The 4th of July is nearly here and for those cats out there who are deathly afraid of fireworks, it is a nightmare waiting to ensue. Depending on your cat’s way of tolerating loud noises, you may have to prepare your home before nightfall. If you plan on being out of the house, or away from home, it is all the more important! Here are 6 simple things to do to ease your cat’s fears of fireworks. The same can be used during thunderstorms as well.
Keep Windows & Doors Closed
This is very important, no matter how nice it is outside! Windows and doors allow noise to echo throughout the house if they are open. Fireworks already have a loud bang as it is. Keep them all closed. If you do not have AC and you are worried about it becoming too hot, close them right before they happen and use fans to circulate the air. Basements are a great place to sit with your kitty if the heat is to hot out as well.
Use Lavender Scented Room Sprays & Cleaners
Using lavender is a great way to relax most mammals. They make scented window and wood sprays as well as floor powders and air fresheners that have lavender oil in them. Never use them directly by your cat. Using products with lavender will not only make kitty calmer but encourage sleep. Again, do not spray or use these items when your cat is near. If you do not have lavender-scented cleaning products, you can opt for a lavender incense stick or oil burner, just be sure it is no where your cat can reach it or knock it over. DO NOT do that if you will not be home!
Feed Them Their Favorite Meal & Treats
This can be done all day if you wish but do not feed them right before the fireworks go off! This can lead to choking on food or vomiting. Make sure water dishes and food bowls are put up during the loudest parts of the fireworks. A lot of people recommend feeding them treats during the worst part of the fireworks but I am against that. It will be very easy for your cat to choke which will further escalate their fear levels.
Allow Them To Be In the Quietest Room In The Home
If you are going to be out, then it is a good idea to keep them in the quietest area of the home. This may be the basement but if they aren’t comfortable down there, or you do not have one, bedrooms are a great choice. You can block the windows and they will have a safe place to hide; Under the bed. If you will be home, make sure you are in the same room as them. If they start scattering, do not panic and simple allow them to run around. Do not try to pick them up or hold them still. Avoid windows as well.
Play Calming Music Or Sounds
Playing something soothing is a great way to distract and block some of the harsh bangs and booms that fireworks create. You can also use music that has bird sounds or running water to further distract your cat. Never play is super loud, just loud enough to offer a distraction. If you don’t want to leave music going, you can have your TV turned on, but again, do not blast it! Have your cat in the room with you and turn it up until their ears flicker or they start moving them around. Then keep it slightly lower than that. If you want to be slightly ironic, play “Fireworks” by Katy Perry, though with my experience, cats tend to not be a fan of her music.
For the love of God, DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO HAVE CATNIP BEFORE FIREWORKS! Trust me on this one. Most cats experience some form of paranoia during a high on the nip and having fireworks going off during or after this can make things worse.