Housebound Aussies are giving their homes some much needed TLC this year with renovations and home improvements becoming even more popular this year. However, securing finance and creating designs shouldn’t be the only priority, especially when it comes to households with cats.
“Renovations take a lot of planning however many people forget to factor in how to keep their cats safe during this time. If boarding the cat or moving the whole family into pet-friendly rental accommodation aren’t options, it is essential to make plans for your cat so that you can avoid a trip to the vet clinic. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways in which you can keep your furry family members safe and happy during a home renovation,” says Kristina Vesk, CEO of Cat Protection Society.
For those thinking about getting creative over the following months, Kristina has put together her top tips for keeping cats safe during a renovation:
Be wary of dust and debris
We all know to take caution not to inhale the dust and debris from construction and the same must apply to cats. Dust and debris although small, can easily attach to your cat’s coat, their bedding and get into their lungs and eyes. This can lead to major complications including difficulty breathing, asthma, eye irritations, skin allergies and even toxicity. To prevent this keep your cat in a closed room away from the renovation activity and to stop construction dust being tracked throughout the home, try assigning different entrances for workers and family to separate work zones and living spaces.
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Allow for air flow in areas with heavy fumes
Just because we might not be able to smell chemical or paint fumes doesn’t mean your cat can’t. Our feline friends have a much better sense of smell than we do and their lungs are much smaller. Make sure to keep your cat away from areas that require painting, adhesives and varnishing for at least one to two days to allow for the fumes to dissipate. After this time has passed, ensure there is enough airflow in these rooms before letting the cat re-enter.
Minimise construction noise
Like smells, cats are more sensitive to noise than humans and can become stressed during renovations as a result. Although there is no controlling the loud sounds that come from upgrading your home, there are things you can do to minimise the noise from your cat. Find an area of your home as far away as possible from the work zone to house your cat for the duration of the renovation hours. To further drown out the noise, consider playing some classical or cat-specific music in their space while the work is occurring.
Prevent an escape
Cats are the masters when it comes to planning an escape and renovations can make it that much easier for them. Make sure that before renovations start that you cat proof the home to make it harder for this to happen. Think about housing your cat in a large room that can store their food, water and litter tray which won’t need to be accessed by workers throughout the day. To make them more comfortable, make sure to place their favourite toys and bedding in the room. To further prevent workers from opening the door, consider hanging a sign for the door that the cat will be staying in.
Routine is key
Cats are creatures of habit and it is important that you don’t let the new renovations get in the way of their daily routines. By keeping their normal feeding and exercise routine in place as much as possible it will help them feel more in control of the situation while keeping them safe and happy during the renovation process. Make sure not to change brands of food, alter feeding times or skip any playtime during this time.
For more information on cat safety visit catprotection.org.au
Have you ever had any issues with your cats or other pets during renovations? Tell us in the comments below.