Fireworks season is often a fun time for humans, but it can be frightening for our felines. Loud noises often induce fear in our pets and can cause them to try and bolt or find a safe place to hide. In order to ensure your cat’s safety during the Fourth of July, here are some tips you can implement to help keep your cat feeling comfortable and safe during fireworks season.
7 Tips to Keep Your Cat Calm During Fireworks
1. Stay at home.
If you know or are worried that your cat is frightened of fireworks, consider staying home for the night to keep them company instead of heading out and leaving them alone.
2. Stay calm.
Cats are great at reading the emotions around them, so staying cool, calm and collected can help to put their fears at ease.
3. Close windows and block any exits.
If your cat is frightened, a screen may not be secure enough to keep them from escaping the home. Small crevices in your basement or cracked doors may also act as escape routes for an anxious feline. Keeping windows closed will also help reduce the “burning” smell of fireworks that can be bothersome to cats because of their more acute sense of smell.
4. Use curtains or blankets as a buffer.
Using curtains or blankets to block your windows can help to reduce noise and flashes of light that might distress your cat.
5. Mask leftover noise.
Playing soft, classical music or music created specifically for cats can help to reduce the intensity of the bangs, whistling and whizzing noises outside. Just be sure to keep the music at a reasonable volume, as blasting music may add to your cat’s distress.
6. Use playtime as a distraction.
Not all cats will be willing to play if they are feeling anxious, but if your cat is open to it, playtime can act as a compelling distraction from the noise outside.
7. Create a safe space just for them.
Anxious cats often seek out hiding places. Create a safe space for them, with a few different hiding spots available and easy access to water and a litter box. Consider using a pod or cave bed as a hiding spot for your cat. Place a shirt that smells like you in the bottom of the bed to provide a scent that is comforting and familiar.
By providing your cat a safe space to hunker down, and by doing your part to block out overwhelming sounds, smells, and sights, you can help ensure that your cat stays safe during fireworks season. Just being there to provide comfort and cuddles, should they want to snuggle, can do wonders for your cat.
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by Alice Sewell
Cats generally are not huge fans of fireworks. Fireworks not only result in your cat being stressed and anxious but could even cause them to run away and become lost. You’re probably not going to be able to completely eliminate the presence of fireworks, but you can do things to keep your cat safe and calm during fireworks with these following tips.
If it’s likely there are going to be fireworks at night, make sure to spend more time playing with your cat during the day. The extra exercise can wear them out, resulting in your cat sleeping through the fireworks.
If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, be sure to keep them inside once it gets dark and lock the cat door so they can’t get back outside. Try to stay home as well. Even if your kitty hides all night, they will be more comforted knowing there is someone familiar nearby, which can help minimize stress and anxiety during the fireworks.
Provide a safe space for your cat to retreat to. Place their favorite bed or cat tree in an enclosed and quiet space, ideally as far as you can from windows and doors. Place some extra blankets in their hideaway space as well and some fun toys. Catnip toys can be great as a distraction for your cat.
It’s also a good idea to keep windows and curtains closed to help reduce the visual and sound stimulation. This will reduce, although not eliminate, the sound from the fireworks and will remove the visual stimulation of the firewo rks, making it less scary for your cat.
Consider an anxiety-reducing product. If you know your cat is easily stressed and/or very afraid of fireworks, an anxiety reducing product can help keep your cat calm during fireworks. You could try CBD to help in de-stressing your cat (learn more about CBD here!) Alternatively, anxiety vests, such as a Thundershirt, are a good drug-free option. Lastly, pheromones are perfect for keeping a cat calm. Try plugging in a calming pheromone adapter to help ke ep kitty calm and relaxed.
As long as the windows and doors are locked and the cat door is closed, your cat shouldn’t be at risk of running away but make sure your cat has a break-away collar with ID tags on (even if they don’t usually wear their collar) and is micro-chipped just in case they manage to escape. If you open the door, make sure you know where your cat is and ideally close them in the room they are in while the door is open; cats are quick and can bolt very quickly if the opportunity presents itself, especially when scared and stressed.
Now you know how to keep your cat calm during fireworks! Let us know if these tips work for you.
Many people don’t think cats are as affected by fireworks as dogs. But that’s because dogs tend to come to their owners for protection, whereas cats are more likely to hide – making their distress less visible.
As you get ready to celebrate any holiday where fireworks are common (like the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve), remember that your cat has sensitive hearing. So, when explosions are happening in the sky, it probably seems like the world is ending to them.
So, make sure your cat has a good hiding place, and that you do your best to keep your home as calm and quiet as possible.
