Hello, Cat Enthusiasts!
Many cats aren’t used to fireworks. They easily get overwhelmed with unusual sounds and sights and consequently experience stress and anxiety. These can affect a cat’s physical health and behaviour and can cause dangerous situations. Today we are going to discuss some measures to protect a cat from fireworks.
Escape-proof and Cat-proof Your Home
Some cats can panic and accidentally hurt themselves, run away from home or try to hide and end up getting stuck somewhere inside the house. It’s best to prepare the house before the event begins and prevent such situations.
Secure all entrances, especially if your cat is a door darter, and keep windows closed to prevent your cat from escaping.
Frightened cats often choose unusual places to hide, so check for any unsafe, small spaces and holes and seal them up. Make sure your cat can’t get stuck in places you can’t reach, such as gaps between the wall and appliances, air vents, crawlspace, etc.
Take Extra Safety Measures
In spite of the above precautions, a cat can still escape and get lost. It would be smart to ensure your cat can be identified and returned home in case the worst-case scenario occurs. Get a collar with an ID tag and have your cat microchiped. Keep your cat’s microchip registrations and the information on the tag current.
Provide Multiple Hiding Places
Hiding is an important coping mechanism for cats. Having multiple safe places to retire to provides them with a sense of security and reduces stress.
Cats prefer hiding in small enclosed spaces where they can conceal themselves, relax and rest from too much stimulation. Boxes, cat caves, cat tunnels, cat trees all make nice hiding places, just make sure they’re warm and comfortable. Use spaces that are quiet, private and away from drafts. Cats also like observing their surroundings while hiding, so choose locations with a good view. You can also improve your cat’s favourite resting places using soft blankets.
When your cat hides, wait for it to calm down and do not disturb it. Sometimes cats stay in hiding for a long time, too scared to visit their regular feeding location and the litter box, so even if your cat hides for a while, don’t panic and don’t try to pull it out. Just put some food, water and an extra litter box nearby and leave it alone. The cat will come out as soon as it recovers from stress.
Create a Relaxing Atmosphere
During the fireworks, block out the flashes of light and noise to make your cat feel more protected at home. Keep the curtains drawn and leave the lights on to distract the cat from sudden bursts of light outside. Provide background sounds to drown out the noise – play some soothing music at a normal volume or put the TV on.
Avoid creating additional stress by showing signs of nervousness with your body language. Instead, show your cat that it’s nothing to be afraid of. Act calmly, ignore the noise and don’t interrupt your cat’s normal routine.
Keep Your Cat Company
Don’t let your cat worry about your absence by leaving it home alone. Whether your cat prefers hiding or being by your side, stay around. You can do your usual activities or try to distract it from fireworks by keeping it busy and offering it some extra play and reassurance. Introduce a new toy, play your cat’s favourite game and offer some tasty treats. If your cat seeks your presence and contact, comfort it by stroking, brushing and talking. However, don’t insist if your cat wants to be left alone.
Try Calming Supplements
There is a variety of products for cats that support nervous system and help to reduce stress and anxiety. Some of the best stress remedies are calming cat treats, catnip and pheromone sprays. You can also try some aromatherapy using dried herbs and flowers, such as Valerian, chamomile and lavender, or consider using homeopathic blends of calming herbs which can be added to a water bowl. However, keep in mind that cats respond to pheromones and herbs differently (some of them can become even more agitated), so if you’re unsure what to choose, consult with your veterinarian to determine which of the supplements would be suitable for your cat.
Although fireworks can be stressful for cats, you can take steps to minimize harmful effects and offer your cat coping tools and an opportunity to distract and spend this additional time together doing something it enjoys instead of trembling with fear. However, if despite your efforts your cat is experiencing severe noise anxiety, it’s best to seek professional help.
If you have something to add or wish to share your experience, please leave a comment.
Thank You For Reading!