Just like when people meet, it takes a while for us to get to know each other, become comfortable being around one another, and finally become friends. The same is true for cats meeting new people too. Visitors are unfamiliar, potentially scary, new objects in your cat’s environment. It will take time for the cat to get to know your company and feel relaxed. Changes associated with new people in the house may include:
The longer the visitors stay, the longer you may have a nervous cat.
Ask visitors to ignore the cat. Interestingly, non-cat people tend to ignore cats naturally. Your cat finds this body language non-threatening and may move towards the uninterested person to explore further. Let your cat approach visitors when comfortable.
If your cat is out, give your visitors a treat she really likes. Then have your guest throw the treat to your cat. This shows your cat that the visitor is a fun person to be around because she gets treats.
If your cat wants to hide, that’s ok. Let your cat hide where she feels comfortable. Provide a box with extra blankets or towels in it, your cat may want to burrow into it to muffle the sounds.
If children are over, be sure to supervise their interactions with your cat. Children like to pet animals but if they are very young may not understand the difference between “good” petting and “bad” petting.
Use a FELIWAY® diffuser where your cat spends the most time. Plug the diffuser in at least 48 hours prior to having company over. FELIWAY® provides your cat a signal that her environment is safe and secure. Visitors can also spray their clothing with FELIWAY® spray as another way to make the cat feel more comfortable
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