Keep your cat safe during firework season

(For the simplicity of this article, we will refer to your cat as 'she')

Here are a few hints and tips on how to keep your cat safe during the firework season:

- Keep your cat indoors before it goes dusk.
- Close all windows, curtains, cat flaps, doors etc., so that your cat can't escape outside.
- Provide extra litter trays.
- Put the TV or music on to drown out the noise of the fireworks.
- Allow access to a safe and secure place so that your cat can go and hide if she wants to.
- Keep some rooms lit and some rooms dark so that your cat can choose wherever she feels safest to go.
- Leave your cat to do what she needs to do in order to feel safe.  Don't physically restrain her if she panics, as this would only add to her
- Try and act normally and keep to your usual routine.  It is natural for you to want to comfort your cat, but this doesn't help.
- Ignore any fearful behaviour, praise any calm behaviour.
- Provide lots of extra bedding so that your cat can have something to burrow into, perhaps hide some favourite treats inside?
- If your cat is only mildly fearful, try and get her to play with her favourite toys in order to distract her.
- Ask your vet's advice about traditional and complementary remedies that are available so that you can reduce your cat's stress levels.  
- Do not be tempted to use any old or previously prescribed medication if she becomes distressed.  Definitely don't use any human drugs, not
  even in an emergency.

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If your neighbours have animals and you are thinking of holding a private fireworks display, please notify them of your intentions.  Where possible, use low-noise fireworks to help minimise the distress to all animals.

Be aware of special celebrations held throughout the year where fireworks are used.  Finally, don't forget to clean up any debris and litter that could be harmful to your animals.