Fireworks season can be a challenging time for cats and there will be some for whom the first crack of a firework will send them scuttling off to their preferred hidey-hole. Here are ten tips to help ensure your feline companion has a stress-free experience during this time.
Be Aware of the Extended Season: Fireworks aren’t limited to just November 5th; they can occur both before and after this date. Also keep in mind that fireworks are commonly used for New Year’s Eve celebrations as well.
Secure Your Cat Indoors: Before dusk, make sure your cat is safely indoors by locking the cat flap and closing all windows and doors to prevent any escape.
Reduce Outside Noise: Draw the curtains and turn on the radio or television to provide some background noise that can help distract your cat from the outside commotion.
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Create a Cosy Sanctuary: Set up a cosy, safe area with a bed, which could be a blanket in a cardboard box, an old duvet under the bed, or a heated pet pad. Elevating the bed can offer your cat an added sense of security. If your cat retreats to this space or any other private area, respect their choice and do not disturb them; this is their preferred coping strategy.
Consider Calming Diffusers: Utilise products like Pet Remedy, Feliway®, or other calming plug-in diffusers to help reduce your cat’s anxiety.
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Provide a Convenient Litter Tray: If your cat doesn’t already have one, offer a litter tray in a private, easily accessible location within your home.
Maintain Normal Behaviour: Act as normally as possible to demonstrate to your cat that there’s nothing to fear.
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Use Positive Distraction: Instead of reassuring your cat if they show fear, try engaging in positive distraction techniques like play to redirect their attention.
Avoid Punishment: It’s crucial not to scold your cat for what you perceive as an ‘inappropriate’ reaction to fireworks.
Microchipping: Microchip your cat to ensure a safe return if they manage to escape and become lost while attempting to flee from the noise.