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Renovations can occasionally be part of the reality of being a homeowner. Sometimes you may need to perform extensive work to mitigate developing structural problems. You might also feel your home needs to be updated to support your quality of life. Whatever the reasons behind the renovations, there are various practical elements you need to keep in mind while planning.
If you have a cat, one of the primary considerations is how they fit into the process. While the work on your home may also benefit them, there are various aspects of renovations that can negatively impact the welfare of your feline friend.
We’ve put together a few tips for how you can proceed with your home renovations when you have a cat.
Consider Whether to Stay at Home
Renovations can take a variety of different forms. Not all activities strictly require leaving the house for a period of time. Nevertheless, it’s important to carefully consider all the positive and negative factors surrounding staying at home during your renovation work. While you can certainly save some money by not leaving the house, there may also be safety hazards that make it wise to do so. One of your key areas of thought must be whether being in the property is the right decision not just for you but also for your cat.
Safety is a vital aspect here. Look at whether the type and extent of the work being performed could directly injure your cat. This should include the potential for falling items, sharp objects, and unstable structures. You should also examine how your cat might be affected by high volumes of dust or toxic fumes. If in doubt, take the time to talk to your contractor about this. They’ll be able to explain what you can expect from the project and also what safety measures they can take to protect your cat.
It’s also worth considering the fine points of your cat’s disposition. Not all animals react the same way to renovation work. Are they curious enough to stray into exposed crawl spaces or play with building materials? Do they have a habit of chewing on electrical wires? Perhaps they’re particularly sensitive to noise? It may be the case that their personality or behaviour makes it more sensible to take them away from the property during renovations.
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Establish Appropriate Surroundings
Your cat is likely to have specific needs when it comes to its surroundings. You may have discovered when going on family vacations that they find hotel rooms too confining or the outdoors overstimulating. Whether you’re staying at home or taking some time away during renovations, you need to make sure the surroundings are suited to your cat’s needs.
If you’re planning to keep your cat around during renovations, it can be wise to limit its access to areas currently undergoing work. This can involve moving their bed, food and water bowls, and toys into rooms you specifically designate as their roaming spaces. If there is likely to be a lot of noise, you might want to take soundproofing measures such as hanging heavy curtains over doors and insulating walls with foam panels.
On the other hand, if you’re staying away from home, you need to be sure your cat is being taken into the right environment. Your cat may have mobility challenges, which means you need to ascertain whether your location has accessible elements. It’s also important to ensure any other animals living in the space can coexist with your cat.
One option could include heading back to your parent’s place for a while. However, it’s important to understand that living with your parents again can be a challenging experience. Make sure you keep communicating about one another’s needs and agree on clear boundaries. This may include respecting their boundaries on where your cat should and shouldn’t go. Talking about these elements beforehand can help you establish in advance whether this is the right environment for you and your cat.
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Minimize Stressful Experiences
Renovation work can be particularly stressful for cats. After all, they can be quite territorial animals. The idea of strange contractors entering their space and making a lot of noise can understandably put them on edge. If you’re keeping your cat at home, it’s important to manage stressful experiences.
On a general basis, ensure they have components of comfort within easy access. Give them a space to retreat to. This might include setting up a form of a nest with their bed or favourite blankets in a quiet corner of the home. Surround them with the little things that bring them joy. Ensure they have toys and take the time to play with them regularly. Giving your cat some attention can be both reassuring and stress-busting at difficult times.
It’s also wise to get to know the signs that your cat may be experiencing stress. Common stress-induced behaviour during building works can include eating or drinking less, pacing, and overgrooming. If you can recognize these actions, you’re better able to respond effectively to them.
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When you’re planning renovations, it’s important to consider how they might affect your cat. Look into whether it is practical or safe to keep them in your home while work is going on. Take the time to ensure they have supportive and appropriate surroundings wherever they are. Provide resources to mitigate the stress they might experience as a result of noise or the presence of contractors. With a little forethought, you can act in the best interests of your cat while also performing those important renovations.
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