How To Keep Your Cats Calm During Home Improvements

How To Keep Your Cats Calm During Home Improvements 1

Home: It’s one word that can stir up some really heavy-duty emotions. If you immediately feel at peace thinking about your home, you’re not alone. But what happens when your home is a construction zone and changes are happening all around? Peace can be hard to find – for us and for our furry family members. Knowing how to keep your cats calm during home improvements can save everyone a whole lot of unwanted pain!

This particular subject is one we are mastering around here at the moment. Our home is in disarray! Nearly every space in the house has been impacted in one way or another. A long overdue ‘refresh’ is underway…

On that note: Please forgive me for my absence in the blogging world, both here on Cat Care Solutions and in visiting your amazing blogs! I miss you all and hope to return to normal in the very near future! If you are interested in guest blogging here, let me know and perhaps we can work something out! 💕 Contact Me Here

home renovation

If you are a survivor of past home renovations, or are currently enduring the chaos like we are, you know the upheaval it creates.

It’s stressful enough for us. For cats though, this world of home construction is far worse. Every smell, every noise and every change is amplified many times.

A feline’s sense of smell is 14 times stronger than ours. Their hearing surpasses even dogs by 1 whole octave on high pitches. On the low end, they hear very similar to us. Our cat’s vision and how they see the colors or shapes in their world can leave them feeling vulnerable in times of significant change.

Cats are also ‘energetic beings’ which means they easily pick up on your own state of mind. The more stressed you feel, the more stress they will experience themselves.

Proven Methods To Keep Your Cat Calm in Construction

So how then can we make our homes safe for our cats during times of redecoration? Below are some “Dizzy tested & approved” methods for kitty calming during construction.

When It’s Safe – Let Their Curiosity Explore

Each feline personality is different. Some cats are the brave, curious types. While others prefer to hide away from all the noise and unfamiliar mess lying around the floor.

If your cat is the “I wants to help,” curious, exploring type, let them! This goes without saying – you should only allow your cat in the area if clear dangers aren’t present. Much like children, they will get in to places & spaces you didn’t even know existed!

They also don’t really comprehend the concept of wet paint. So if you’d rather not have your home flooring redecorated in lovely paw prints, (in the color of your choice of course), you might want to close that room off until dry! 😉

cat on ladder
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Our Dizzy loves the ladder! She was checking behind our work on the cabinets to ensure we weren’t missing anything up there! She’s available for hire. But you may not be able to afford her 😀

Something Dizzy loves (and your cat may too?), is when we pick her up and walk her around the house in our arms. She is able to view the changes in her home while enjoying the safety of her parents watching over her.

This alone has really helped her be more calm and feel more self-assured in her home. They are curious. If you can help them explore the changes happening, while being completely protected, you will see a much happier, calmer kitty.

Do Take Advantage of All Natural Calming Aids

In our home, we have had amazing results with Jackson Galaxy products! Honest to goodness, we have seen such a transformation in our Dizzy. She has always suffered from severe anxiety and we had always been on the lookout for ways to help her. When we found Jackson Galaxy drops, it was a Godsend for her and for us!

Stress Stopper and especially Safe Space for Cats has been our go-to remedy. As a matter of fact, Bill and I were just discussing how it is time to reorder. Dizzy’s behavior dramatically changes when we add 3 to 4 drops in her canned food. She becomes a calmer, less aggressive and affectionate feline that is more at ease with herself.

Another of our go-to natural remedies? Cat pheromones! Gone are the days when the options are limited or the effectiveness not so noticeable. Feliway spray has worked very well for us. Some cats however respond best to a calming collar.

I can honestly 100% stand behind any of the above mentioned calming agents. We have used them for well over a year now and stand amazed at the miracles they work!

Do keep in mind: If you know that you will be starting a home project soon – begin using calming agents now. Giving these natural remedies a chance to work (at least 2 weeks) before creating chaos in the home will yield the best results.

Even if you aren’t planning a home renovation but struggle with unwanted cat behavior, I still recommend trying the above mentioned calming products. You just might be amazed, as we have been, how much peace is restored to your home!

cat and yarn

Give Them Their Own “Safe Space”

Do you have that place in your home where you feel like all is well in the world? Where even after a long, stressful day, entering that space melts it all away?

