These days noisy fireworks no longer seem to be confined to just 5th November with other festivals and general ease of purchase contributing to anxious cats up and down the country. So it’s important to take extra special care of your cat during firework season making sure you can spot the signs of nervousness and know how to deal with them safely and effectively.
While the traditional festivities – particularly those based around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve – might be hugely entertaining for us, they can be extremely distressing for our fearful felines. Apart from any obvious physical damage that can occur as a result of actual contact with fireworks, cats can also be badly affected by the resultant loud noises and flashing lights. It’s not uncommon for behavioural problems to arise as a result of fear and stress, including soiling of the home or excessive grooming, as well as the serious danger of your cat running away.
The following tips should ensure that you and your cat can both enjoy these festivities with peace of mind that your cat will remain safe and sound:
• Make sure you keep your cat indoors after dark, providing him/her with a litter tray if they are used to having garden access.
• Try to reduce outside noises and bright lights by keeping windows firmly shut and curtains drawn. Playing soothing music or having the TV on may also help drown out some of the noise.
• In order to feel secure, cats need to be settled in cosy, familiar territory such as a comfy bed, favourite chair, or one of those beds that hooks over the radiator. Please consider providing your cat with a safe place to hide, such as an igloo bed.
• Ask your vets about synthetic pheromone sprays and plug-in diffusers (available over the counter without a prescription) as these can create a reassuring environment for the cat. There are also natural oral medications available that can effectively reduce anxiety.
• Finally please make sure all doors and windows are securely fastened – sensitive cats may be startled by the noise and try to run away. Make sure your cat is microchipped if he/she isn’t already – especially house cats.