Your cat and fireworks
05 November 2015
Remember, remember…your cat during fireworks season
Fireworks no longer seem to be confined to 5 November and we remind owners to take extra special care of their pet cat during the impending firework season.
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:
- Keep your cat in after dark and provide him with a litter tray if he is used to having garden access
- Try to reduce outside noise by keeping windows shut and curtains drawn. You may find that playing soothing music or having the TV on can also help. Try not to reinforce fearful behaviour by soothing and reassuring a cat that is looking anxious.
- While cats like to be settled in a cosy, familiar territory such as a comfy bed or favourite chair, when feeling scared they need safe places to hide. Ensure they can exhibit this natural behaviour by providing access to a hiding place, such as under the bed, an igloo-style cat bed or something simple like a cardboard box.
- Make sure all doors and windows are securely fastened – sensitive cats may be startled by the noise and try to run away.
- Ask your vet about using synthetic pheromone plug-in diffusers like Feliway, as these can create a reassuring environment for the cat.
If you are having your own bonfire night celebration this year, then consider:
- Buying hand-held cascading fireworks rather than the noisier varieties.
- Holding a ‘silent’ fireworks display – many companies now offer quiet or almost silent fireworks – giving you the same spectacle without the loud bangs.
- Keeping fireworks and bonfire displays as far away from homes as possible, to minimise any adverse effects on animals indoors, although bear in mind the effect these displays will have on wild animals.
- Check bonfires before lighting them to ensure that no small animals are sleeping inside.
to download this information in a handy leaflet.