Your feline family member needs that too. Especially in times where everything else around them is unfamiliar.

So how can you create a space like this?

Take notice of their favorite things. Do they have a favorite scratching post, toy, blanket or bed? Making sure these items are found in their ‘safe room’ will give them a sense of normalcy and familiarity, naturally calming their anxiety levels.

Something else that will help? Having an area where your cat can climb up high and observe their world. In the wild, a cat’s instinct is to hide away as high as possible to escape much of the prey that would seek to harm them. Providing them a place in your home where their climbing is welcomed makes for one happy kitty!

If you’re not really the handy type, you could consider purchasing something like cat shelving for the walls. Cats absolutely love these! I must admit, it’s pretty fun to sit back & watch them show off their expertise in kitty acrobatics.

Adding all of their necessities like a litter box, water fountain, food bowls and toys in their ‘safe space’ gives them the option to stay put if they’d like to.

Cardboard boxes are another free way to offer your feline a space they can hide away in. Many cats will take a cardboard box to expensive bedding any day of the week! Maybe consider placing their favorite blanket inside the cardboard box?

Cat caves are another great option for ultimate safety and comfort.

cat under blanket

Calming Cat Music

Yes, there really is such a thing! Best of all, it really works! You have music that soothes you every time you hear it and so do our cats! Certain tones and frequencies instantly soothe the savage beast! 😀

See Also
safe houseplants for cats

Here are some excellent resources for where to find the most popular albums.

If you do a search on Google for calming cat music, you will find a nearly endless supply of music available that naturally calms anxiety and troublesome behavior. I highly recommend trying this option.

Lots Of Love!

One of the most important things you can do during this time of high-stress for your cat is to provide lots of love. For each cat, this will mean different things.

If your furbaby is more likely to attack during periods of stress, respect their boundaries. Never try to force them to come out or interact with you if they’re not ready.

However, if they are feeling receptive to your affection, be sure to give lots of it! Take time throughout your day to go and sit down with your cat. Talk with them. Play with them using their favorite toys. Just simply reassure them with your presence and your love.

The more of their normal routine you can keep intact, the safer they will feel during the whole renovation process. Cats are not big fans of change in their environment. Anything you can do to avoid too much change at once will help them adjust to your new home together.

It’s Easier Than You Think To Keep Your Cats Calm During Home Improvements

Really, it’s all about respect and consideration. What’s the golden rule? Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you 🙂 Cats, much like kids, are looking for that same thoughtfulness.

Keep them in mind. Be aware of how they seem. Do they seem to be acting oddly to you? If so, take some time to spend with them and pay attention to their needs.

Even though our [us humans & cats] needs are different – we have a whole lot in common too. Your home is their home too.

Trying to prevent too many changes at once, too much noise or too strong of smells – all of these small considerations add up to a big difference in your cat.

Some things are unavoidable. Renovation is messy. Lots of noise is a reality and change is too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take some precautions to make it as little of a trauma as possible.

How To Keep Your Cats Calm During Home Improvements 2
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Have you been through home renovation with your cats? What worked best for you and your family? I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing this article. I love each of you! Thank you for your support! 😻

This article contains affiliate links. If you should purchase through one of my links, zero cost will be added to your order. I may however make a tiny commission from the sale. Thank you for supporting the work we do here at Cat Care Solutions. I only recommend what I know & absolutely love!

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View Comments (31)
  • Your post is so thoughtful and exhaustive. I live In India and we don’t have all the products you have mentioned. I don’t have any renovation going on but one of my cats passed away recently and her companion is going through a lot of sadness and grief.

    • Aw, I am so sorry to hear that one of your cats recently passed away! That is such a heartbreaking thing to experience. They are family and it’s tough missing them. My deepest heartfelt sympathies are with you 🤗

      Shortly after you left your comment, I remembered that I had forgotten to add the part in this article about music for cats. You might try going to some of those links to see if any of those music samples soothe your kitty companion’s grief and sadness. So sorry it’s experiencing that. 😥

      I’m so grateful you took the time to read and comment. I appreciate you greatly! Wishing you a wonderful day. ♥

  • Our cats like to get involved with projects. Especially Spunk. He likes to in the middle of anything I’m doing. Drilling and hammering doesn’t bother our kitties. They don’t like power saws, which is good, but hand sawing fascinates them. My shop is in the catio, so I usually get lots of kitty help on whatever I’m working on.

