As we enter the season of celebrations, it’s often we turn to fireworks to make those occasions extra special. It’s well known our canine friends are often scared of fireworks and there are calming remedies to help, (you can find our dogs & fireworks guide here), but what does mean for our feline friends? Here we explore if cats are afraid of fireworks, and what you can do to help them through the celebrations.
Cats And Fireworks
It is very likely your cat will be frightened of fireworks, some may be scared by the loud noises, and some may be scared by just the sight – they may even find both elements terrifying to them. If you can, try to keep your cat indoors on evenings such as ‘bonfire night’ and ‘New Year’s Eve’, even if you’re not having a firework display yourself, you can’t be sure neighbours won’t be putting on their own displays. When keeping your cat indoors, don’t forget to put out a litter tray with easy access for your cat to use at their leisure.
When keeping your cat indoors, go through your home and ensure you have no windows or doors open that would be easy for your cat to escape to. Remember cats can squeeze themselves to fit into very small, tight spaces which may be dangerous for them, so block these off to ensure they’re able to play and sleep in a safe space. It’s good to create a safe place for them to retreat to whilst the festivities are going on – somewhere they feel warm, safe and cosy – somewhere almost den like. You can encourage use of the area with adding toys, treats and their favourite blanket. This will make them feel secure and should limit the level of anxiety they feel. A hooded bed placed high up on a shelf is ideal, as long as it is safe.
Whilst keeping your cat indoors, do not shut them in a confined area. Allow access to all of your home, providing it is safe to do so. Keeping them locked away may encourage their need to escape and they may end up hurting themselves.
If your cat does get distressed throughout a firework display, try not to pick them up as this can increase the level of anxiety which could provoke aggression. Your cat is very perceptive, so try to keep yourself calm throughout, if they see you acting normally, it may decrease their level of anxiety.
We also stock a range of cat calming products which may help keep your cat calm during fireworks. If you're wondering how cat calming products work and the best ones to use why not check out our cat calming guide?
How To Block Out Firework Noise For Cats
Turning on a radio and keeping it at a level volume is a good way to drown out any noise of fireworks and keep your home calm. Look out for radio stations which play ‘calming music’, there are often stations which play ‘pet friendly’ music throughout ‘bonfire night’ and ‘New Year’s Eve’.
Whilst you’re trying to block out any noise from the fireworks, don’t forget to block the windows too, shutting curtains where possible to shut out any of the colourful flashes which is likely to scare your cat.
Buying your cat a treat or toy is a great way to distract from firework noise and flashing. A treat your cat can lick, such as a paste is a great option that your cat can work on and will take some time. Pureed treats often have high water content too which is great to keep your cat hydrated. Here at Lords & Labradors, we have lots of calming options which may be useful to you and your pet throughout the ‘firework season’.
Why Are Cats Scared Of Fireworks
It’s hard to determine what your cat is most afraid of around fireworks, but it’s likely to be a combination of the loud noise, the unpredictability and the flashing that unsettles them and seems frightening. If your cat suffers from anxiety throughout firework displays, we recommend speaking to your vet, and/or a cat behaviourist as soon as you can. It’s best to address the anxiety before the season starts to desensitise your feline, which may take time.