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How to keep your cat happy during firework season

03 November 2017
How to keep your cat happy during firework season

Fireworks are no longer confined to 5th November, so please spare a thought for your feline friend this autumn.

While the festivities – particularly those based around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve – are entertaining for us, they can be distressing for pets. Apart from the obvious physical damage that can occur as a result of accidental contact with fireworks, cats can also be badly affected by the resultant noise and lights. In some cases, behavioural problems could arise as a result of fear and stress, including soiling of the home or excessive grooming, while there is also the danger of them running away. The following recommendations should ensure that you can enjoy the celebrations with the peace of mind that your cat will be safe and sound:

  • If your cat hides on top of cupboards or under furniture, leave them alone and do not try to coax them out. This ‘bolthole’ is where they will feel most secure. It is important that your pet can access their favourite bolthole at all times.  If they do not have somewhere to hide, provide them with something to hide in, even a cardboard box.
  • On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your cat is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps.
  • Plugging a Feliway® Diffuser (other brands available) in the room where the cat spends most of their time 48 hours before the festivities will increase their sense of security.
  • Make sure your cat is MICROCHIPPED. If they do escape, frightened, confused animals can easily get lost.
  • Ensure your cat is provided with a litter tray both before and during the firework season - this is most important for cats that don't usually have one and will be indoors for the fireworks.
  • Draw curtains to reduce the noise from outside and play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks.
  • Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your cat.
  • More importantly, do not try to pick them up or restrain them.
  • Fearful cats prefer to be left to cope on their own.
  • Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off.
  • Stay calm and act normally.
  • If you are worried that your pet is taking a long time to recover from the firework festivities, speak to your vet.