Why Cats Get Stressed Out During the Holidays

Okay, some of you cats and human typists know that I, Frito T. Cat, develop some annual holiday stress related health issues. In fact, the Mom human has battled my annual Thanksgiving psychosis and urinary tract stress-distress so long that she and the vet debated drugging me through the entire holiday season! I am generally a pretty laid back cat—so why do I lose it from November through January every damned year? Let me tell you—and I bet many of you other cats can relate….

Strangers invade and sometimes stay for days. I like meeting new people as much as the next cat—but, only in small doses. If I happen through a room full of strangers during a Thanksgiving meal, so be it—but, when those weirdos move in for a day or two—I kind of lose it. It’s a matter of too much new noise, new smells, and new artifacts---too much NEWNESS in general for TOO LONG. Cats like routines, we like patterns….no new Fruit-Loops for days one end. Too stressful for even a peace loving, laid back kind of cat.

Umm…Black Olives on the Thanksgiving table? HELLO—Frito T. Cat LOVES black olives. What do humans serve for Thanksgiving? Turkey? Ham? Aromatic veggies? HELLOOOO???? Cats eat birds in the wild. Turkey=Wild Bird. I am a self proclaimed vegetarian—but, black olives are my friend—and if they are on the Thanksgiving buffet, I consider myself invited. As for Fluffy D’Tail, the resident outdoor psycho-bird-hunting killer cat? You wonder why he goes a little nutso over turkey? Really?

Luggage moves in. While I do not have a problem with new artifacts in my living space—some cats like my roommate Gina—take issue when the living space becomes disorganized or cluttered. Some cats—like my roommate Gina—tend to take matter into their own paws and show the humans who rules the floors around here. While the other cats and I think Gina’s crazy (although not one of us has the whiskers to say that to her face), we can see how the disruption can cause stress and anxiety. (Note to humans staying in Gina’s house: Sit a suitcase on the floor unsupervised and you had better have a brave dry cleaner and a lifetime supply of Nature’s Miracle because she can and will pee on it.) Not kidding. If I was joking—it would be funnier.

Tinsel, tree pretties and music—oh my! My name is Frito and I eat plastic. Hey—after 10 years in Plastic Eater’s Anonymous, I can admit such things. Now—bear in mind that it sounds like plastic, tastes like plastic and exhibits a glorious sheen like plastic; even an intelligent cat like myself may view it as plastic. Tree tinsel is my weakness. Skip it this year. You, I, my intestines and the vet will appreciate the beauty of a tinsel-less bare tree. Who needs it anyway? As for the pretty hangy-downy-cat teasers….Fluffy and Lea cannot resist. Make it easy for all of us—skip those or move them up at least 3 feet from the cat’s eye view, please. Is motion activated musical nonsense necessary? Sure, sending a cat to the ceiling once may be pretty funny—but after that first time, must we really be subjected to blaring rifts of “Grandma Got Ran Over by A Reindeer” at 3 a.m. for a full month?

Humans bring a TREE into the living room. Hey—I’m a house cat. Too big to climb trees, too chicken to consider it, in fact. However, the other cats in my house are either ex-outdoorskitties or freaking insane. They climb trees. They love trees. Since Gina sent the family tree over a 12 foot landing drop off about 6 years ago, my humans wedge the tree into a corner of the dining room to keep it safe—but, still lose their minds when the girls or Fluff try to climb it. Cats climb trees daily—apparently I need to take video or something to remind my stupid humans of this fact. Skip it or learn to deal.

Okay, cats…the holiday season is stressful. Do your best to get through them. January is less than a month away—and then we are all good until the stupid Easter bunny comes along with that damned Easter basket grass….Be brave, be strong—be smarter than your humans and have a happy, safe, vet free holiday.