How to keep your cat calm and safe during fireworks
1. Close your doors, windows, and curtains
Animal shelters around the US report that more pets go missing around the July 4th than most any other time of the year. One of the big reasons why is that the fireworks going off scare cats, and they panic and bolt out the door or window. So, not only will keeping the house shut up tight keep some of the sounds muffled, but they’ll also help prevent your cat from making a break for it.
2. Provide a quiet spot for your cat
When scared, a cat’s first instinct is usually to hide. So, help them out by setting up a quiet and comfortable area in your home. Provide a bed, litter box, water, and make sure it’s a place they’re usually comfortable in.
3. Play distracting sounds
The booming of fireworks can be jarring for any of us, but particularly for cats. By playing sounds (at a moderate volume) to distract them, you can help alleviate some of the stress. For example, if you normally watch TV in the house, that will be a sound your cat is used to. Or, if you typically listen to a lot of music, playing that can provide a distraction for your cat. The key here is not to play the music too loudly.
4. Comfort them – but don’t pick them up
Cats take many cues from their owners, so by speaking to them in a soothing voice and using calm body language, you can help keep them calm. However, as cats are often quite agitated by the flashing lights and sounds, it’s best not to pick them up – they may scratch or bite out of defense.
5. Talk to your veterinarian about medications
If you’re particularly concerned about your cat during the holidays, make sure to talk to your local cat veterinarian about possible solutions. There are a variety of anti-anxiety medications that can be prescribed, as well as some pheromone treatments that reduce anxiety (Feliway is a commercially available products that many cats respond well to).
Fireworks. We love seeing the pretty colours and patterns in the sky, but some cats (and dogs) are terrified of the noises that come with fireworks.
And can we blame them? Those noises are loud!
So how do we keep our cats calm while fireworks are going off?
In an ideal situation, we would move them away from the fireworks by spending that time elsewhere. But this isn’t always possible, especially when the fireworks are unplanned or set off by others near your home.
What to do the first time fireworks go off.
The difficulty is that we don’t know if our cat is scared of fireworks till they are exposed to them the first time.
We suggest approaching this first time like they are scared of fireworks, and if they aren’t it makes it easier for you.
Bring your cat indoors
Fireworks may cause your cat to bolt, especially when they are outdoors. With this in mind, we recommend you bring your cat indoors when you know fireworks may be let off or if you start to hear fireworks.
Prepare your home
If you can, stay home with your cat so that you can monitor how they react and keep them calm.
If you can’t stay at home, do your best to prepare your home for an anxious cat.
Muffle the noise
What usually startles cats is the noise of the fireworks, so do whatever you can to stifle the noise. Close the windows and doors and blinds and curtains.
If your cat is used to the TV or radio being on, this will also help distract them. Another option is to play music for cats, which has been created specifically to help cats calm down.
Create a safe space for your cat
Cats love having a safe space to surrender into when they feel anxious or scared and it is easy to create several options for your cat at home.
This could be their cat backpack, a box, a favourite cat bed, a cave in their cat tree, their cat tunnel or even a blanket fort.
Make these spaces cosy using things like blankets and even your clothes as they will appreciate being able to smell you.
If your cat responds to calming sprays like Feliway you can use these too.
We recommend not shutting your cat in a small confined space as this may stress them more as they can’t escape. If they want to go into a small space, let them decide that themselves.
Once the fireworks go off
When the fireworks start, watch your cat closely to see how they respond.
Pay attention to your cat
Many anxious cats will hide in their safe space and prefer to be left alone. While other would like to be near you or even be patted.
Pay attention to your kitty and decide how they would like you to respond. Perhaps they would like you to be near them while they hang in their cat cave, while others may prefer to stay far away from their humans. Don’t force cuddles on your cat if they do not want them as this may stress them.
Cats pick up on their human’s feelings. With this in mind, do your best to stay calm, as this will help them stay calm.
Play with your cat
If your cat is interested, you can distract them from the scary firework sounds by using play time. Play with them using their favourite toys and perhaps set up some food puzzles.
After the fireworks
When you start catexploring with your cat once fireworks are over, keep an eye out for potential debris from the fireworks that your cat may pick up, play with or even eat.
But what about the surprise fireworks?
We can’t plan for all fireworks as they may surprise us.
If your cat is scared of fireworks and they suddenly start going off, make sure they have a safe space inside. Chances are your cat has already picked out their favourite safe space in your home and will retreat here.
This article contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, at no cost to you, Catexplorer receives a small commission which is used to continue to help the Catexplorer Community.
