Do you have a scaredy cat at your house? We do. We actually have two. Pierre has been a scaredy cat for many years, but Ashton makes him look brave. Ashton’s default position is to hide. So when houeguests come to visit, Ashton’s phobias of anything out of the ordinary kick in. Visitors who are here less than three or four days don’t even see her. She vanishes into the depths of the bedroom closet or under the bed. Or if she’s caught where she doesn’t feel safe to get to the bedroom, she hides under the sofa.
What can you do to help your scaredy cat get through a visit from houseguests?
Make a Safe Place
Your scaredy cat will find a place that feels secure from the houseguest intruders. You don’t have to do that part. What you can do is make sure that place remains a sanctuary for your kitty. As much as your houseguests may want to visit with your kitty, if he is scared, let him feel that his hiding place is safe by not letting visitors barge into the safe closet or corner kitty under the bed. This is especially important if your visitors are children who may not understand being respectful of frightened, resident cats.
Keep a Routine
With houseguests around, you’re probably on the go at odd hours. If you can, try to feed your scaredy cat at as close to the regular time as possible. Your kitty’s internal clock knows what time breakfast is supposed to happen even when your alarm doesn’t go off, and keeping some of the regular routines will help her feel more normal while things in the house are changed.
As a bonus, if your houseguests are late sleepers and kitty is used to eating early, It’s great “act normal” time for you both.
Make Sure Important Stuff is Within Reach
Ashton won’t come out into the living room in front of strangers no matter what. She is one of the most food motivated cats who ever lived, but she won’t venture into sight of the scary people for dinner.
Be prepared to feed your cat in an out-of-the-way place that is convenient to her safe hiding spot. This isn’t to say that you need to feed your kitty under the bed, but if your cat is hiding under the bed, you might want to gently close the bedroom door and put down her dish in that room.
Similarly, make sure there’s a water dish handy where your cat doesn’t have to venture near scary people to drink. Likewise the litter box. Some cats can hold it for a long time, but some may need to use the box, and you don’t want them not to have any options available but your bedroom closet.
A little preplanning can make a visit from houseguests a little less stressful for your scaredy cat… and for you, too!