How to Calm a Scared New Cat

• 3 min read

By Dr. Lindsay Butzer, DVM and Zesty Paws Spokesperson and Beckie Mossor, RVT and Basepaws Spokesperson

The holidays can be a dangerous time for cats! Between extra seasonal household hazards and the flurry of activity, the holidays can disrupt regular feline routines.

Basepaws and Zesty Paws® are teaming up to bring you recommendations on how to keep your new cats (or ones you already have) feeling Zesty and safe during the holiday season and all-year round.

Keeping your Cat Calm during the Holidays

Lots of new family and friends in the house can bring new environmental stress like noises, smells, and changes in routine that may lead to behavioral changes and tension. Avoiding major changes to routine can help reduce the likelihood your cat may become restless or nervous.

Some helpful ways to relieve normal stress in cats are to use scented aromas or calming supplements. Air fresheners that are scented with feline-calming aromas can help calm your cat, especially during the holiday season.

Be sure that the scents you are using are cat friendly because cats can have negative health reactions to some essential oils. There are also diffusers that release calming pheromones as an alternative stress relief for your cats. We also recommend Zesty Paws® Calming Bites™ for Cats that may promote calmness and composure to help your cat manage normal stress, maintain balanced behavior, and stay relaxed. It’s also always a great idea to talk with your cat’s veterinary team when you notice behavior changes in your cat.

Basepaws’ DNA testing can help identify the breeds your cat may most favor when it comes to genetics and behavior. Learning about those breeds and their behaviors can offer insight to their predisposition to environmental stress. Basepaws also offers one-on-one coaching if you want to talk with a professional about your cat’s safety and behavior.

Litter Box Cleanliness 101: Holiday Edition

If you know your cat will be jittery during the holiday season from new people coming in and out of the house, move their litter box to a different room away from guests at least a week in advance of guests arriving.

It's also best to keep the litter box cleaner than normal, especially on a busy holiday week. We suggest scooping the litter twice a day and adding additional clean sand to the box to promote frequent trips to a clean litter box to promote good urinary health.

Pawsitive Immune System Support

To keep your cat happy and healthy during the holidays, start giving them a functional supplement that helps support their immune system. An example can be Zesty Paws Lysine-Immune Bites™ for Cats which are a great source of L-Lysine to enhance immune system response. We also recommend always having water out and switching to feeding canned wet food once in a while to increase your cat’s hydration. This will support their urinary system during busy times.

No! Bad Cat! Avoiding Holiday Safety Hazards

Holiday decorations can be an eye-catching visual to help celebrate the upcoming holidays – but electric cords, trees, shiny embellishments and many of the things we associate with holidays can also look like fun toys. Unfortunately, some pose serious health and safety risks for cats.

Tuck cords away, ditch the tinsel, secure the Douglas Fir (and skip tassels on the tree skirt), consider flameless candles, and be careful with opening and closing doors in the holiday hustle and bustle.

We hope these tips help keep your cat’s holiday purr-fectly happy and safe!


Dr. Lindsay Butzer, DVM and Zesty Paws Spokesperson

Beckie Mossor, RVT and Basepaws Spokesperson


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