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The 4th of July is probably a cat’s least favorite holiday. I know it is at our house. Even Ruby, who was not afraid of thunderstorms, became unsettled when fireworks started going off in our neighborhood. Allegra used to be terrified during fireworks. Thankfully, the last few years, she’s handled the noise better. What makes dealing with fireworks so challenging is that the noise usually begins a few days before the holiday, extending the stress for cats beyond just one single day.
A cat’s sense of hearing is much more acute than ours, and all the noises associated with the holiday are much more intense for them. Add to that the lack of understanding of what is going on, and you can have a very scared cat on your hands.
These tips can help your cat cope with fireworks:
Create a safe room or safe hiding places
If there’s a room in your house where the noise from fireworks is the least noticeable, you may want to designate that as a safe room during the holiday. Put beds, food, water, toys, and cat trees and scratchers in the room. Leave a radio or tv on in the room; this may act as white noise and block out some of noise. “Igloo style” cat beds can also be a good option. If you keep these types of beds in areas where you and your cats spend a lot of time, they may use them to hide from the noise rather than hiding under the bed.
Close all the windows
Close windows and lower shades and/or draw blinds to at least lower noise levels somewhat.
Play some calming music
Don’t try to drown out the sound of fireworks by blasting the music. Choose soothing classical music, or calming music especially designed for cats.
Natural calming remedies
Remedies such as Rescue Remedy, Stress Stopper or Storm Soother can help keep kitties calm. Pheromone plug-ins such as Comfort Zone with Feliway can also help – use in the area where your cat tends to hide during storms.
Our cats pick up on our emotions, and if we’re anxious, they’ll be anxious as well. Even though some experts claim that trying to comfort your cat when she’s scared will reward and reinforce her fear, I disagree with that advice. As long as you don’t overdo it and just act like you normally do, you’ll reassure your cat that everything is fine.
If your cat has reacted very badly to fireworks in the past, you may want to talk to you veterinarian about prescribing anti-anxiety medication.
*FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon and affiliated sites, and an affiliate partner of Jackson Galaxy. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.
This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.
Fireworks displays are sure to highlight the many events that summer brings – from the fourth of July to parades to historical events. While these can light the sky and provide an amazing show of color and designs, not everyone appreciates them. Dogs and cats alike can be terrified of fireworks, and can cause stress and anxiety. If you have a large backyard you can also purchase fireworks for your next family event, from companies like Uncle Sam Fireworks and Indiana and Chicago Firework Super Store. There is nothing like a fireworks display to liven up a party!
If you have a feline you want to protect from the noise, here are a few tips that will help keep them calm and relaxed.
- Keep them inside: This seems obvious but is worth mentioning. Secure all doors, windows and cat flaps to make sure kitty doesn’t run away. It’s not that they don’t love you, but their fright factor kicks in and they try to run away from the noise. Because they’re frightened, they may become confused, and can easily get lost. If this does happen, making sure your cat is microchipped will help any vets identify your feline friend and return them to you safely.
- Don’t coax them out: During a fireworks display, your cat may jump on top of cupboards, or under the bed to hide. This makes them feel safer. Don’t try to coax them out; let them stay in their ‘safe’ place. If you know where your cat usually goes when scared, you might want to make sure they have easy access to it.
- Leave your cat alone: You may want to comfort your cat, but try to refrain from picking him up or cuddling him. This may make them even more scared. It’s best to leave them alone to their own devices, as most cats just want to deal with things themselves. If they nuzzle up to you, then certainly give them a bit of extra encouragement – but it’s best for them to decide.
- Draw the curtains: This will diffuse some of the noise, and the sight of the fireworks display. It also helps to have some soothing music or the TV on low to mask the noise. There are CD’s available specifically designed for keeping cats calm and relaxed.
- Make sure litter is accessible: Another obvious point but worth mentioning. Make sure their litter box is inside and easily accessible. Don’t move it on the day of the fireworks, or even a few days before to avoid any confusion.
- Use a diffuser: If you know that your cat is afraid of fireworks, a Feliway diffuser may help keep him calm. Place it where he spends most of his time a few days before the fireworks; this will increase his sense of security in that specific area once the festivities commence.
Establishments that sell fireworks, such as Uncle Sam Fireworks, Indiana Fireworks and the Indiana and Chicago Firework Super Store can offer more tips on how to keep your pets safe and calm during a fireworks display.
US Fireworks offers a wide selection of fireworks regardless of the size of your event. Call or visit today to learn more.
As we well know, cats are animals that are easily scared, but if you add to this the common enemy for many pets such as firecrackers, they can have a hard time.
