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Fear of fireworks in cats

Many pets are afraid of loud and unexpected noises.

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This becomes particularly noticeable around New Year’s Eve and Bonfire Night, where a fear of fireworks, which is caused by the loud bangs and flashes of light, affects many cats. Some cats are more sensitive to the sound of loud noises than others, but almost all cats consider fireworks a threat. Scared cats tend to hide, huddle up in a corner, meow loudly, become incontinent or become scared of going outside. Read more about fireworks in our blog: ‘Dealing with a fear of fireworks’.

What to do when my cat is scared of fireworks?

To reduce the level of fear and anxiety in your cat you can take a number of preventive measures:

Stay Calm!

First and foremost, the most important thing to remember is that you, as the owner, remain calm. If possible, try to distract your cat with a toy or other object.

Avoid Direct Contact with Fireworks

Make sure that your cat has as little interaction as possible with fireworks and ensuring they cannot go outside, for example, by shutting the doors and cat flaps. It is advisable to start keeping your cat indoors a couple of days before the event as sudden bangs, for instance, those created by people testing their fireworks, can scare your cat and cause him to run away.

Safe Zone at Home

Create a safe area inside your home that your cat can retreat to and hide; many cats will choose to hide under the bed or sofa. It is important to leave your cat in his “safe zone” for as long as they wish. Additionally, you should close curtains or blinds so that your cat does not notice flashes of light, but, leave the light on so any light flashes that are still visible become less noticeable.

Supporting cats with a fear of fireworks

Vetsend offer an extensive range of soothing and calming products in the event of stress and anxiety in cats, without disorientating them. For optimal efficiency you should start treatment well in advance of the event. The ThunderShirt for Cats is a new but effective product against stress and anxiety. It provides gentle pressure to calm anxious pets. You can combine the use of the Thundershirt with the Feliway, a synthetic copy of the facial pheromones, which reassures and comforts cats. This makes it an effective resource in fearful and stressful situations, like Bonfire Night or New Year’s Eve. There are also supportive supplements, such as Zylkene Capsules, Puur Nervo or Dr. Ann’s Stress Reduction.

Behavioural Therapy

Another option includes the Behavioural Therapy CD, which includes very realistic recordings of thunder and fireworks. Start using this CD well in advance of the event to train your cat and allow them to get used to the sounds. This could greatly decrease their level of anxiety on New Year’s Eve and Bonfire Night.