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How can I keep my cat calm at Christmas?

In this blog I will share with you how you can help your cat keep calm at Christmas and support them in surviving the festive season. This may be a time for fun, joy and laughter for us humans (if you celebrate this time of year,) but for our cats it can be a serious time of stress and anxiety.

Before we dive in

Before I share with you how to help your cat and I rave about the festive season (because I LOVE this time of year) I wanted to take a moment to show compassion and empathy for anyone who finds this time of year hard. When your heart breaks a little because loved ones aren’t by your side.

If you haven’t already you can read my blog missing your cat at Christmas.  I speak very openly about missing Pickle and this year I will also be starting to make new traditions as I adjust to being a single cat mum.

If you miss a loved one at this time of year, pause and take a moment to honour them. To feel into the emotions that come up for you in their absence. It’s important that we find, feel and release our emotions.

Now lets get into it

I realised the other day that my boys are literally the mirror of me. Leo is highly sensitive to energy and the presence of other people. Baby Max loves to find joy in all he does and thrives on being silly. They have VERY different needs when it comes to navigating the festive season. For example, Baby Max will love to rifle in the discarded wrapping paper and Leo will have eyes like saucers and run a mile at the smallest rustle of wrapping.

So, how can you help your cat keep calm at Christmas? I’ve got 10 top tips to help:

  1. Know your cat and honour their needs
  2. Create quiet spaces for hiding if needed
  3. Educate guests and family members about the needs of the cat
  4. Keep music and environmental stimuli to a background level
  5. Let go of expectations of how your cat ‘should’ be during this period
  6. Keep to your cats routine as much as possible
  7. Don’t offer gimmicky foods or treats
  8. Put down calming herbs such as chamomile, valerian root, violet leaf and calendula
  9. Make time for quiet, present, focused time with your cat
  10. Shed your stressed energy before you engage with the cat

 

Knowing what your cat needs to feel safe, secure, happy and content is the most important element when it comes to helping your cat navigate Christmas.

Here’s what I’ll be doing for my boys:

Leo
  • I’ll ensure there is free access to the space behind the spare bed so he can hide away as/when needed.
  • When opening presents I’ll leave all the rubbish in a pile and remove it in one go so that he doesn’t hear the bin bag rustling every couple of minutes.
  • I’ll likely offer him his food under cover of a blanket if he doesn’t feel safe to eat in his normal spot.
  • I’ll be asking my family to keep their voices low and clam and not to go hunting him out for forced interaction.
  • I’ll make guests aware that I have a nervous cat and will explain how they can support me with that.
  • I’ll have two herb gardens down (one up and one downstairs) so that Leo can use the herbs as/when he needs to.
  • To reduce asthma attacks I won’t be burning any scented products or giving him any themed food.

Max
  • He will be given the opportunity to rustle, rummage and roll around in the piles of wrapping paper.
  • He will be given a moment to smell, scent and investigate each gift.
  • I’ll make sure I have quiet time later in the day for cuddles with him (cue a Christmas film, hot chocolate and heated blanket moment!)
  • He will have access to the two herb gardens and I’ll re-fresh the two catnip toys he loves.
  • I’ll make sure guests know that they will likely be scented on their legs when they come into the home.

And above all, I’ll live in flow with whatever happens. I’m not going to make either of my boys be, act or interact in a certain way. Their health, well-being and emotional safety is my priority. When guests come to the house, they are entering the boys home. And quite frankly if people can’t or won’t support my needs or those of my boys, they aren’t welcome in my house!

It doesn’t have to be hard

Yes this time of year can be stressful if we let it be that way. Yes there can be a lot to do and how you approach that (in terms of your energy) will dictate your experience of this time of year.

Remember my love, you have the capacity to manage your own energetic and emotional health which will also impact how your cat feels during this festive season. If you are super stressed, anxious and freaking out … your cat will feel that from you.

So take a nice deep breath, find a happy moment or memory to raise your vibration and feel into the festive spirit.

Feel free to get in touch and let me know what you will be doing to help your cat survive Christmas. I love to hear from the Naturally Cats community. Email me: info@naturallycats.co.uk

With Love,
Julie-Anne, Leo and Baby Max xxx

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Thumbnail image by Photo by Sam Lion

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