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How To Help Protect Your Cat From Fear of Fireworks

Annie the innocent

Well, there is something that Annie is afraid of after all.  Fireworks and firecrackers. Last night the loud booms began and Annie was terrorized.  Mercy and Eddie did not appear to be as afraid, but this was the first time Annie has shown any type of fear and boy was she scared.

Gracey was terrified of the loud booms from the bottle rockets set off in our neighborhood and the reverberation from the city fireworks display would leave her trembling in terror. We learned how to do our best to protect Gracey by creating her own little refuge but now with three cats we needed to expand the plan.  Here are of few tips for keeping your cat calmer during fireworks or thunderstorms.

How to Help Protect Your Cat From Fireworks Fears

  • A Safe Place

We have a basement, also known as, the Man Cave.  This area of our home is ideal for the cats because there are only very small windows we can close off to shut out the light and help insulate the noise.  This area is also the furthest away from the partying neighbors.

If you don’t have a basement, you can create a safe room inside a closet. This space will be  large enough to place a small protective hideaway bed making it a cozy retreat for your cat.

Pull the curtains or lower the window shades to keep out flashing lights and help to insulate from the noise.

  • Provide Your Cat Comfort

Annie in pei pod

We place a hideaway bed, we have the Kat Kabin * and the Pei Pod* but any enclosed style bed will work.  You might even use a cardboard box that is large enough to open up and provide shelter for your cat.  Just place a blanket or soft towels in the box and your cat will have a place to feel safer.  If your cat responds well to calming remedies like  Comfort Zone with Feliway for Cats Spray,* this is the perfect time to apply to your cats bedding or around the safe area.

Gracey in Thundershirt for cats

Gracey in her Thundershirt.

We put Gracey in her Thundershirt* for fireworks and storms and it really did help keep her calm.  We went through Thundershirt training first. You won’t want to add even more stress putting it on your cat for the first time when anxiety is already running high.

  • Place a Few of Your Cat’s Favorite Things

You might  place a few of  your cat’s favorite toys, and a place to scratch. Our cats love the Imperial Cat Scratchers* and they are made in the USA, so perfect for the 4th of July.  Place your cat’s food dishes with some of their favorite treats and some fresh clean water. And although not exactly a favorite thing,  place a clean litter pan in close proximity to the safe area.

  • Create a Sense of Calm

Try to stick to your everyday routine.  Cats love  a schedule to feel safe and secure.  If you typically have the television on, then keep the television on during the fireworks display.  Do not blast the volume in an attempt to drown out the booms outside.  This isn’t good for your ears and it is even worse for your cat’s hearing that is  more sensitive to the higher amplitude of sound.  Did you know that fireworks decibel level is 140 just below the 180 of an aircraft at take off?  So keep the volume down on the television or any calming music you might play in the background.

  • Allow Your Cat To Make The Choices

Although it might be tempting to hold your cat tight, or want to drag them out from under the sofa, it is important to let your cat make the choice during this stressful time.  Don’t force your cat to come out of hiding, creating even more stress.  Try to have your cat’s safe place ready  long before the fireworks begin so your cat can explore and get used to the new space.  This will enable your cat to make a mad dash for safety on the first squeal of the bottle rocket launch.

  • Rest and Recover

After the fireworks are over.  Allow your cat to return to their normal routine when they are ready.  You might tell your cat in a calm and reassuring voice that everything is fine. They will come back out when they are ready.  Last night, I spoke to Annie in a calm voice and told her everything was just fine.  She looked at me with her big green eyes and tilted her head.  Mercy and Eddie were ready for a treat, and one shake of the bag brought Annie out to join them.

We wish you a safe and fun holiday.

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  • mnphouka

    My cat Tayler does not like fireworks or thunderstorms….she will go into the bathroom or closet and she has blankies and beds…she has gotten better this year but still freaks out a bit. I was going to try a calming collar on her but she falls over when I put collars on her….lol silly cat! Munch sleeps through everything!

  • katsrus

    My Garfield hates fireworks and I found out my kitten does too. Poor things hid under the bed. I never thought of using a closet. We have a moblie home so hard to get away from the noise. Some really good tips.
    Sue B

  • catchatcaren

    these are all great tips, wish I had them when my Angel Bobo was alive. Cody was completely unplussed by the fireworks (and they were LOUD even with the TV cranked up!) Dakota was losing his mind lol

  • Eileen Briesch

    Juliette didn’t seem spooked at all last night, which surprised me. She is really scared by thunderstorms and even light rain, which send her scurrying for the closet (her storm shelter). But last night, she was out and about when I got home at midnight from work and stayed out through the worst of the firecrackers. It was more irritating to me (because the noise continued past 1 a.m.).

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