holiday cat pet sitting PSA
Cat Behavior 101,  Cats,  Holidays,  Holistic cat care,  Layla Morgan Wilde,  Man Cat Mondays,  Mondays With Merlin

Merlin The Cat’s #1 Holiday Season Tip For Humans

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Cat Wisdom of the ages_mondays with merlin

Ho, ho, ho, dearest cat lover, can you believe it’s December? The holiday season is upon us and let me tell you a secret: cats don’t care about it (except maybe the treats).

The truth is we don’t really understand what a holiday is but we do know things are more stressful and different. We have back-to-back turkey holidays and many folks are either travelling or entertaining. That means CHANGE in schedules and our home environment and I’ve never met a cat that likes that.

My most urgent and #1 tip today is PREPARE in advance. Layla was chatting with a pet sitter pal who said she is booked months in advance and to not make last minute pet sitting plans.

holiday season cat pet sitting PSA

These are a few things that happened to us over the Thanksgiving holiday to illustrate how even tiny changes can be jarring to cats.

Be kind, respectful and thoughtful to all living beings but especially us cats!
  • I’m lucky to live a peaceful life in a quiet neighborhood so imagine my horror when on Thanksgiving morning I awoke to the sound of a man screaming bloody murder. No murder just a rowdy game of touch football by the neighbors’ kids home from college.
  • Unusual smells at unusual times, like Layla baking a cake at midnight to bring to friends.
  • There is usually at least one human at home at all times, but they left us cats all alone for hours!
  • Our gardening boys usually come on Thursdays but that was Thanksgiving. It scared Domino when they showed up unexpectedly on Saturday with their infernal ear blasting leaf blowers. Don’t they know cats can hear about five times greater than humans especially at a high frequencies.
  • I used to like visitors but don’t anymore. Odin is friendlier, but Domino and Nou Nou hate strangers. Layla’s step-daughter arrived with her new boyfriend for a visit. It’s amazing how even a couple guests can ramp up the volume. The lovely and talented boy is a music teacher and soon the house was filled with the sound of piano. No one plays our baby grand and it was out of tune. Live music is loud. The vibrations rankled my bones and Domino refused to come indoors until everyone left. He hid under the bed afterwards for good measure.
  • The only cat who enjoyed the T’Day perks was Nou Nou who went berserk over turkey leftovers. Cooked turkey is much saltier than normal cat food so give it sparingly. And no cooked bones! Raw is okay but cooked bones can splinter creating a choking hazards for cats.

Whew and that was only the beginning of the holiday season. Layla thinks humans need more tips (I agree) and suggests 5 Holiday Survival Tips Written By Cats

I’d forgotten about that gem I’d written for Catster. The advice holds up but I might want to add a few more tips. Wow, I even made graphics. That never happens anymore. Images are usual stock. I’m sure the ad revenue generated from this piece since 2015 is substantial. Sometimes I regret not placing ads here but I hate the reading experience with ads, don’t you?

One welcome change was the weather. I enjoyed some outdoor post turkey time with my mom. Best of all, some furbro love from Domino who also makes some mean biscuits. Oh dear these old videos awful but precious.

P.S. On days we don’t blog, we’re mixing it up on social with different images or graphics on Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Pinterest plus we’re back on Instagram after a break. It crazy-making following 5 different feeds. Yup, still crazy. If you’d like Layla to like or share anything of yours, tag @catwisdom101.
Love Merlin


  • Sammy

    Super tips my friend Merlin………you’re spot on with what we like and don’t like about holidays or ANY days! Noise is out, visitors are not welcome, and hiding spots are necessary – I’m not one to “share the love” I feel when I’m here with my Mom and Dad and no strangers are occupying MY space! But as I’ve aged, I’m a little less inclined to totally disappear when someone knocks on the door – my curiosity gets the best of me and I peek around corners! Holidays are tough on everyone, especially us right? Fortunately I will have my parents here with me at home with no sitters or kennels involved. That makes me happy!

    Love, Sammy

  • Angel Ms. Phoebe's Family

    We think your holiday tips for humans are spot on Merlin, and are making sure our Mom memorizes them so there are no upsets for us. We had a quiet holiday with only our Uncle visiting, who we see often enough that we enjoy his company. Our routine is everything and we do not like unexpected visitors, especially when they ring the doorbell- that sends Clove running upstairs or under the bed to hide.
    Our day brings different people who come to work with Mom, most of whom we know and are used to. We generally like them and will allow pets as long as they respect our rules: i.e.: Kaspars must initiate pets and tummy rubs are strictly by invitation only, and Elevator bum rubs will earn you forever acceptance by Clove as long as you oblige her upon EVERY request when she raises her bum. If her request is denied or ignored, the tortie death glare can be given at your own risk!
    Recently one of Mom’s helpers had to leave and a new one took their place, upsetting the familiar routine and appearance of this human we had here the last three years. It has taken a while for us to come out and be seen by this new person, and only this week was she allowed to pet Clove. Clove proceeded to test her devotion to cats by initiating the elevator bum request and the new helper obliged promptly and with enthusiasm! After this successful test completion she has been consistently rewarded with full human servant acceptance, especially at meal time by being loudly mewed at non stop while she fixes our dinner. For it’s an honor to be bossed about by us with as much familiarity as we do our Mom!
    We are glad you all have let Layla know what you will and will not accept so she can serve and accommodate you properly, allowing you to enjoy your holiday season. Keep spreading the wisdom dearest cousin.

    -Clove & Kaspars

  • Ellen Pilch

    Nice post Merlin. I laways have the kitties’ Grammie stay here if we are leaving for more than a half an hour. And I lock them in the bedroom when we have guests for the holidays. I am sure it stresses them to be locked in there, but less than dealing with everyone.

  • maggie

    Our secret hiding cat, Mickey Mouser, has gotten a bit more brave now that Rufus the Red is living here. Very little seems to upset Rufus – we’ve never had such a confident cat. Good tips, Layla, and I loved the video!

  • Sometimes Cats Herd You

    We rarely have guests here, but the head peep’s father was here to visit for Thanksgiving. You are right about us kitties not appreciating change! Ashton and Pierre did not like that one bit. Newton tried to make up for both of their bad manners and was everywhere during his visit.

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    We are used to being just us and Mom so guests are drfinitely considered as “intruders”.
    We thank you for the advice on pet sitters! Cats are not to be left alone! We all need the care and routine of some kind of normal when our peeps go away.
    We are glad you had some garden time Merlin. Luvs to you all
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo & the Angels >^..^^..^<~

  • Summer

    I’m kind of bummed that the humans here aren’t MORE social! And Binga too – we love guests, whether they are friends of the humans or workers here to repair something. Boodie usually hides, but sometimes she comes out too.

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