How to help your cat be comfortable with visitors

visitors AT HOME

Cats become very comfortable with their surroundings and their family members – human and otherwise. The arrival of visitors can make your cat feel insecure and unsure.

Why do some cats dislike visitors?

Changes in routine, such as when visitors come over, can be unsettling for cats.

Not only is your cat exposed to new people they may not feel comfortable around other aspects of their environment may change as well.

Moving furniture, closing doors that are normally open, limiting your cat's access to one room or area, increased noise levels, changes in feeding times or locations or relocating your cat's litter box can be disruptive and stressful for our cats. 

Sometimes these changes can lead to unpleasant surprises for our guests—soiling, urine marking or scratching an unfamiliar object your visitor brings over—so it's best to plan ahead!

Tips to help your cat feel comfortable when visitors come over

1.

Allow your cat to approach visitors when they’re comfortable to do so. Never force an interaction.

2.

Give your visitors a toy that your cat enjoys playing with so they can interact in a fun way.

3.

Let your cat hide away in an area separate from the visitors until your cat is ready to emerge.

4.

Teach children to be gentle when playing with cats and to not bother the cat while it’s sleeping or eating.

5.

Plug in a Feliway Diffuser, ideally 24 hours before your guests arrive, in an area where your cat spends most of its time. Keep the diffuser plugged in continuously to help your cat feel relaxed during your visitors’ stay. Replace Refills monthly, or as needed, to provide ongoing comfort and reassurance.

If your visitor is not a "cat person" and feels uncomfortable around cats, they may try to make themselves as invisible as possible so your cat does not jump on them. Funnily enough, cats find this display of body language to be non-threatening and may move toward the non-cat person to explore further!

See tips for planning a cat friendly home to help ensure you have suitable hiding places for your cat.