We know how stressful it is when our house breaks – but how can we help our cats cope with home repairs?

Interesting to note that helping our cats feel less stressed during the construction disruption can also help our stress levels.

First, it’s important to just talk to our cats. When our upstairs shower started leaking into our kitchen, we let our cats know things were about to be different. There would be a lot of loud noises. There would be places in the house they wouldn’t be able to access. New people and lots of new smells would be in their territory. But we also let them know that all the ‘chaos’ would be temporary.

Some people believe cats don’t actually understand us when we talk to them. We beg to differ. While our cats may not be fully fluent in English, they implicitly understand our tone, energy, and actions.

But beyond trying to explain why their world is about to change, we’ve found some extra tips that help make the temporary disorder less stressful for the whole family.

  1. Safe Spaces. Do your cats like hidey spots under the bed? Do they prefer a high ledge to nap on? Identify your cat’s comfort preferences and prepare some special safe spaces for when the demo starts. As workers come and go from your home, make sure these areas also keep your kitty safe from door dashing. We like to establish these safe spots in a comfortable room that can be closed should someone leave the front door open.
  2. Play Calming Music or Cat TV. Yes – you can go on YouTube and find a number of channels dedicated to Cat TV. Our babies love it. They also love some smooth jazz. Both are great to turn up to help drown out all the crazy noises.
  3. Maintain Routine. We know everyone’s routine is disrupted when a home repairs need to be done – but try to keep as close to your cat’s normal routine as possible. Mealtimes, litter scooping, playtime. Maintaining some sense of normalcy can greatly reduce stress. Especially playtime. Help you cat run out any extra nervous energy with engaged play.

As cat parents, sometimes the biggest stress of dealing with home repairs is worrying about our cats. Will they be safe? Scared? What if they run out of the house? What if they get into something harmful? We’ve found that following these simple tips and proactively preparing our home to help our cats feel less stress, helps us feel less stressed too.

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