    • I loved reading this 🙂 Isn’t it funny how some cats aren’t bothered by all the work, but actually enjoy keeping an eye on the proceedings? Sounds like Spunk & Dizzy would get along well! 😀 She is much the same. A lot of times, Bill & I can hardly get anything done because she is bobbing and weaving doing her best quality control monitoring! Your cats too?

      Shop in the catio – that’s interesting! I keep thinking we should build one here. Your cats love the one there?

      • Our cats love the catio. They have 24/7 access and they are in and out all the time. It’s funny because when it starts raining, which doesn’t happen here a lot, the cats will go out in the catio to be in the rain. Then they come in wet and want to sit on my lap or snuggle when I’m in bed. Nothing like a wet cat to wake you up in the middle of then night.

  • Such great advice. We need to have safe places for our babies when the workers show up. It’s so stressful for them.

    Have a fabulous day and week, Holly. ♥

    • Thank you so much Sandee! I hope your week is fantastic as well!

      Our kiddos are such great masters at hiding distress sometimes. I agree, it is definitely important to give them a space to retreat. Lots of love to you. Thank you so much for your comment ♥

  • This is such an amazing post. My cat Amber gets extremely anxious if anyone comes to our house. She hides the entire time. When we start doing the inside renovations on our home I worry it’s going to stress her out. I had no idea all these products existed!! I’ll definitely be checking into them for her. I love Jackson Galaxy. 😀 Wishing you the best with your renovations!

    • Thank you so much Michelle! 💕 Sounds like Amber is definitely the cautious type! Bless her heart. (She is so cute!) She probably will wonder what in the world has happened in her home! 🙂 How dare you Mama! Hopefully because of the work that she’s been hearing outside, she will be a bit more prepared for the work inside.

      I definitely do recommend trying out the Safe Space drops though. Or the calming collar. (Sometimes both are needed, depending on the level of anxiety). I think you would be surprised how much it might help her. Jackson Galaxy knocked it out of the park with those. We were very skeptical around here about it – but became believers after a week or so. She’s a different kitty 🙂

      Great to hear from you friend.

      • I’m hoping that she might be used to all the noises by now. I know it’s different being inside than outside, so I’ll have to see how she does with it. If so I’m definitely ordering those drops. Thank you so much for mentioning those! 😀

  • I think this is a brilliant topic to approach because a lot of us probably don’t think of home improvements being too disruptive to our furry friends so we’re not prepared when they start to have a mini meltdown. We’ve not had that experience yet with our cat, but I think there’s a possibility of moving in the near future (I truly hope so!) and that will mean more work will need to be done to the house first. I know Virgil gets anxious with loud continual noises; he hates hairdryers and vacuums, so I would anticipate sounds with renovations being a trigger for him. As for the mess, he’d probably enjoy that as he knows he can get away with doing anything he wants because we can’t blame him for it being a pigsty 😉

    It’s exciting that you’re having some refreshing done at home, although maybe ‘stressful’ rather than ‘exciting’ is the world you’d use!

    Absolutely keep cats away from wet paint, and paint pots too – Virgil put his paw on a paint pot lid before that was wet with paint and there were tiny white paw prints all over the patio!

    It’s amazing to know these kinds of stress relief remedies are available for cats, like Stress Stopper and Safe Space for Cats, what a brilliant idea!

    This is such a thorough, helpful post, you’ve done a brilliant job with it, Holly!

    I hope you have a lovely week & I wish you all the very best with the renovations! You might be wanting to try some of these tips like calming music yourself before the week is over 😂
    Caz xx

    • Thank you Caz for such a thoughtful comment 🤗 It is definitely exciting to see the home being updated. Right now I’m redoing what will become my home office and creating something from nothing. It’s kind of fun to have a vision and make it a reality, isn’t it?

