As cat owners, we all know that feeling when you invite a relative or friend over for dinner and they say the dreaded “can I bring my dog?”

It’s common knowledge that there are very few cats who are delighted about a dog’s visit. Unless they grew up together, they rarely make friends. Why should they, one wiggles their tail when excited, the other when they are angry. Cats and dogs have fundamentally opposite sign language.

If the dog is just meeting the cat for only the day, you should simply see if it can be avoided. If it absolutely can’t, Cat in a Flat– The Trusted Cat Sitting Community has shared a few tips:

Feed your cat. Before the dog arrives, make sure your cat’shad their well-deserved Christmas dinner while the household is peaceful and kitty still rules the roost.

Set up a quiet zone. As cats are NOT pack animals like dogs, most struggle with too many unfamiliar scents, people and voices. The instinct is to retreat and find a quiet place. So please respect this and make it as comfortable for your kitty as possible.

If your cat is an indoor cat, find a quiet room far away from all the family hustle and put your fur baby’s favourite blanket or pillow together with some toys, the water bowl and the litter tray into a room that is clearly marked: DON’T DISTURB THE BOSS!

If your cat is an outdoor cat, keep some food and blankets outside in their favourite corner and far away from the noise of the visitors. Do not expect him or her to come back home until the doggy visitor has left the house.

Calm your cat. Spray a cat-calming pheromone in the room or area where you’re preparing for your cat to stay.

Inform the dog owners. Your home is, after all, your cat’s castle. So, make sure the dog and its owner know and respect it. As dogs are pack animals, they actually like to be where it’s busy. Ask the owner to keep the dog close by and not allow it to roam through the house.

Go for a walk. If it is a long visit, encourage the guests to go for a long walk with the dog, while someone stays behind to give your cat the attention it deserves while the house is quiet again.

Getting together with friends and family is always wonderful, but please do keep your furry family member in mind.


Kathrin Burckhardt and Julie Barnes are Co-Founders of Cat in a Flat. Cat in a Flat is a trusted cat-sitting community created by cat lovers for cat lovers. Its mission is to help cats stay in the comfort of their own homes by connecting cat owners with trusted, insured, local, cat-loving sitters.