Loud noises, unusual sounds and bright lights can make cats feel anxious or even completely terrified. All of which makes fireworks very scary for felines. But with a little planning and effort, you can reduce the chances of your furry friend feeling stressed and running away.
Do your research
You can’t help your cat if you don’t know when firework displays are happening in your area. There will always be displays on New Year’s Eve. But Guy Fawkes displays don’t always happen on 5th November and may be spread across several nights at that time of year. You can’t control when your neighbours unleash their rockets and Catherine wheels, but it is worth asking them if they intend to let off fireworks and when they plan to do this.
Prepare your pet
Before your cat is likely to be exposed to fireworks, get them microchipped and invest in both a collar and ID tag. If your pet does happen to run off because they have been spooked, you will have a much better chance of getting them back.
On the night
Shut all doors and windows and don’t forget to lock your cat flap. This will ensure that your pet is safely indoors before the bangs and crashes begin. Not only will cats feel safer indoors, they won’t be exposed to the danger of falling debris, fires and and fireworks which have strayed off course.
Provide a litter tray for your furry friend so they can stay indoors all evening and feed them before the noise starts as they may be too scared to eat during the fireworks.
Turn on the TV to mask some of the noise and close the curtains to block out all of those bright lights and flashes.
Ensure that your cat can roam around the home as they will feel better if they can seek out a hiding place of their own choosing. If they do hide themselves away, don’t try to force them out of their den.
Stay at home with your pet and act normally or ask someone your cat knows to sit with them during the fireworks. It is important that whoever is with your pets remains calm themselves as this tells your kitty that all is well.
Extra help from pheromones
If your cat remains stressed, try a pheromone diffuser as this can reduce anxiety. Start using the diffuser a few days before any fireworks and place it in the room where your cat tends to spend most of its time.
How do you know if your cat is stressed?
If your cat runs off to hide and starts howling, you know that there is a problem. But some signs of stress are more subtle. Your cat might appear to be a little withdrawn or they may start circling or pacing. They could also refuse to eat. Keep an eye out for any abnormal behaviour as any changes in your pet’s demeanour could be signs that they are feeling stressed.