat’s stress level. A Feliway diffuser is a great asset to have and will help to make your cat feel more secure. Zylkène is a natural complementary food which helps pets to cope with new situations. It is best used daily over the whole Christmas period.
You could even consider changing your cat’s diet to Royal Canin Calm which is designed to help reduce stress levels and reduce the digestive, urinary and skin problems which increased stress can cause. As with any change in diet, a gradual change-over is recommended.
Make time to play with your cat
Encouraging your cat to express her hunting instincts can also help to make her feel more in control of her environment. In all the hustle and bustle, do make time for your cat and play with her.
Don’t ignore health concerns
If you notice that your cat is not herself over the Christmas period, don’t ignore this. Cats are very good at hiding signs of illness until it is quite advanced so it is important to get them checked as soon as possible. Even if your vet is closed over the bank holidays, there will be emergency provision so do take advantage of this if you need to.