Keeping Kitty and Guests Happy
Ignoring your guests may seem rude, but for your cat, it may be proper etiquette. Sometimes parties and cats don’t mix – depending on the nature of your cat and your guests. Plan to give kitty a place for retreat if your party gets too wild, or if you have guests with cat allergies.
"Cats should be allowed the opportunity to hide," says Dr. Debbie Horwitz, a veterinarian and board-certified behavior specialist. Many cats stress out when people come over. While you’re having fun, your poor kitty may be quivering in fear under a piece of furniture, or worse, held and petted against her will by a guest.
"There are always people who say, 'Oh, animals love me, let me pet your cat.' But if you know your cat gets stressed by unfamiliar people – or by crowds or small children – don't give in to this," she says.
Horwitz recommends planning ahead and equipping a "safe room" where your cat can hide without stress until guests leave. Put food, water and, most importantly, a litter box in the room.
Post a note on the door letting guests know that there is a cat inside who doesn’t want to be disturbed. It's a thoughtful touch – for your cat and your guests – especially those with a cat allergy.
Does Your Cat Want to Be at the Party?
If you're deciding whether your cat may want to mingle with the guests or not, try to look at the situation from your cat's point of view. "If you think your pet doesn't want to be there, you're probably right," says Dr. Horwitz. And no matter how much your guests may love your cat, your cat doesn't have to love them back.
Are Any Guests Allergic to Cats?
It’s always proper etiquette to let your guests know that you have a kitty, as one or more invitees may be allergic to cats. Since there's really no way to get all the cat hair and dander out of your home, even with the most thorough cleaning, be sure to let any visitors know about your pet in advance. This goes double for overnight guests.