Cats can be a joy to be with, so you would naturally love it if your beloved feline can enjoy festivities as much as you do. However, when Independence Day comes around and your cat is scared of fireworks that can be easier said than done.
Why Cats Hate Fireworks
Cats are not easily impressed and hate loud noises. Your pet also likes to be in control, which is why unexpected, loud and colorful fireworks are not their cup of tea. The loud bangs may not register with you, but to a cat’s sensitive hearing, it can be disorienting.
The fact is that they can hear things that we cannot, so you can imagine what fireworks can do to their sensitive dispositions. If your kitty can hear a bush rustling from 30 feet away, imagine what the noise that fireworks are notorious for can do to his hearing! Imagine someone blasting an air horn right near your ear and you can understand their fear.
What makes things worse is that fireworks are unpredictable. Cats can get accustomed to noises that they hear every day (such as the sound of a vacuum cleaner), and if it doesn’t harm them. You can try to make your cat calm. Fireworks are set off randomly throughout the year so it doesn’t give your cat any time at all to prepare.
What to Do When Your Cat Is Scared of Fireworks
If your cat is scared of fireworks and cannot get used to them, don’t try to force him to stay and enjoy them with you. Instead, use these tips to ensure he feels safe during this time.
Create A Safe Hiding Place for Your Cat
If there is a room in your home that is soundproof, make it a safe haven for your cat where he can hide in. Place everything he loves and find comforting in there such as his bed, food bowl, toys, scratching post etc. If you don’t have a room like that, place his bed in an area that you spend a lot of time in with him and where he can hide if necessary.
Close All of the Windows and Doors
Whatever you do, do not open the doors and windows when the fireworks go off. Your cat will be highly agitated when they do and may try to escape outside. Most pets that run out in a panic during fireworks season are run over or are lost forever. The closed door and windows will muffle most of the noise and will prevent your cat from making a run for it.
Don’t Try To Hold Him If Tends to Lash Out!
If your car is scared of fireworks, the last thing he wants or needs is physical contact. All of his senses will be on high alert for signs of danger that he won’t be able to see. So if you try and comfort him by holding or petting him, he will scratch, bite or run away. None of those scenarios will bode well for you. Not all cats have this tendency, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
If your cat is liable to claw and is panicking, drop a towel over him before picking him up. Talk calmly to him so he can power down and understand that you are not going to hurt him. If he refuses to calm down, put him down and walk away. If you keep holding onto him when he is that agitated, he may hurt himself and you as well.
No one likes seeing a pet in distress. However, bear in mind that your kitty will look to you for comfort when fireworks start to go off. If you seem worried, he will think something is seriously long and his anxiety levels may skyrocket.
Prevent that from happening by remaining calm if he starts to run around in panic. Just act like you would normally do and wait for him to calm down or stop. You may be able to reassure your cat that everything is fine. If not, at least he will realize there is nothing to worry about and may come out of his hiding spot sooner rather than later.
Create a Sound Buffer
A distraction can keep your cat calm when those fireworks go off. This can be any sound he is accustomed to hearing such as the sound of the television, music or a household item which is soothing to his ear.
If you choose the television or music, make sure they aren’t too loud. Rater than trying to drown out the sound of the fireworks, keep the volume at a comfortable level your cat can get used to and get distracted by. Classical music is a good choice.
Don’t Medicate Your Cat Unless Prescribed
Your anti anxiety medication will be fatal for your cat! However, if your cat is scared of fireworks and gets panic attacks each time they are set off, ask your veterinarian for medication for him instead. Always discuss whether medication is advisable for your pets with a vet before giving them any. Some can react adversely to certain ingredients.
If fireworks are a frequent occurrence in your neighborhood, try to make your cat used to the noise. Play a video or recording of them going off every day in your home so he gets used to them. Do so at regular intervals so he can acclimatize himself comfortably to the noise. If that fails, use the tips mentioned to make his life as comfortable as possible. It will do you both a world of good.
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