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by Carol Bryant
Here comes the bride, with a cat by her side. More and more couples are including a cat family member in their nuptials. These nine tips will have you and your cat walking down the aisle before you say "I do."
1. Make sure the venue allows pets
With more facilities allowing dogs to take part in wedding day fun, double-check to ascertain if cats are welcome too.
2. Know if you have a cooperative cat
If your cat isn't fond of strangers and a variety of sounds and situations, it might be in your best interest to avoid imposing any stress and its aftermath on the cat or the special day.
3. Involve your cat in a rehearsal
The only surprise a bride should have on her wedding day is who will catch the bouquet -- not who is keeping an eye on the cat.
4. Let your family in on the secret
"A pet plays an important role in a couple's life. For many pet parents, family festivities would not be complete without their pets' involvement," says John D'Ariano, president of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). Let family members know of your intents and wishes to include the family cat.
5. Be sensitive to guests with pet allergies
Some guests may be allergic to cats, so be cognizant of any allergies and ask guests ahead of time if the cat may potentially cause a flare-up.
6. Play cat dress-up in advance
Planning to dress your cat in a bow tie or animal tuxedo? Get it used to this attire at home, ensure it isn't uncomfortable and address any alterations in advance.
7. Plan for a cat sitter
Arrange for someone familiar to the cat to be in charge of its whereabouts as you say "I do."
8. Remember that bathroom accidents happen
Despite all the planning and coordinating, accidents can occur. Make sure someone is on poop patrol to clean up expediently.
9. Prepare a travel bag
"Bring all of your cat's must-haves, including treats, toys and other comfort items," says D'Ariano.
With these time-tested tips, there is no need to leave your cat behind on your special day.
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