      A move might be in the works for you, huh? Awesome! It sounds like you might be looking forward to it. I hope & pray that you will find the absolute perfect place for you and will be extremely happy there. It’s amazing what loving where you live does for the soul, isn’t it? Also amazing what being unhappy where you are can do. Plus, after you get done doing all the work that needs to be completed – you can sit back and enjoy your handiwork!

      I laughed when you said Virgil (cute name!) could get away with being naughty because you can’t blame it on him. Haha, that’s funny and true! I definitely do recommend the calming collar or the Safe Space drops for Virgil as you embark on the new journey in the new place. I think you will find that his adjustment period is much less. We still can’t believe how much of a difference it has made for Dizzy! She is far more confident and happy.

      I chuckled when you wrote about Virgil getting in to the white paint for the patio! Did you leave the kitty paw prints or did you decide it best to cover that up? 🙂 They are something else! Mischievous is an understatement!

      Thank you again for such sweet words. You just might be right about me needing that calming music, lol. There is a whole house left to go still, but hey, it’s one room at a time right? I bet you can relate! Sending you lots of love & best wishes for an awesome rest of the week. Hoping you are well 🤗

  • I wish we could keep our cat calm when we are not doing home improvements! He usually goes to what is now termed as his room (he has a shelf he sits on in the office) when people are around or a project is on the go 😉

    • Aww! Poor baby! You’ve got a shy, cautious kiddo on your hands, do you? I love how you now call it ‘his room.’ You might find that the “Safe Space” drops or a pheromone plug-in for the wall would really work wonders for him.

      Thank you so much for taking your time to come here & comment. I appreciate hearing from you! Many blessings to you & your family!

      • Thanks so much for your ideas for our little Chairman Meow! I always joke that he has a Napoleon complex, because he is the runt of his litter 😉 We like to say he is ‘misunderstood’ 😉
        Thank you for your site and all of the beautiful cats you help! Many blessings to you and yours!

  • Our 8 cats are special needs and some of your products listed here I will be looking into. I’m going to try to follow you, Holly, so I can get your posts via my reader. I don’t follow through email. It’s just too difficult with all the blogs I follow. I love your advice. I looked at the ingredients in the stress stopper and some of the ingredients are not too specific by saying “and others”. That throws a red flag. So I will be doing more research on these products to see what I can find out. The reviews sound fantastic. I have one cat, our Sassy, who is on Hospice Protocol (not eating, getting IV fluids, on pain med) who is extremely anxious. I don’t want to give her any more allopathic med for anxiety so for now, she is getting CBD oil and Rescue Remedy which helps tremendously. Thank you for all the information here. Bless your heart for doing this!!! xo

    • Hi Amy! Thank you so much for this incredibly thoughtful comment. You have touched my heart, hearing that you have 8 cats who are special needs. What a special blessing you are to those precious kiddos! GOD BLESS YOU for your love & care!

      I looked in to the Stress Stopper a little closer for you to see if I could find any more information. According to Jackson’s website, these are the official ingredients: This solution contains Natural Spring Water, Alcohol (as a preservative), Essence of Lotus, Lakshmi, Full Color Spectrum, Reiki Energy, and the following essences:
      Aspen, Basil, Blackberry, Canna Lily, Canyon Dudleya, Cat’s Claw, Chiton, Five-Flower Formula, Grounding Essence, Lantana Involucrata, Mimulus, Mountain Pool, Orange, Pelican, Pennyroyal, Scleranthus, Staghorn Algae, Sweet Chestnut, The Watchman, Valerian, White Cedar.

      (I’m in agreement with you when I see ‘and others’ ingredients etc. It always causes me concern.) We have the Safe Space for Cats with Dizzy primarily and it really has changed her life (and ours). I pause with concern over ‘hocus pocus’ nonsense with little to no validity. I’d never want to recommend anything that I felt would be harmful. We can never be too careful, wouldn’t you agree? Plus, as you and I both know, we can never be 100% sure how any individual kitty will react to something – much like us.

