2020 is right around the corner, and you might be gearing up to host your annual New Year’s Eve bash with your family and closest friends. Although celebrating surrounded by loved ones, dancing and making noise when the clock strikes 12 is all part of the fun, if you’re a pet owner, there’s one thing you should make sure not to forget about—your pet!
Pets, but particularly cats, can easily become stressed or injured during holiday parties because of the noise, new people and celebratory food, drink and decorations. If you’re hosting a new year’s party, here’s how you can ensure your kitty stays safe and happy while you ring in the new year.
Managing your cat’s New Year’s Eve anxiety
One of the biggest concerns for cats during New Year’s Eve celebrations is anxiety. Because cats are creatures of habit and can be particular about their space, throwing a party with a large group of people using loud noisemakers and causing a ruckus in your home can cause your cat significant stress.
In addition to strangers and loud music or noise within the home, fireworks are common on New Year’s Eve. These booming flashes of light can terrify pets, especially if you are lighting them off near your home.
In order to minimize your cat’s stress during your holiday party, you’ll want to take a few considerations to ensure your furry friend’s happiness all night long.
- Make a safe space: When cats get stressed, they tend to find a cozy place to hide out of sight. In anticipation of your party and any potential stress it may cause your feline friend, place their bed, favorite blanket and some toys in a secluded room away from the festivities where your cat can retreat to if they are overwhelmed. During the party, do not try to remove your cat from this space if they are hiding—just leave them be so they don’t get more stressed.
- Play early in the day: Playing with your cat and giving them extra love and attention during the day may help tire them out come nightfall, so they rest more easily while your party is happening. Not only that, but your cat will love the extra care you’re giving them and feel like their daily routine hasn’t been disrupted.
- Limit noise: New Year’s Eve parties have a habit of getting rowdy, but try to limit excess noise as much as possible for the sake of your cat. If you’re planning on using fireworks, you’ll want to take extra precautions. Although it’s unlikely your cat will be outside if you light off fireworks, make sure they have a quiet space to retreat to away from the sound. Keep windows closed and blinds drawn to shelter your pet from the sights and sounds and consider leaving music or a TV on in their secluded room to help mask any strange noises.
- Calming supplements: Giving your cat supplements designed to alleviate stress before your party may help them stay calm all night long—especially if they are predisposed to anxiety. Herbal supplements can help support your cat’s nervous system and keep them relaxed. CBD oil may also be a useful calming aid.
Don’t forget to clean up!
There are also a number of potential hazards your cat can encounter during and after your New Year’s Eve party. Most of these are related to party favors or refreshments that can make your furry friend very sick.
Decorations like streamers and balloons, as well as confetti from party popper toys, may seem innocent, but if your cat decides to nibble on these items as they lay on the floor after a night of partying, they could experience choking or intestinal blockages as a result. It’s extremely important to pick and vacuum up decorations and party debris before your cat can get to it to prevent these potential problems.
Food and drink are other party hazards to be mindful of. One of the most dangerous for New Year’s Eve is alcohol. Whether you’re serving champagne, beer or hard liquor during your party, make sure guests don’t leave alcoholic drinks where your cat can access them. If pets ingest alcohol, they could experience a range of severe symptoms, including depression, weakness, vomiting, rapid decreases in blood pressure, comas and even death.
If your pet does ingest alcohol or another food toxic to cats, call your vet or an emergency hotline as soon as possible to get instructions on how to keep your cat safe.
By taking time to clean up hazardous party materials and provide your cat a quiet space to relax in, you’ll be able to celebrate a joyous New Year’s Eve while keeping your furry friend safe and happy.