nervous catCats, like many pets, need a routine to help them feel safe and secure. When this routine is interrupted, even for positive reasons such as introducing a new baby to the home, sending a child off to college, or having a holiday party, it can be a very stressful time for your cat. Luckily, there are several ways you can help your cat cope with these changes.

Give your cat a consistent amount of attention

When times are changing, your first instinct may be to comfort your cat with extra cuddles and affection. However, this can actually send the wrong signal to your kitty. He or she may become suspicious of the extra attention and come to the conclusion that something is wrong.

Sometimes, the opposite happens. Especially when a new member is added to the home, you may find yourself preoccupied with tending to them. Unwittingly, you may be paying less attention to your cat. Instead, be sure to give your cat just as much attention after the change as you did before. No more, and no less.

Add herbal and pheromone remedies to your home

Pet stores sell a variety of holistic remedies that can help your cat calm down. Your vet may even have some in stock. Popular pheromone treatments are the Comfort Zone Feliway spray and Sentry’s Calming Collar. Other calming aids come in the form of treats or drops you add to your cat’s food. However, you should exercise caution. Some may contain harmful ingredients such as valerian, so it’s best to show your vet the ingredients listed before you administer them to your cat.

When in doubt, visit the veterinarian

Speaking of the vet, if your cat has become reclusive or has started showing signs of improper litterbox usage, don’t assume it’s just due to stress over the changes in your household. An upset routine can upset a cat to the point of developing medical ailment such as FLUTD. Not to mention, knowing that your cat has a clean bill of health can make life a lot less stressful for you, too!

Do you have a kitty that has problems with anxiety? Consider boarding with us for the holidays. Our boarders are able to provide additional attention while your kitty stays comfortable in the boarder’s home. Don’t forget to book early for the holidays!

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.