How to Relieve Your Cat's Holiday Stress

More on PawNation: Behavior, Cats, Holidays, Kittens, Kitty Stress
If you were 12 inches tall and suddenly your home was invaded by blithely stepping feet or hordes of small children who run around screaming, trying to "play" with you, you would probably spend a few hours huddled under the bed. Or if your people spent hours cooking something that smells like it should be for you, but then took it away, leaving you alone for hours, only to return reeking of even more delightful food - and worse yet, other animals - you would probably end up a little stressed out. No one likes seeing their cherished routine thrown out the window!

So what can you do to help your cat cope with holiday meals? Read on and find out.

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1. Leftovers are nice. Very nice!

I don't often recommend feeding your cat "people food," but once in a while - like on special days such as Thanksgiving - it can't hurt. If you bring home extra turkey, make a point of sharing a little bit with your cat. The quickest way to a cat's heart is through her stomach, after all.

Be careful not to give her any meat that's heavily spiced or salted: Plain meat without the skin is best. Onions and garlic can be toxic to cats, so don't give her any stuffing; of course, it goes without saying that Grandma's creamed onions are out.

2. Give her some Rescue Remedy

Say what you will about flower essences, but Bach Rescue Remedy is a great thing to have around - not just for your cat, but for you, too. It's a combination of flower essences designed to help relieve physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma. The original tincture is preserved in alcohol, but Rescue Remedy Pet is an alcohol-free version (which is also a bonus for people who don't want to ingest alcohol).

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I've found the most effective way to administer Rescue Remedy to cats is to put two drops on the end of my finger and then stroke it into the fur on top of the head. Rescue Remedy is available online and at most health food stores.

3. Give her some extra snuggles

It's really important to take some time to be with your cat after a stressful event like a trip or a holiday gathering. Your kitty will appreciate your willingness to hang out quietly with her and reassure her that everything's back to normal. It'll probably destress you, too, if you're all wound up from the family drama that plays out at many Thanksgiving tables.

What have you done to help your cats cope with the stress of Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general? Please share your tips in the comments!

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