As we approach the season of fireworks celebrations, it is important to remember that the festivities can be quite distressing for our feline friends. Cats are known for their sensitivity to loud noises and sudden bursts of light, making fireworks displays a potentially stressful and even dangerous experience for them.
To ensure the safety and well-being of your beloved cat during these celebrations, we have compiled a list of 10 essential tips. By following these guidelines, you can help minimize their anxiety and create a secure environment for them to navigate through this noisy time of year.
- Keep your cat inside
If your cat is normally one who likes to venture outside alone, make sure to bring them in before sunset. Your cat may run off, become disoriented, and get lost if left out while fireworks are going off. Don’t forget to keep them in on other firework-heavy holidays like New Year’s Eve, Labor Day, or Memorial Day.
- Create a safe hiding spot
Does your cat have a favorite hiding spot? Make sure to make it as comfortable as possible. Adding favorite treats, toys, and a blanket can make your cat more at ease. Does your cat feel safer in a high spot? Place a box with some blankets on top of your cupboard or fridge. Placing a t-shirt with your scent on it in its hiding spot can provide them with soothing scents.
- Leave on all the lights and cover the windows
The combination of sudden light flashes, loud booms, and vibrations in the air can be frightening to cats. To minimize the effects of the flashes, close all of the curtains or blinds in your home. Leaving the lights on will also defuse the bright flashes coming in even further.
- Turn on the radio or television
To try to minimize the noise of the loud bangs and pops, turn on some music or the television. Does your cat have a favorite song, tv show, or movie? This may be a good distraction and could provide extra comfort during this stressful time. The lights of the television can also distract from the flashes from outside the home too.
- Don’t lock up your cat in a confined space
Confined safe spaces are okay as long as your cat enters them of their own choice. But locking them in a small area may cause them to injure themselves if they try to escape. It is best to give your cat multiple options and access to all of the safe rooms in your house.
- Act normal
Cats are extremely clever and observant animals that can notice even subtle behavioral changes. Becoming too clingy or spoiling them more than the usual amount can tip them off and make their anxiety worse. Once you have ensured your cat is safe in your house, treat the day like it is normal. Do your regular play, mealtime, and nightly routines. Acting normally can show your cat that the fireworks are they are nothing to be afraid of.
- Don’t pick your cat up
Picking up a stressed-out feline can cause them to panic more which could lead to sudden aggression. Only pick them up if they seek you out for physical comfort. Don’t forget to give them time to process their heightened emotions and don’t take offense if they choose to be left alone for the next day.
- Ensure that your home is escape-proof
Cats can squeeze themselves through the smallest cracks and openings, so make sure that your home is closed up well. Ensure that all windows and doors are closed. If you have a cat door, make sure that it is locked. You also want to block off any crevasses that your cat may try to crawl into and could possibly get stuck in. Do this way before the fireworks start.
- Get your cat microchipped
Accidents can happen and your cat may be able to find an escape route you were not aware of. In case they manage to get out of your house, you want to make it easy for them to be found again. A microchip can’t be lost like a collar or tag. Just make sure that your information stays up to date with the microchip company. You might want the extra security a breakaway collar and tag can provide too. These are more visible and will help whoever finds your cat, reach out to you quicker.
- Consult your vet
If the measures above don’t seem to be helping your cat’s anxiety about fireworks, it might be best to have a conversation with your veterinarian. They are medical professionals that can prescribe anxiety medication to your cat if needed. They may have other solutions such as pheromone diffusers that can also help your cat relax. Veterinarians are our best source for anything that is wrong with our cats.
Remember, our cats rely on us as their caregivers to provide them with protection and comfort. With a little extra care and consideration, we can make sure our cats feel safe during fireworks celebrations while still enjoying the festivities ourselves.
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