Most cats, upon seeing a visitor for the first time, will run and investigate from a distance. If you are having guests over, consider that this is going to be a stressful time for your cat. It’s best to plan some evasive actions long before guests arrive.
It’s not just more people, but more noise, often with strange items and unusual smells, maybe even the smell of other animals – all of that can be frightening. You will have to train both the cats and the guests.
Let visitors know in advance of coming over that you have cats, in case they have allergies. If they still want to visit, make sure they understand that cats normally do not like to be touched by people they don’t know. Let your visitors know that they should never try to pick up a cat they are just meeting for the first time, because, in the wild the only thing that picks up a smaller animal is a predator, so this action could instinctively frighten your cat. The natural greeting is to hold out your hand and let kitty smell you if he is interested.
Always make sure that the cat has clearance to run to the back of the house if he feels unsafe.
Train your cat in advance to get used to staying in a closed-door ‘safe’ room far in the back of the house, preferably in a bedroom with a bed to hide under, with food, water and litter box, toys, some calming music or TV to help distract from the strange voices, plus a calming pheromone diffuser if necessary. Having the same safe room every time will help your cat cope much better.
Heron’s Crossing provides end-of-life care for pets in the Metro Atlanta area. In-home appointments with compassionate vets are available. If you’d prefer a home-like setting away from your home, our Decatur office is also available by appointment.