Your Cat Etiquette Guide: How to Help Your Cat Mind Her Manners at Holiday Parties

The Thrill Seeker

Does your cat see an open door as an invitation to escape? Consider making her comfortable in her cat-safe space while guests are arriving and departing. If she wants to participate in the meet-and-greet, a cat harness and leash will help keep kitty close and safe — as long as you've helped her get accustomed to wearing them long before the party.

Maybe your cat’s not a door dasher — instead, she’s an adventurer who likes to scratch or use her claws to climb. To discourage climbing on or scratching the furniture, provide high resting areas and designated scratching posts. Train your cat to use these spaces before the party and redirect her attention to these areas should any off-limits scratching or scaling take place.

The Nosy Parker

If your kitty is known for being nosy, you will need to carefully manage her environment during the party. Keep guests’ belongings out of reach by hanging them up or placing them in a closed room. And pay attention to decorations, drinks and food; curious cats may encounter dangers on countertops or tables, such as a lit candle, off-limits food items and breakable dinnerware.

Cat-proof barriers can help keep your cat out of dangerous spaces like the kitchen or cloakroom; a cat-safe room can give her a place to play without endangering herself. Activities, such as stuffed food puzzles, can help occupy her attention and satisfy her appetite.

The Split Personality

Is your cat calm and cool until someone tries to pet her? Warn guests of her unpredictable behavior and offer suggestions for ways to interact with her that won’t freak her out. If she likes to be petted in certain areas — on her head and neck, for example — but hates being touched in others — belly, back — let your guests know this up front, so no one gets swiped with a claw.

If your cat especially dislikes being touched or interacted with or if you are concerned that your guests won’t remember how or where to pet her, make kitty comfortable in her cat-safe space for the duration of the party.

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