      I am so sorry about your baby Sassy. 🤗Bless her heart. She sounds like she is going through it! Words can not say how much it means to hear how you love her. What beautiful care you are providing her in her last days with you. I can only imagine that she is eternally grateful for you.

      Funny you should mention CBD oil. I was soon to do a post about this very topic (both here & on my upcoming living well with nature blog). It is such wonderful, all natural therapy for a smorgasbord of conditions. Your experience has been a positive one?

      I am following you as well. As for the email following, I completely understand! It becomes entirely too overwhelming to do. We will keep in touch. I appreciate you so much and am grateful you took the time to write your thoughts. Thank you for being you and for doing all that you do! All My Love ~ Holly

      • First a huge thank you for doing MY research!! My time is so packed taking care of so many special babies. Sassy has not been the same since her brother Cuddles suddenly died in February so I am not sure if she would respond to the grief remedy or the stress stopper. I think I will try both. These products sound wonderful!! I will be looking at all the products they offer.
        Yes CBD oil I use all the time. However, I do have one cat, Cookie, who instead of it calming her, excites her. Go figure. When using natural remedies you must be able to observe and understand what is going on to make sure the remedy you are using is beneficial or not. So I strictly use Rescue Remedy with her. She is a good candidate for the stress stopper. She is 16 years old with a heart condition and she is constantly go go go until she literally drops off to sleep. She’s always been very high energy. CBD oil is tricky …. you must find a reputable source (I have) and you must figure out the dosage for each cat. It’s a trial and error system.
        Thank you for following me. I am really grateful our paths crossed because I am sure I will be learning from you. So much of my life is dedicated to our cats that my blog is where I focus other aspects of me to bring Balance into my life. Today I will be following up on those products you mentioned and I will use the link to purchase the ones I feel necessary in our home. Thank YOU so much for sharing your knowledge. It is so challenging to treat our babies mostly with alternative medicine plus acupressure (hubby has the gift!), chiropractor adjustments (I have the gift!), healing touch … me, and I also use light therapy to a certain degree. To keep our cats happy every day is a huge challenge, one that I meet every day with a smile!! Much Love and so much appreciation to you! Amy xo
        PS I found a way to follow you! YAY! Your posts will be in my reader notifications now.

      • Aww, I am so sorry to hear about Cuddles passing and the grief Sassy is feeling because of it. Humans must remember that they do grieve too, even when it may not appear evident. They feel so deeply and we should never underestimate just how much so. Wouldn’t you agree?

        I genuinely hope if you do try the drops (either variety) that they are as helpful to your kiddos as they have been ours. If you do try them – will you let me know how things go? I’d love to hear your experiences.

        CBD oil is a truly promising treatment – both for humans and ‘pets.’ I believe in the healing power of nature and the treasures it holds. Always have. That’s partially why I was getting ready to write about CBD and the use of it for animal anxiety, pain, etc. I can see how, like you say, it would be trial and error. Finding a pure source of the product is definitely critical. There are so many shams out there simply trying to get your hard earned money. I’ve partnered up with a manufacturer of CBD as well and hope others will have a positive experience with it if/when they do try it. (Hopefully I’ll get that post soon as I think it will help a whole lot of folks.) I’d love to hear your expertise with it as well. If you’d like, you are welcome to write how it has worked for you and I can link back to your website 🙂 I did chuckle when you mentioned how Cookie gets wild on it. Our Dizzy gets violent on catnip! So I can see how that would happen.

        We are always our own worst critics and often don’t feel like our work is ‘good enough.’ I often struggle with that here on Cat Care Solutions and it stalls me from writing more. (sigh) To hear such encouraging words from you *genuinely* touches my heart in a way that I can’t say thank you enough for. When people support what we do, it is such an incredible feeling isn’t it?

        I am grateful for you and all that you do as well. Those precious felines in your life have a chance at life because of your love. God Bless You!! (By the way, sorry about the follow issue. I’ve added a button now for WordPress to make it easier. Thanks for reminding me!)

