Firework season is fast approaching, and although this year it may be slightly different without the organised community displays, we can guarantee that there will still be plenty of fireworks being set off in people’s gardens.
For our pets, especially cats, the loud and unexpected noises that fireworks make can really scare them and stress them out. If you are a cat owner, we have put together a list of top tips for you to try and ease your cat’s stress and anxiety, and hopefully, help them feel much more comfortable during the next few weeks.
Keep your cats indoors
This may seem an obvious suggestion, but by keeping your cats indoors during evenings and night times (when fireworks are going to be being let off), your cat will already feel much safer. They will be happy in the comfort of their own home, with you there to look after them.
Create a safe hiding place
If your cat normally hides in a specific place, make sure they have access and encourage them to use the space with treats and toys. A box lined with blankets and with the opening slightly covered is ideal. They will feel safer the higher up they can go, so placing the box on a top shelf or cupboard will help, ensuring it’s safe. It is very important not to shut your cat in a confined area as they could injure themselves trying to escape. Allow access to all safe areas of the house.
Make sure there is background noise
It is a good idea to have the radio or television on during, before and after fireworks are being set off in your local area. The background noise will distract your cat from the noises outside, and hopefully they won’t notice it as much.
Keep your curtains drawn
It’s not just the loud noises of fireworks that scare cats, but it’s the flashes they create too. Covering your windows with curtains or blinds will help to reduce any sudden changes in the lighting within the home.
Try to leave your cat alone
When your cat is stressed or anxious, it’s important that you try to avoid picking your cat up or excessively petting them. This can make them more stressed and can actually lead to aggressive behaviour. Remember that your cat can sense your emotions and feelings too, so try to remain calm to decrease their anxiety levels.
Microchip your cat
Cats have a habit of running off when they are scared. To make sure your cat can be identified, you must have them microchipped, as well as wearing a collar with an engraved tag containing their address and a contact number. If you don’t currently have your cat microchipped, contact your vet as soon as possible to arrange an appointment.
If you are planning to have a private fireworks display in your garden, please consider the animals that live in your neighbourhood. Try to buy the silent fireworks, as this will really reduce the anxiety they experience during this time of year. It would also be polite to warn your neighbours who have pets in advance, so they can do what they can to comfort their animals.