Summer is Here! Company is Coming! Coping With Visitors in a Multi-Cat Home!

It’s summer – that fun and busy time of year when lots of people are traveling and vacationing. In my case, many of those traveling people are family members of mine and their vacation destination is with Dan and me at our tropical, South Florida home. I love having them around – July and August will be a revolving door of blessedly wonderful activity but for our cats, some will be less than thrilled when they’re unexpectedly woken from a peaceful nap to the jarring, whirrrrr noise of luggage wheels on the pavement heading to our front door.

Before said visitor hands can even knock on the door, announcing their already evident arrival, the cats will scatter to assume whatever personality role they have. Seven cats. Seven distinctly different reactions – all of which are predictably predictable.

The more things on the dining room table, the happier Zee is to plop himself right in the center of it all.

Zee, our eldest, will be instantly social. Though he’s slowed down in age, he still likes to be in the thick of things like when he was an inquisitive young kitten and is not shy around visitors. Since much of our family gatherings center around food, eating, and the dining room table, that means he’ll spend most of his time on the dining room table. What’s a little cat hair in your coffee, or a cat tail on your plate for that matter when you’re among family? I can pretend we don’t let him on the table, but it’s rather a moot point if you’ve known me for as long as my family has.

Even when she’s in a good mood, Zoey has looks to kill, but deep down she’s actually a sweetheart. Just don’t try picking her up if you care for your life.

Despite her glaring looks to kill and withering scowl, Zoey has actually mellowed in her age and might even snuggle up on a surprised guest’s outstretched legs if they’re sitting on the couch. That said, unless you’re a foolish thrill-seeker, you still should never attempt to pick her up because she will become a wild, lethal weapon of razor-sharp claws at that point. 

It’s not that Mia doesn’t like company, she just prefers to keep herself low-key and will stay in the bedroom until she decides she wants to come out and say hello.

Mia has come a long way over the years. Once never allowing any touching from Dan and me, she is now glued to our laps at night when we sit on the couch to watch TV and you can sneak some pets in then. When it comes to company, I think she’d prefer we didn’t have any, but that said, I also don’t think company bothers her. I would say she’s non-committal one way or another. And she’ll still come out at night to hang out on the couch when we have visitors, so it can’t be that bad.

Another lap to sit on? More hands to pet me? When it comes to Peanut, the more loving the better!

Peanut has always been a love bug and will always be one. She doesn’t shy away from anyone, rather embracing the opportunity for more laps to nap on, more hands to pet her, and more people to listen to her incessant meow chatter.

Sergeant Rolz, reporting for duty. All-day, every day.

Rolz lives on the counter next to the food pantry nearly 24/7/365, rain or shine, company or no company, because “there might be something” and he never, ever wants to lose that possible chance of gaining access to that all-important food pantry door, because that’s where all the cat food and cat treats reside. But to his credit, his plan is actually quite brilliant as I don’t think a day goes by that someone doesn’t fall for his charming and patient ways which do result in morsels of divine food for him.

I love having you around, I really do, just stay away from MY counter!

Kizmet is a sweet, lovable cat. You can pick him up, you can hug and kiss him, and he’s happy to go with the flow. Company is not an issue, even the company who sometimes bring a dog with them. The only caveat with him is the kitchen counter. His kitchen counter. It’s where he eats his meals every day and he’s quite possessive about it, giving a swat to those who dare decide to be near it, whether human or another cat.

On her own, Jazmine is a bold, confident, and often bossy cat. When company comes, her M.O. is a big ole scaredy-cat.

Jazmine is a bold, confident, sassy, and very friendly cat. With Dan and me. When company comes she runs and hides for several hours, slowly inching her way to the end of the hallway where she watches the goings-on, not willing to cross whatever invisible line she’s set in her mind. But, Jazmine is also addicted to food so, despite her reservations to mingle with guests, if the treat bag is shaken, or if the aroma of tasty food is wafting through the house, she will allow herself to be picked up and brought into the kitchen to be plunked front and center with everyone else, having a priceless look on her face of “look at me, see I’m not a scaredy-cat at all!”

Jazmine’s not the only one tempted by treats. It’s typically the magic wand for them all, even when we have company visiting, but much of that is because our cats have become somewhat used to having company around throughout the year and don’t feel truly threatened. Really, the best rule of thumb for any cat when people are visiting is to respect the boundaries he sets and interacting with visitors should never be forced.

Cats are very sensitive to change, causing them stress, so don’t let your guests take it personally if kitty reacts by hiding or acting scared. If the company is going to be around for a couple of days, chances are you can ease into the relationship by working with positive reinforcement. 

Treats and interactive play toys typically entice most any cat, so if you have your guest be the bearer of good things, it can go a long way toward building trust. If it’s not meant to be, at the very least, make sure your cat has a room with litter, fresh water, food, toys, and bedding to feel safe while the company is around.

How about your cat(s) – how do they act around company?  

 

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  1. It is always interesting the different ways they react to various situations. Eric was always everybody’s friend. Flynn was more timid with visitors until he got to know them.
    The first time he saw a friend stay overnight he kept mostly out of the way. When they came out of their room in the morning he stopped dead in his tracks. The look on his face was so funny as much as to ask what they were still doing here and they should have gone home the night before. I wish I had a photo of the total surprise in his expression.

  2. jmuhj says:

    What wonderful “tails” of each cat’s feelings about company! Around here, we have Tarifa, The Greeter Cat, who never met a living being she didn’t like and who adores a lap — ANY lap! Then there’s Suha, feral forever, whose favorite spot is under her Cal King bed in the master bedroom — whether company is here or not. And there’s Elvis, a big lummox of a cat, who agrees with Rolz that “T.M.B.S.” but is reluctant to venture out when strangers are around because, well, they’re STRANGERS.

  3. It’s always great to see how cats act when visitors are coming in. Peanut looks like you love the extra laps around for some lap time. Thanks for the share. Have a wonderful time with your guests this summer. Don’t worry they come with treats.

  4. Ellen Pilch says:

    Just like people, all different personalities. I have 2 that will hide the entire time. The others are fairly sociable.

  5. Brian Frum says:

    it sure was interesting how they all cope, or not. Zoe and I are pretty social but Dolly, Simon and Seal will hide until it is a clear and quiet!

  6. Mudpie loves company. In fact, 2 days after I adopted her my aunt and uncle visited. Both are deaf and must make very strange noises to the ears of a cat, but she jumped right into both of their laps like she was introducing herself.

  7. meowmeowmans says:

    Yes, they really do all have their own personalities, don’t they? Gracie is very social, and is the greeter of guests. Ava, not so much. She’s like Jazmine, asking, “are they gone yet?” 🙂

  8. We’re not greeter cats ; Zorro would come after a while to see who are the visitors, but Pixie is our invisible cat. It’s very interesting to see how every cat reacts. Our Angel Hercule was the purrfect guest, just like Peanut. Purrs

  9. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guyz ! grate ta see everee one again 🙂 we hope ewe N joy yur vizitorz over de next few… ore
    de nice moe mintz oh soll a tood 🙂

    round heer de onlee cat whooz social abull iz me…..tuna !! happee summer two ewe N mom N dad 🙂 ♥♥

  10. 3 cats here and three different responses. One loves to see new people; One hides under the bed all day just to be sure they are gone; and one is just indifferent–like visitors are invisible!