If you’re having building works done in your home, completing a full house renovation or just doing a few odd jobs, you might be concerned how this will affect your cat. While the dust, debris and endless upheaval can feel more than enough for us humans, our feline family members can become very stressed during building works – and thanks to your cat’s excellent ability to hide their pain and stress, you might not always notice.
There are a number of reasons why having renovations on your home can be tricky for cats to deal with.
Of course, nervous cats will also find it difficult to have unknown people coming and going into their home. As well as the new and unfamiliar scents of building work, there is the unfamiliar scent of strangers – something shy cats may find particularly difficult.Find out more about shy cats
Cats are clever creatures with subtle body language, so you might not always be able to tell if they are feeling stressed. It might surprise you to know, however, that many of the signs of cat stress are similar to those when your cat is in pain. These can include:
If you’re worried about the effect that building works may have on your cat, it is vital to plan ahead before you even plan in the works. This will depend entirely on your cat’s personality, your individual situation and the scale of works you’re having on your home. If you’re having a complete renovation, for example, or a number of rooms changed around with plenty of noise and dust, it may be advisable to take your cat out of the home completely.
Consider placing them in a cattery or in a friend or family member’s home for the duration. Again, you’ll need to plan in advance as many catteries can get booked up.
Of course, if you have a particularly nervous cat and think it would be more stressful for them to be uprooted from their home, it may be advisable to keep them in the house and follow our tips on how to keep them calm.Find out more about choosing a cattery
If you’re having small scale building works or need to keep your cat at home, what can you do to help your pets during construction? There are a number of ways to help reduce your cat’s stress.
While painting a hallway or bedroom might be seen as a much smaller job, some cats will still find the upheaval stressful and there are plenty of hazards to be aware of.
When you are painting, make sure to keep your cat away from the area. Cats are curious creatures and at best, you’ll end up with some interesting interior design – at worst, your cat may try to lick the paint or end up with it on their paws or fur. Cat-proof your environment as you work, making sure that any chemicals, paintbrushes and loose nails or screws are out of reach. Highly territorial, cats often like to sprawl out on painter’s drop cloths or attempt to climb ladders – it is often easier to have them in a ‘safe room’ away from the painting site altogether.
Keeping your cat away from any chemicals involved in painting is advisable. The fumes from products such as varnish and paint remover as well as rust removers and glue can all be dangerous if inhaled by your cat. If you suspect your cat has been poisoned, contact your vet immediately.Find out more about poisoning and cats