Felines fear fireworks…! It is at least an annual problem for cats. We know what causes the noise and therefore understand it. Despite that fact, a lot of us still dislike the noise of fireworks and they can still frighten people, especially the huge bombs that cause window panes to rattle.
But cats have no idea what the loud noises signify. They are likely to signify danger to a cat. Your cat will want to hide. Somewhere to hide, incidentally, is useful for all domestic cats at all times as it allows natural behavior when a cat is stressed or anxious for whatever reason.
The 5th of July, the day after the 4th July Independence Day celebrations in the United States, is a time when shelters have a spike in activity.Cats have fled their homes in terror and gone missing. Owners go in search and start at the nearest animal shelter after scouring the neighbourhood. The dreaded hour is approaching. Cats don’t know it.
What do you do to reassure your cat under these frightening conditions? I…:
- Keep my cat inside – I think this is the most important thing to do.
- Talk to him reassuringly.
- Check he is alright.
That is about it for me. Is there anything else that can be done? Well, my boy is not so frightened that he needs somewhere to hide but some cats will need a place such as under a bed. These places should be available.
For people who are partying and who keep a cat, it would seem sensible to to keep your cat temporarily locked in a room with some provisions etc. And a little check from time to time wouldn’t go amiss would it?
In the UK, traditionally, we have fireworks on November 5th, Guy Fawkes night. However, the fireworks can start well before that date and can go on regularly almost nightly until the 5th.
Dogs are also frightened of fireworks. The same rules apply. I think a key factor if you are not participating in the firework displays is to make sure you are around to provide reassurance.
We don’t know how fireworks sound to cats and dogs. We know that hearing is well developed in both cat and dog. Cats are able to hear sounds to a very high frequency. It may well be the case that a cat hears loud noises more loudly than we do. I know my late lady cat could hear sounds that I missed such as a stray cat coming through the cat flap very silently indicating great sensitivity of hearing.
Finally, some sort of tranquillising drug might be contemplated as a remedy by some cat caretakers. Personally, I don’t think they are an option. However, there is one mild but effective calmer, Bach Rescue Remedy that people use and which veterinarians sometimes prescribe for cats. This is the only treatment I would use other than music! Calming music can might be a good idea. Worth trying if your cat is particularly nervous. Elisa has written about this: Music For Cats And July 4th Fireworks.