by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
A huge, succulent bird bigger than himself is roasting in the oven! What other reason would a cat need to love Thanksgiving? Some aspects of the holiday can be troublesome to pets, however. Think ahead to make the day more enjoyable for kitty, too.
If you’re having the whole family drive up to Wisconsin to spend the day, make sure your cat’s food dishes and litter are in a quiet place, especially if youngsters are coming. Their excitement may overwhelm your cat. Even a roomful of quiet adults can intimidate some cats. Very shy cats may prefer to be left in a quiet room with their food, water, and litter. Leave the door ajar in case kitty wants to slip out and investigate once everyone has settled down.
Don’t feel surprised to see your cat sitting on the “cat hater’s” lap. Shy cats tend to home in on the only one in the room not calling them!
Compared with our relatively insensitive sniffers, the smell of turkey roasting surely must smell a hundred times better to the sensitive nose of a cat sitting in the kitchen. When it’s mealtime, reward his patience with a few cooked pieces served in his dish. That should keep him from playing the beggar once everyone is sitting around the dining room table. Offering tidbits from the table is simply cat training for “come to the table to get handouts”–not the message you want to convey to kitty.
If you’re traveling for the Thanksgiving weekend, you can take your cat with you, but if he hates riding in the car, leave him home. It’s lots less stressful for him to be in familiar territory. If you leave kitty at home, have a pet sitter drop in on kitty. It’s really the safest, most humane way to care for kitty if you can’t be there in person. Most cats hate kennels and feel more comfortable in their own home with a pet sitter caring for them.
A reliable cat sitter can make sure he’s fed and has clean water. Keeping his litter scooped while you’re gone also helps ensure the box will be used. Pet sitters also take time to cuddle and play with your cat (if he desires), which can help break up a boring day. Don’t forget to leave the cat sitter your cell phone number and the land line number where you’ll be staying in case your phone runs out of power or you can’t hear its ringer over the hubbub of the festivities.