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Fireworks and Our Furry Friends

Tips for calming your cat(s) during fireworks

Keep your cat indoors:

Even if you normally allow your cat to go outdoors, bring her/him in, preferably several days before, in case neighbours start celebrating early. Keep in mind that your cat may try to sneak outdoors or even bolt in terror during loud noises - so be mindful of opening and closing exterior doors

Stay home if your cat is frightened by fireworks:

Skip the local fireworks celebration and stay home! Even if your cat chooses to hide and not interact with you, it is safer to be home rather than leave them alone

Don't leave windows open:

Opened windows also allow too much noise in as well as the smell of the fireworks. As you know cats have very sensitive noses and the burning scent of fireworks can be disturbing

Close curtains and blinds BEFORE the fireworks begin:

This will hep buffer the sound a tiny bit 

 

Provide a safe spot for your cat:

When frightened most cats seek out hiding place. Create a safe room that has several cozy hiding places in it as well as a litter box. If your cat has a history of being frightened by fireworks or even thunderstorms, place your cat in the room and get them settled before all the noise begins. IF they are terrified, create a tunnel to the litter box, so they can get there without feeling too exposed

Create a cozy cat cave:

To prevent your cat from hiding under the bed or in the back of the wardrobe, create a hiding place that provides comfort- you can make your own cat cave by stretching a t-shirt over a box - position the neck hole of the shirt over the opening of the box, place the box on its side and line it with a soft towel or fleece pad.....you can use a shirt you have worn, so it has your smell, which is comforting for them

Create a sound buffer:

Play music or put the TV on to create a noise distraction. Music or the TV are the sounds that your cat normally associates as a household noise. Choose the music or TV show that is soothing (not an action movie with lots of shooting etc...) Don't try to drown out the sound of the fireworks - classical music is a good choice. Keep in mind it's not just the loud bangs that frighten your cat but also the whizzing and whistling sounds associated with them as well 

 

Classic FM are playing music to help pets on Saturday 2nd November 2019 and also Tuesday 5th November 2019

www.radiotoday.co.uk/2019/10/pet-sounds-radio-show-returns-to-classic-fm-to-help-cats-and-dogs

Comfort your cat but let them set the pace:

Your cat may want to crawl on your lap and bury their head in the crook of your arm or they may prefer to stay firmly planted in the back of your wardrobe. Provide the comfort they want. They are frightened and may just find comfort in just being stroked or in simply having your nearby. Comfort them in the way they want and don't worry about reinforcing any negative behaviour by offering love and comfort to your frightened cat. JUST don't force any physical touch on a cat who clearly doesn't want it. Pay attention to what is working with your cat

 

Use a calm voice and display calm body language:

Your cat is a little emotional sponge and will pick up on the tone in your voice and your physical movements. Be casual as you move around the room and use a calm tone of voice to let them know all in their world is safe

Offer fun and playtime for your cat:

An invitation to play may be declined by your cat but try anyway because the game may be enticing enough to distract them. For example you can use a fishing pole type toy 

Pheromone Therapy:

You can always set up a diffuser in the safe room for your cat i.e  a Feliway diffuser which are said to have a calming effect and helps your cat identify with the territory. Some people swear by them, others say it has no effect at all - it's one of those can't hurt to try products as long as cost isn't a factor for you

DON'T medicate your cat unless prescribed by your veterinarian:

Don't give you cat any anti-anxiety medications without first talking to your veterinarian

Check your yard/garden afterwards for debris:

If you have pets who are allowed outdoors (and especially if you also have children) be sure to check around your yard/garden for debris from firecrackers that could be picked up, played with OR ingested

Tips for your dog(s)

during fireworks

Exercise:

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day

Keeping your dog safe:

Keep your dog(s) inside during the fireworks, preferably with human companionship. Taking your dog to a fireworks display is NEVER a good idea

Safe place:

Provide a safe place inside for your dog(s) to retreat. When scared of sounds they can't orientate, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. If your dog likes his crate/cage this is a good option. Covering the crate/cage can also be helpful as removing visual stimulation can also help calm dogs

Windows:

Keep the windows and curtains/blinds closed.

Collar and ID:

Make sure your dog(s) are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar...Dogs have been known to become Houdini when fireworks are heard

Entertainment:

Give your dog something fun to do i.e a Kong toy filled with a favourite treat and make sure all their favourite toys are close by 

Music:

Like cats dogs find music calming - believe it or not my German Shepherd used to love the Gipsy Kngs, if he was wound up by something I would put them on and Bogart instantly calmed

Canine Wraps and Calming Scents

Canine wraps are also great, they can be purchased on Amazon or any good pet store - I used to use one on my other dog Babs, I used the Thundershirt, it felt as if I was continually cuddling her, I used it a lot on her because of the thunderstorms we experienced whilst I lived in Florida

Calming scent can also help - ask your vet for any recommendations