The end of the year is approaching and, in many places, it is the perfect time to use fireworks or firecrackers. If you want some tips so that your cat copes better with fireworks with less fear, do not miss the following blog.
How to keep your cat calm during fireworks or firecrackers
Spreading feline pheromones around the house will make the cat calmer and more relaxed. There are different brands on the market where you can buy one for these holidays.
Close windows and leave the cat indoors
If your cat can go outside for daily walks, we recommend that you leave the cat on the 31st and the 1st at home for its safety.
In addition, you should try to isolate the house from noise as much as possible by closing windows and blinds.
Distract the cat
If you see that your neighborhood is going to start using firecrackers, it is recommended that you distract your cat with games and sweets to prevent him from focusing all his attention on these new sounds.
Be there for your cat
One of the best tips we can give you is to be present, that is, avoid leaving the cat alone at home on such special dates when the neighborhood can use more firecrackers or shrill noises more often.
The reinforcement of seeing that its human family is calm and that they will have arms to go to if they need it is perfect.
Prepare an area for them
A very good option is to prepare a place with its toys and an insulated bed where the cat can retire if it wishes. In these moments, having beds like “igloo” in which the cat is more protected like a cave is a great advance to make him feel safe.
Above all, do not force your cat to do something he does not want. It is better to let them express themselves as they need and not to reinforce their fear with too much attention to avoid increasing their insecurity by giving them the reason about their uneasiness.
We hope you have a great year 2021 surrounded by your feline family.
Despite the term “scaredy-cat,” cats actually tend to be rather fearless. They are typically quite headstrong, independent, and have even been known to take on larger animals if the need arises. As with most animals, however, they do have extremely sensitive hearing. Thus, loud noises can frighten them quite easily. With Independence Day here (and a host of other holidays soon after), you may want to prepare yourself, and kitty, for loud and sudden noises.
Keep Calm and Hug Your Cat
Animals are pretty in tune with the emotions and behavior of their humans. This means that they can feel it when you get stressed or upset and in turn, they do likewise. One of the best ways to keep fluffy calm is to stay calm yourself. If the loud booms of a thunderstorm or crackling fireworks get you worked up (in a good or bad way) you need to keep your cool and relax! Of course, giving your furbaby a nice, soothing cuddle will definitely help as well.
Set Up a Safe Place
Some kitties prefer to be alone when they are scared. If your cat is not keen on being held or snuggled, set him up a safe space. This can be a room in the house with very little or no windows. If that’s not an option try setting them up a space using Stacks. Preferably, one with your scent which will help to further comfort your kitty.
Stay Home with Your Pet
Another effective way to calm fluffy during stressful situations like loud noises is to simply be there. You are a calming presence to your pet. This granted you aren’t freaking out yourself! Remember, they take cues from you, so if your calm, they’re likely to do the same. This is also a great time for distractions. Set out your cat’s favorite enrichment toys and games, such as the Cat Amazing puzzle feeder. This will kitty stimulated and their minds occupied on treat-hunting and playing. They may be too on edge to participate, but it won’t hurt to try.
Close the Blinds and Turn Up the Tele
Soundproofing may not be possible for everyone, but closing the blinds might help. It will block the bright, flashing lights. Also, turn on and turn up, the radio or T.V. to drown out the loud pops and bangs. This will be especially helpful if they are usually on- familiarity is comforting.
Keep Even Outdoor Pets, Indoors
Even if your cat is more of an outdoor adventurer, we suggest bringing them indoors during all the commotion. You don’t want kitty getting spooked and possibly hurt in the process. A frightened cat can bolt, getting lost, or even hit by a car. Avoid the “what-if’s,” by simply bringing them inside. While you’re at it, if your four-legged child is not microchipped, what are you waiting for?! Having your pet microchipped greatly increases your chances of finding a lost pet.
Among the many over the counter medicines that claim to help with pet anxiety, pheromone products seem to have some of the best results. Pheromones are a form of communication, animal-style. Animals receive pheromones through their vomeronasal organ which is situated between the nose and mouth. They help relieve anxiety and come in many forms including:
If your cat suffers from serious anxiety from loud noises, like thunderstorms, you should definitely consult with your veterinarian. A vet can prescribe a medication to ease the stress for your furry friend. These medications mimic the human versions so Xanax, Amitriptyline, or Buspirone may be prescribed. If you want something a bit milder, ask the doctor about a normal dosage of diphenhydramine (Benedryl).
Our cats count on us to keep them safe, happy, and comfortable. As much as they seem to “get us,” they are not likely to understand noisy festivities. To let your favorite furball know that you care, try the tips above and let us know what works best for you and yours.
Have a Meowy Fourth of July furiends!