Coping with cats and fireworks

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Is your cat scared of fireworks? Read our essential tips on coping with the fireworks season.

Fireworks Night can be an anxious time for pets - many cats and dogs will be easily spooked by the flashing lights, and the crashes and claps of fireworks. However, it needn't be a time for pets to feel fearful. With just a few practical changes at home around the time of fireworks, your cat should feel much more calm and relaxed. Here are 10 top tips to ensure your cat's Fireworks Night doesn't go off with a bang:

  1. If your cat hides on top of cupboards or under furniture, leave him alone and do not try to coax him out. This 'bolthole' is where he will feel most secure. It is important that your pet can access his favourite bolthole at all times.
     
  2. On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your cat is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps.
     
  3. Plugging a feline pheromone diffuser in the room where the cat spends most of his time 48 hours before the festivities will increase his sense of security. Speak to your local pet shop for information of feline pheromones.
     
  4. Make sure your cat is microchipped. If your cat does escape, frightened and confused animals can easily get lost.
     
  5. Ensure your cat is provided with a litter tray both before and during the firework season. Your cat cannot be expected to go outside to toilet.
     
  6. Draw curtains to reduce the noise from outside and play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks.
     
  7. Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your cat. More importantly, do not try to pick him up or restrain him. Fearful cats prefer to be left to cope on their own.
     
  8. Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off. Stay calm and act normally.
     
  9. In multi-cat households, shutting cats in overnight may cause disharmony amongst your pets. Again, installing a facial pheromone?may help lower inter-cat tension within the home.
     
  10. If you are worried that your pet is taking a long time to recover from the firework festivities, speak to your vet. Your vet may also wish to refer you to a behavioural therapist.