Safeguarding Cats During Home Remodel

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, discusses ways to keep kitty safe.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: May 7, 2010, 3 a.m. EST

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Q: I am planning on some remodeling in my home. How can I safeguard my cats?

A: This is a great question and one I get asked often.

Construction in the home can be stressful for all, particularly your kitties who don’t like change. With all the noise and workmen coming in and out, a frightened cat could cower under the bed or get seriously hurt. Before construction begins, please designate a “safe room” to keep your cats in for the duration. Make sure all the essentials — food, water, litter, toys — are there. Close the door and hang a sign on it that clearly states “Do Not Disturb!”

I once had a client who decided to go on vacation while some work was being done to her bathroom. She assured me it was only “minor” renovation to one bathroom and her cats, Precious and Trouble, would be in a safe place. She added that the workmen would be aware and taking precautions, such as keeping the unscreened window and front door closed. I told her I wasn’t happy about it but trusted her. However, on my first visit to care for them it was frighteningly clear that I had been misled.

There was massive construction going on everywhere and the door of the room the cats were supposed to be in was wide open! I ran around in a panic but finally found the terrified kitties and managed to get them back in their room. The workers, who had not been told cats were in the house, thought I had lost my marbles. I asked them to please not open the door again and to have the contractor call me.

When the contractor called, he said the cats really should not be there and I agreed. However, with a closed door and my watchful eye, they got through it — though, in my opinion, their owner put them through a terrible time unnecessarily.

If you are planning construction while away, please don’t leave your poor cats at home — they deserve better. Find a safe location with a friend, relative or a boarding facility.  If my client had been honest with me, I would have suggested these alternatives.

Readers, listen to your cat sitter please. We have your kitty’s best interests at heart. As always I welcome your comments and stories.

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Reader Comments

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

3/8/2013 11:48:30 PM

Good to remember

Regina    Arden, DE

11/25/2010 5:27:39 AM

As the owner of a home remodeling business, I stress, if you can not send them to a quiet enviorment then let your contractor know. If there are animals in the house I always give them treats before any work is done and then check on them at the end of the work day!

S    Three Oaks, MI

5/13/2010 7:47:46 PM

Of course you need to take special care of kitties during that kind of work!

Holly    Stouffville, ON

5/12/2010 4:38:38 PM

I clean homes and one of my client's was renovating the basement of their home. They sent the cat to live with their in-laws for a few days while the work was being done, so he wouldn't be all stressed out. I was really impressed with them for thinking of the cat's well being during the reno, because I know a lot of people don't think about things like that. I agree with the tips in this article completely!

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