Minimize Cat Stress While Redecorating

Our question this week was:

Dear Doctor:

I just bought new furniture for my house. It has been a lifelong goal and I just did it! I have 4 cats and don’t want them to stress out over it. Do you have any tips?

Ann J.

Boston, MA


Ann thanks for your question. Actually new furniture, moving furniture, and/or redecorating can be stressful to cats. It changes the environment that your cats found safe. In each home, cats have favorite perches and resting spots, which may be eliminated. They also have spots where they feel safer than others. These spots could also be inadvertently eliminated by your changes.

What I’d recommend is to put your cats in one room that will be least affected by the new furniture while it is being moved in. This is especially important if you have indoor cats that you don’t want to escape outside while movers are moving things in and out of the open doors. I’d expose them to this room a day or two before the big day and make sure they have food, water and a litter box in the room. Place a sign on the door that reads, “DO NOT ENTER” so the movers don’t accidentally go in that room and let your cats out. Put the radio or TV on low to help block out some of unfamiliar moving noises.

Once all the furniture is in, you can let your cats out to explore the area on their own terms.

Ann, since you are getting new furniture, keep in mind as you redecorate to make it cat friendly. Cats love to be by windows and high areas where they can watch the events in the room. If you can, include perches, cat trees, or place cat beds in high places that might be appealing your cats.

Best of luck,

Dr. Debra

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