The 4th of July is here already! And it can be a scary time for pets, including cats! Cats are naturally fearful of loud noises because loud noises can mean DANGER! While we may not be able to control the neighborhood fireworks, we can help our cats cope with the stress and anxiety and keep them safe while we celebrate Independence Day.
Close the Doors
Frightened or stressed cats may try to escape out open doors or windows. It is important to make sure that all doors and windows are secure. If you are expecting guests, or if your activities will include a lot of going in an out, make sure to keep your cats in an area or room where they don’t have access to any open doors.
A Safe Hiding Place
Especially if you’re having guests, make sure that your cats are in an area where there are “safe” hiding places for them. Most cat owners already know where their cats like to hide so, if possible, make sure they have access to their favorite hiding place, if it is secure, and away from visitors and any doors or windows that might be opened. If their usual hiding place isn’t in a secure area, create a “comfort” area in a secure room, utilizing other recommendations noted here, along with a few tasty treats and maybe a new toy. Make sure that they have easy access to water and their litter box. Be sure to keep the litter box well away from their food/water.
Some music is soothing to cats. You can find playlists specifically designed for your cat on your favorite music app, and there’s also some great videos available on YouTube. Playing music or a video can help reduce the noise of fireworks and provide them with some entertainment also.
Some cats will respond well to pheromone sprays or plug-ins, which are designed to trigger a positive emotional response. Be sure to use only products that are designed for your cat and stay away from human “calming” remedies as these can be toxic to cats.
Cats are sensitive to your emotions, so it’s important that you stay calm as well. Talk quietly to them, and don’t force them to engage with you. If they are afraid, they may want to be left alone. Don’t try to pick them up or hold them if they don’t seem to welcome the attention. Remind your guests to respect this also.
Don’t Forget Your ID
Despite your best efforts, your cat may escape so be sure that you have a clear, recent photograph of each cat and that each cat’s identification, either an id tag or microchip, is up to date.
Inside is Best
If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, it is best that they stay indoors during the holiday. It is better that your cats are not out where they might fall victim to those individuals who find amusement in causing harm. Better the cats be unhappy indoors for a few days than be out and get injured or worse.
Not every cat is afraid of fireworks or loud noises and flashes, but these tips will help make the whizzbangs this 4th of July less stressful for every cat!