        All My Love & Thanks,
        Holly

      • Our cats are family, very close to each other, even going so far as to helping the other out when not feeling good. We had 3 deaths in less then 4 months, our last was April 1st, which left not only our cats reeling, but me collapsing. Between the work involved in Hospice, taking care of everyone else, and the emotional toll …. there are no words to describe the devastation. It is only through the grace of God and my strength that I am able to come back to the Land of Living again.
        When I see the post for CBD oil, I will post to leave my thoughts. Honey, my time is SO limited, leaving me most days running from one thing to another. My blog for another, is not geared for cats so I know I will not be writing about CBD oil on my blog. But like I said I will do my best here when the time comes. OK?
        Those precious felines are my babies. As I told someone today who DID NOT GET IT, I couldn’t love them more then if they were my human children. I’ve taken care of a total of 20 cats and down to the last 8. Every single one I mourned so deeply I didn’t know if I could make it back to the Light. LONG story ……
        And I’m glad now you have a WP follow on your site. Makes it much easier for others, believe me!
        Now off I go (been working since 7am and here it is 2pm) to cut back bushes and such in my gardens, up on a ladder and with clippers. This morning I ran over to get more pictures of the Green Herons in between cat care. Yup, I split the time atom.
        I ordered the remedy for breathing. I am a medical professional and my training is ABC …. airway, breathing, circulation. I have two cats with breathing issues …. if I see positive results I am turning right around to get the stress stopper and the one for grief. Bless you for leading me to these products. I mean IT!! Research is so time-consuming so I depend on the bread crumb system …. people coming into my life giving me suggestions. It works. Or else I just stumble upon something while researching and my heart says YES!
        Sending you my Love and HUGS!! Amy xo

      • Oh bless your heart Amy! 3 deaths in less than 4 months had to be terribly devastating. I am so sorry. What you are doing daily is a lot – a whole lot. It must feel overwhelming quite often. I do pray that you will take some time to care for yourself as well. 🤗

        Believe you me, I do completely understand what it is to love animals as family. They do become your children and the love really is the same. (Some people argue that but how you experience love is subjective and our personal experience is unique. No one should judge how you feel!) In my opinion, they [cats, dogs, animals in general] pretty much are children. Their care is entirely dependent on us and they trust us with their lives completely. That’s pretty darn special I’d say! My post on cat cremation – memorialize with love briefly touches on my life with ‘Shug.’ She was born with Feline Leukemia and that child was my world. Losing her was easily the hardest pain I’ve experienced & that is saying something unbelievable! She was with me during a point in my life when I was mostly bedridden and very sick. Her love inspired me daily! So I do get it, very much so. ♥

        As for the post about CBD oil, don’t you worry… I 100% understand being overwhelmed with daily activities. It is much that way here, which is why I am often missing in action for longer than I’d like – both on this blog and others. My compassion and understanding always extends to others facing the same. 🙂 I do adore your photography and encourage visitors here to go have a look. I hope you find some quiet time in nature to just decompress from it all and slow down….

        Very interesting about your background in the medical profession. I am curious to hear if the breathing drops do work for your kitties. If they do, I will recommend those here as well. I am hoping they work as well as the ones we have been using. If so, you’ll be pleased! ♥

        I am hoping your day today is peaceful, restorative and full of love. Love & hugs back to you 💕

      • Holly, my deepest condolences over you loss of Shug. I “felt” your heart in your words ….. deep breath. God bless you for choosing to continue living!
        I did get out into Nature and yes decompressed. In 2 different outings, I shot 1,000+ frames of Green Herons fishing. You will be seeing some of those soon. (smile) About the only two places I do not think about my “kids” are at the gym and when I’m out with my camera. Blogging too, helps, believe me. In order to keep a lid on my emotions and my stress level, I must do for me.
        I will most certainly tell you about the breathing drops. I tried looking for the grief remedy but found out there isn’t one. I also did buy “Safe House” (I think that is what it is called) and “Stress Stopper”. I won’t get my hopes up. I will however, do my very best to use these products in order to get the results I wish to see.
        I did have a good day today, thank you, after a rough start. Had a few laughs with someone I know at the gym after my butt and left leg seized up in a muscle spasm. Oh yeah, just my life here. LOL Ouch and then some, but it afforded me to just stand and talk. Good things do come out of everything. (smile) Hope you had a good day too!! xoxo

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