Home / BeWell / Wellness / Cats and Fireworks: 10 Tips for Happy Cats this Fourth of July
We pet parents might look forward to the Fourth of July, with the marching bands and fireworks displays that come with this time of year—but our cats are likely dreading it.
Cats are sensitive to loud noises, so the loud bangs of fireworks can cause them serious stress. And that’s not even considering the flashes of light they create, or any party guests or visitors you’re expecting at your home during the holiday. Any combination of these things is a recipe for cat’s anxiety.
So now, as fireworks season is approaching, follow these top tips to help your kitty stay happy and calm.
Even if you have an adventure cat
, now’s not the time to let them wander outdoors. Even for experienced outdoor cats, the noise of fireworks can turn the most confident, well-acclimated kitty into a frightened cat who’s prone to running away. You do not want to spend the night of the 4th, the day of the 5th or more, looking of your missing cat in the hopes they turn up. Don’t risk it—keep your cat securely at home. If you have a cat flap or cat door leading outside, make sure it’s locked. (Silver lining? If you’re not a party animal, you can always use your cat as an excuse to stay in and cuddle.)
Juuust in case you haven’t taken a photo of your cat recently (what, is your phone broken or something?), it’s a good idea to have up-to-date pics of them on hand in the unfortunate event that your scared cat does go missing. Make sure your photos show any distinctive markings. You can use recent photos to share with local shelters and rescues, print out on missing posters, and share on social media to enlist others in looking for your furry friend.
If you haven’t already, get your cat both a collar with ID tag and microchip. Holiday BBQs usually means a house full of guests who might not notice a curious cat trying to make a break for it. Without the collar, your pet cat looks like a feral cat. Without a microchip, your cat is completely without identification should your cat somehow lose his or her collar.
If you already have your cat microchipped, check to make sure that their account is still active with your microchip provider.
Visitors to your home might think they’re being sweet when they try to feed your cat party scraps—but when it comes to common BBQ fare like onions and garlic, they might actually be poisoning your pet. Make sure all guests know that the cats have been fed, by you (even if they act like they haven’t eaten in days), and should not, under any circumstances, get more food or drink.
Pick the quietest room in your home and make a comfy, cat-safe place for your cat to hang out during the fireworks. Include favorite toys and comforts, perhaps a cherished treat. Many cats like hiding places like caves
or closets; if you can provide one of those in this quiet room, that might just become their new favorite hideout.
Consider using relaxing flower essences such as Rescue Remedy
to keep your cat calm. If your cat is normally anxious, consider Feliway
pheromone plug-ins, diffusers and sprays to keep them relaxed.
You might play some soft, soothing music to block out the sound of fireworks to distract your cats such as classical or music composed specifically to keep cats calm (yes, this does exist!
). This soothing background noise can do wonders for your kitty’s nerves.
Try turning the TV on to a nature channel. The sights and sounds could distract your cat enough to help them relax.
Many cats are calmed by compression wear, such as Thundershirt
, which in effect swaddle cats to give them a feeling of security.
Cats are incredibly perceptive creatures, and they can be sensitive to your emotions. So even though you know this might be a stressful time for your kitty, try not to get too wound up about it. If you remain calm and relaxed as the fireworks explode, your cat will be more likely to do the same.
By following the steps above, you’re sure to have a fabulous celebration while knowing your cat is safe and comfortable as well. What more could you ask for? Happy Fourth of July!