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How will I keep my furbaby calm?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My house is going to go through a transformation. I'm having my house sided (pale yellow with white trim - english country cottage style) and there will be workmen at my house with quite a bit of banging going on. I think my Max is going to freak out. What can I do to keep him calm? He was a feral cat that is frightened of loud noises, but the most cuddly kitty ever. I won't be able to be at home when the work is going on. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make this easier for Max?
post #2 of 15
Try setting up a room just for him...put his favorite cat bed in there, and some boxes and paper bags for him to hide in. You may want to put one of your T-shirts or pillow cases in his bed or a box for him that has your scent on it to comfort him. Make sure his food and water are within easy reach. His litterbox needs to be close, also, but not too close to the food & water. It may help to set up a radio playing soft classical music to help calm him and reduce the impact of outside noise. If you can find a Feliway plug-in or some spray that should help too. If he likes catnip you can put some in one of the boxes, and give him some of his favorite (but safe to use unsupervised) toys. Make sure the windows in that room are closed, too, so if he does still get scared he won't tear through the window screen and get out.
Good luck!
post #3 of 15
Oh, one more thing that might help: My vet once recommended using the Bach flower remedy called "Rescue Remedy" for stressed-out cats. You put a few drops in his water - but you may want to put it in a separate water bowl or try it in advance to make sure he'll drink it - you don't want him to not drink any water if he doesn't like it. My cats take it OK after they have a day or so to get used to it.

Also, there's a massage technique called Tellington Touch that's supposed to help calm cats; you could try that in the morning & when you get home.

post #4 of 15
Put your radio to a static station so there is the fuzzy noise and no music. This will help to mute the noise. Make sure the room that you keep him in furthest from the work area for the day. Keep in constant contact with the workers and let them know about your cat. Make surprise visits to make sure they are following your guide lines. I hope this helps!
post #5 of 15
Since he is feral- or used to be, put him in a room with a bed. Take a blanket and cover the bed so the blanket drapes down the sides of the bed, making a dark cave. He will be hiding under there the majority of the time and the blankets will also help muffle the sounds that will not be familair to him.
post #6 of 15
the a/c running, or a fan, or even static from the tv (white noise) will help also. That will kind of block out the sounds.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
He will probably hide in the bedroom - that is where he usually hides. Should I move his food into the bedroom with him (it is usually in the kitchen)? I'm concerned that he will not use the litter box if he is frightened? He has never not used the litter box, but if he hears all the banging, he might be too afraid to come out. The litter box in situated right outside the spare bedroom door.
The bathroom separates my bedroom from the spare bedroom. I do have a TV in my bedroom and a stereo, so I could leave one of them on all day to soften the noise made outside. My brother-in-law is heading up the crew who is putting the siding on and he knows all about Max.
post #8 of 15
That's great that you know the crew head! Maybe you could just set up some food & water near or even under the bed where he'll probably hide, and set up a temporary litterbox near the bed also. I've seen disposable ones in the store. Then after things calm down you can gradually move the box nearer his usual one, eventually removing it again.
post #9 of 15

Put everything in the room he needs. Put the litterbox on one end of the room and his food and water on the other end. He may just adjust to the noise after awhile and surprise you.
post #10 of 15
These are good things for anyone to know! Thanks for asking about this!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have been waiting so long to have my house sided and I'm really excited about it. It has a stucco finish now in battleship gray. Not to my liking. My only concern in Max. I really appreciate all your advice and hopefully it won't be going on for too long.

I will put everything that he needs in the room. He will also be afraid because they will be coming inside the house to use the facilities and I suppose to eat lunch. One good thing is that Max knows my brother-in-law John and likes him. John is good with animals, but he is always afraid that Max will get out of the house. One day when he was working on something at my house he thought Max had gotten out and spent two hours looking for him. He went back in the house and rattled the treat can and out Max came. Poor John!
post #12 of 15

In addition to all the great advice above, I would really recommend closing the bedroom door, putting a big sign on the door that says DO NOT ENTER, and then use low-tack tape and tape a big X across the door so it's perfectly clear that no one has permission to enter.

I have a skittish cat too, and whenever we have people work on the house etc we always do this. You DON'T want Max to scoot out cuz it's a nightmare trying to get those silly kitties back home. If you go to http://stories.catsinthebag.org and scroll to the bottom of the page, you can read about our silly Sage that got loose and wasn't seen for 27 days. Not fun at all let me tell you!

John came come over to visit with Max another time, but with all the hubbub, don't risk leaving the bedroom door open.
post #13 of 15
Wow, Maui - that's a great website! I've bookmarked it for reference.

The hint about keeping him confined in the room is very important. My hint about keeping the windows shut came from my own experience with a fearful indoor-only cat tearing out the screen to get away when my landlord worked on the apartment roof without warning me ahead of time. It took me an entire day to get her back...turned out she was hiding under the house next door but I had to wait until 3 am when it was quiet all around to coax her out.
post #14 of 15
Thank you Tess And thank goodness you were able to get your baby next door — what a scare!
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your suggestions. I will follow each one. Just say some prayers for Max that he doesn't freak out too much. We are going tonight to order the siding. I hope it goes up fast.
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