We all have our favorite and least favorite holidays. Did you know that cats also have most and least favorite holidays? Unfortunately, most cats’ least favorite is right around the corner. It is July 4 th, and it’s no big secret as to why cats abhor it. The answer is easy: Fireworks!
As you know, cats thrive on consistency. Doing the same things at the same times every day makes them feel confident and in control of their environment. Once it is fireworks season, there may be days of sonic booms, light flashes, and noises that make even the most chill cat turn into one terrified beast. Since feline hearing is so much more acute than ours, even the lowest noises are intense to their super-hearing ears. It is especially traumatic when Kitty doesn’t know what the sounds and lights mean, or when they will stop.
The following is a really good guide to what you can do to help Kitty get through this most unwelcome of days!
- 1.Keep the Cat Indoors. This should go without saying. A cat who regularly goes outside will be prone to running away. They want to get as far away as possible from the noise, but they don’t know where to go. This is not a good scenario.
- 2.Don’t Leave Windows or Doors Open. In attempting to run from any troublesome noises, make sure she cannot get through any openings. She doesn’t know if it is actually better or worse out there. She is in panic mode. By drawing blinds and lowering shades, it will help to muffle the sounds and not allow her to see the flashing lights.
- 3.Stay Home & Stay Calm. Even if she chooses to hide, she will be calmer with you there than if you are missing. Since she can sense and mirror your emotions, you have the opportunity to show her that everything is fine. Since you are not stressed, she shouldn’t be stressed. Make a point to be calm in your voice and body language so your little Worry Wort will see there is no reason to be upset.
- 4.Comfort her, but Let Kitty Decide the Best Way. Don’t pick her up as if to smother her, hoping this will relax her. It could make matters worse, and you could be injured by her anxious biting or scratching. She may be happiest, if not in your arms, in the back of the closet until the end of the Grand Finale. As long as she knows you’re there for her, that is enough. Don’t forget, each feline has her own unique little personality with unique needs and preferences.
- 5.Try to Drown Out the Sounds. Just as you closed the windows and shades to prevent her from seeing anything she may perceive as threatening, you can do the same by creating a sound buffer. Music or TV may be the best way to keep everything normal while creating a noise distraction. Some have found that soothing music helps, be it easy listening or classical. Cats do have preferences, and the hard rock sounds of heavy metal are generally dissonant to a cat’s sensitive hearing. Often, soft music is found to relax them. This is why music “soothes the savage beast” while helping to cover up the various noises of the fireworks’ explosions.
- 6.Make sure She Can Hide in her Own Cat Tree and Pet Bed. You can’t go wrong when Kitty knows she can retreat to her very own cozy, cat furniture. If you haven’t yet seen why she needs these acoutrements, you can clearly see now! Armarkat is here to provide you with the best quality and widest selections of both cat trees and cat beds. Just go to https://www.armarkat.com/ to choose. Until your order arrives, you can let her hide in the nearest box or under the sofa!
- 7.Create a Safe Room for Kitty. Especially if you have noticed this behavior on previous July 4th holidays, you may want to designate a room that is farthest from the noises and the windows. Place food and water, litter, toys, and beds there. Leave the radio or TV on to mask some of the sounds. Perhaps you can get her to play, which would be a great distraction. If not, don’t worry. Things will go back to normal soon enough.
- 8.Finally, to medicate or not medicate? If Kitty has an absolute terror every time it is July 4th, you may want to speak to your vet in advance of the holiday. He may prescribe an anti-anxiety medicine or an OTC supplement. You may want to try CBD for cats and dogs or pheromone diffusers or even herbal supplements that have all be known to naturally take the edge off. These natural remedies are said to have noticeable calming effects. Just remember never to give your cat any human medications without being under strict guidance from your vet.
We hope you won’t have to resort to all of the above suggestions, and we hope Kitty will take this July 4 th in her stride. But, used individually or in combination, the above guidelines practically guarantee a serene Kitty so that you can relax and enjoy the holiday yourself. All of us at Armarkat wish you and your fur family a safe, healthy, and happy 4th of July!
For more information, please go to:
https://catbehaviorassociates.com/tips-for-calming-your-cat-during-fireworks/ or https://consciouscat.net/2020/06/29/help-cat-cope-fireworks/