Ask Morris: Keeping Your Cat Comfortable During a Party
'Tis the season when humans love to host a seemingly endless stream of celebrations. While I happen to love a good party—any occasion to be admired by so many people is a good occasion in my book—not all kitties share my social butterfly qualities. Here's my take on how to plan your party to please and protect your most important guest—your cat.
Let your cat make his own grand entrance.
I'm not a shrinking violet—far from it. It would be a crime to deprive the party guests of this much splendor. But that doesn't mean I'm running to the door to greet new guests every time the bell chimes like a dog. Come now. I prefer to stay tucked away out of sight until all of the guests have arrived and settled in. That's when I make my grand entrance, dazzling the crowd with my good looks and debonair charm.
If your kitty is anything like me, he'll know exactly when to join the party. Don't cramp his style by forcing him to meet your guests before he's ready— that will only ruin the party for him and everyone else. Some of us cats, however, prefer to keep to ourselves. If this sounds like your kitty, respect his wishes and don't drag him out of hiding or force him to show off to your guests.
Create a cozy spot for a party of one.
Assume your cat will want some space for some, but possibly all of your party. Don't get your feelings hurt. It's a human party, after all. Would you like to be forced to sit in the middle of a cat party for hours? What am I saying? Of course you would. That sounds amazing.
But I digress. Make sure your kitty has their own space with a litter box, favorite toys, a cozy place to sleep, and, for good measure, a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door to prevent any unwanted surprises. If your kitty is anxious as well as shy, try a synthetic cat pheromone diffuser or spray to help him keep his chill during the festivities.
Understand this whole thing is a bit stressful.
All of this applies to pre-party preparations and after-party cleanup. While I love a good party, for me the most stressful part is all the people coming and going before the main event, bringing in food and decorations, moving furniture and making my home virtually unrecognizable. I can't deny that I've been tempted once or twice to bolt when an unwitting caterer has left the back door open. Luckily, my human sensed what I was thinking and moved me to a quieter part of the house where I could focus on grooming myself for the party in peace.
Teach your guests a bit of cat-party etiquette.
And let's not forget safety. Sometimes, party guests will offer me nibbles off of their plate, but my human will give them a stern talking-to about what I'm allowed to eat. While I'm an adventurous eater when given a chance, I know some human party foods can upset my digestion or even land me a trip to the emergency vet. Not that I bother to keep track of which foods are safe and which aren't—that's my human's job. And yours.
Sometimes, my human will leave out dishes of cat treats to satisfy guests' need to spoil me as I make my rounds. Those are the parties that really make me purr.
Above all, remember that your party is your cat's party, too, whether he likes it or not. I mean, it's not like anyone ever asks us cats about these things, is it? But if you treat your kitty like your most valuable guest and plan your celebration with his needs in mind, you'll achieve party purr-fection.