Fourth of July is just around the corner! And while some of us may be stocking up on the fireworks, many pet owners are prepping their cats and dogs. 'Cause for some pets, the Fourth of July can be scary.
It's not uncommon for a cat to be afraid of loud noises. Usually, it's noises we can control, like the terrifying Hoover beast (aka, vacuum). But, try as we might, us mere humans can't stop thunder from rolling in -- or other people from lighting fireworks.
An anxious cat is not often a happy cat when it comes to our raucous Fourth of July celebrations, so it's important not to forget about your little fluff ball when you go out to enjoy fireworks. While you may not be able to stop your cat from getting scared outright, there are some things you can do to help them cope with the stress.
Close all windows and doors.
Did you know that more pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of year? Usually, noisy fireworks are to blame. To try and keep your cat as safe as possible, keep them in a room where they can't dart out any doors or windows if they get scared by a sudden firework, especially if you're going in and out during any BBQs!
Cool your jets - and your pet's jets.
If you are staying home with your pets this Fourth of July, try and keep things relatively quiet and calm. Cats can pick up and respond to our emotional states, so if you're anxious about your cat being upset, your cat will be even more anxious. Talk with a soothing voice, and don't chase or try and pick up your cat if they don't want to be held. Trying to pick up a frightened cat might end up in accidental scratches!
Make sure your cat has a safe place to hide.
If you're hosting a party (remember: practice social distancing and make sure to wear cloth face coverings!) you know it's about to get real up in here, make sure your cat has a room in the house in which it feels safe. Typically, as soon as the fireworks start, your cat will run under a bed or hide behind the toilet to escape loud noises anyway.
If it is still extremely loud or disruptive near their favorite place, provide a cozy hideaway in the middle of the house away from windows. Try leaving a few kibbles of their favorite food or treat in a safe quiet room to help them relax.
Play soothing music.
Don't blast the music to try and drown out the fireworks, but play some soothing classical or rhythmic music for your cat. It sounds silly, but some cats might find music comforting. There is even music - and videos - designed specifically to soothe or entertain cats.
Natural calming remedies
Some cats may respond to pheromone plug-ins or sprays, which are specially formulated to naturally soothe cats' anxieties by flooding their systems with pheromones that trigger a positive response, rather than the negative anxiety the loud booms may cause. Beware of using essential oils as a calming scent - while they may be safe for humans, many can be toxic to cats.
All in all, your cat will be fine as sure as the firework storm will pass, but helping them feel more comfortable will go a long way. And, hey, not every cat is afraid of fireworks - but it's always nice to know that they have somewhere to go they can feel safe.