PETA has provided 10 useful tips to help your cat navigate or indeed survive what will seem to some to be a barrage of firework displays leading up to the 4th of July in America. We are told that many cities are experiencing firework displays nightly and they appear to be louder than in the past. This may be a coronavirus effect; the release of a pent up desire to have fun after the anxieties of the past three months (I have not been anxious).
It doesn’t matter which country you live in. Fireworks are a nuisance to cat and dog owners. Their effects can be felt for hundreds of yards from the site of the fireworks. Somebody putting on a firework display in their backyard can affect hundreds of cats and dogs living in the neighbourhood.
Is it right that one family can glean some pleasure from fireworks while hundreds of cats and dogs suffer because of those same fireworks? It is a balancing act between pleasure gained and upset suffered. There is no doubt in my mind that the downside for fireworks is far greater than the upside unless they are specially organised displays on one night and no other. These provide a much better balance between the pleasures of fireworks for some people and the fear they instil in a high percentage of companion animals.
- Cat and dog owners keep their cats and dogs indoors. This is common sense.
- Dogs should not be tethered or chained outside because we are told that they can hang themselves if they try and leap over a fence while trying to escape the noise of fireworks.
- Anybody who witnesses the illegal selling or setting off of fireworks should call the authorities. I don’t know how practical this is in real terms but it should be done.
- Common sense dictates that people should not take their dogs to firework displays. Conversely, if you know that firework displays are going to take place in your area it is far better to stay at home with your companion animals to try and calm them down.
- Windows should be closed and curtains drawn. If the windows are double glazed it will help to dampen down the noise.
- In addition, fans and air-conditioning units can be turned on as can the television or radio which should be tuned to a classic music station all of which can help to dampen down the noise of fireworks.
- There are some products on the market which can help calm cats and dogs. The ThunderShirt is a popular product particularly helpful for dogs but the less so for cats because it affects them in a rather peculiar way. It does however calm them down. There are two other ways to calm cats and dogs;
- One of which is a specially formulated companion animal music from iCalm and another is a natural supplement called “melatonin” which I’m told is available at your local health-food store. A veterinary consultation is advised beforehand.
- In case your cat or dog does escape out of fear it is essential that they are microchipped or wearing a collar identification or perhaps even a tattoo identification. The microchip should be fully updated to make sure that it includes your current address and contact details.
- PETA also suggest that if you have a dog you should take him or her for a long walk or run in the evening to try and tire them out before the evening firework displays start.
P.S. It is time for quiet fireworks. They are visually stunning but they are not explosions in the air. For some reason people like explosions. I don’t get it.