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Tips for Thanksgiving with Your Cat

Use these tips to have a great Thanksgiving with your cat and your visitors.

Thanksgiving's coming, and it can be an excellent time to spend with family, friends, and your furry loved ones. Use this guide to make sure everyone in your home has a fantastic holiday.

Overnight Guests and Your Cat on Thanksgiving

Are you hosting overnight guests at your house for Thanksgiving and feel worried about how your cat will do? That's a valid concern because not all cats like the commotion that comes with having extra people in their homes. And, of course, you want your kitty to enjoy Thanksgiving too. If you follow the tips we've laid out here, everyone in your home should have a great holiday.

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Consider Your Cat's Personality

The first thing to think about when you're planning for overnight houseguests is your cat's personality. They're all different. Is yours laid back and likely to jump on new laps and rub on guests' legs? Or is he skittish and apt to hide the entire time strangers are around?

Knowing your cat's personality will help you plan for his comfort. If your cat is afraid of people and doesn't like commotion, it's best if you create a refuge that's quiet for him to retreat. Depending on the cat and how timid he is, the following may all work:

  • A small room with a door that closes within which you keep the cat the entire time you have guests. You should outfit the room with a bed, food, water, toys, a scratching post, and a litter box, and you can play calming music to drown out some of the guests' noise. You or another family member should visit the kitty in the safe room periodically for cuddles and an interactive play session.
  • A big dog crate with an open door that your kitty can enter and exit at will. There should be a bed, food, water, a litter box, and toys inside, and you should put the crate in a quiet area.
  • For some cats, it can be as simple as providing a Cat Cave placed in a quiet corner.

Whatever refuge you choose for your cat, make sure your guests understand that they shouldn't follow him into it or disturb him while he's there.

Give Your Guests a Cat-Free Place to Be

Likewise, it's a good idea to provide your guests with cat-free space to hang out on occasion, especially if they don't have cats of their own and yours is outgoing. Usually, it works best to have that space be the guests' sleeping area. That way, if they need to take a break from kitty company, they can do so.

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Consider Guests' Allergies

Check with your guests about cat allergies before they come to your home. Some people have bad enough cat allergies that they won't be able to stay in a house where cats live. But others can get by if certain precautions are taken. Vacuum thoroughly with a vacuum containing a HEPA filter, use a lint roller on furniture, and make sure your cat isn't allowed to climb on the guest's bedding.

Pay Special Attention to Kids

If children are on your guest list, you'll need to make sure they understand how to treat cats respectfully. It's best not to allow kids around your cat unsupervised to keep them both safe.

Be Diligent About Food Safety

Thanksgiving often brings lots of special food with it. But some human foods are toxic or otherwise dangerous to cats. Here are some of the foods that are dangerous to cats. Review them with your family and any guests who come to your home:

keep the ravenous kitty out of the food
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Bones
  • Fatty foods
  • Alcohol
  • Onions, garlic, and chives
  • Dairy
  • Raw bread dough
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Caffeine
  • Raw eggs
  • Tobacco and marijuana

Practice Good Fire Safety

You should keep festive candles well out of reach of your cat if you use them at all. Cats can knock over candles to start a fire or catch their tail on fire by getting too close. Consider battery-operated faux candles instead.

Also, liquid potpourri is dangerous around cats. They may knock it over or lick it, resulting in severe chemical burns to the mouth.

With just a few easy-to-implement safety and comfort tips, you're bound for a great Thanksgiving holiday with your cat.

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Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.