Celebrating the Fourth of July with a lot of fireworks is usually fun for people, but it is not so fun for cats. All of those loud bangs, the strange smells, and the bright lights are really scary for our cats — whose anxiety goes through the roof on this holiday.
To keep your cat calm during all of the festivities, you'll need to set up a safe place for your cat to hang out while the fireworks are going off. There are also many other things you can do to keep them calm while celebrating independence day. Let's look at the options.
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Fourth of July fireworks make cats anxious
Cats have a much better sense of hearing and smell than humans. That's why the loud noises and sulfurous smells of fireworks are so terrifying for them. Because your cat will be on high alert, it's important to secure him during all of the festivities in a quiet room where they can't escape during all of the excitement and possibly get injured by any fireworks.
Update your cat's microchip and ID ahead of time
Ideally, your cat should be in their safe place prior to the start of the fireworks and throughout the festivities and family barbecues. However, in case your cat accidentally gets out of their safe place and escapes your home during all of the chaos, ensure that they can get home safely. Make sure that your cat has a microchip updated with all of your current contact information and that they have a collar with an ID tag listing this contact information as well.
Prepare your cat for the stress of fireworks
If possible, visit your veterinarian prior to stressful events like 4th of July, so that you can ask how best to support your cat. Your veterinarian can help you make sure that your cat is eating a diet that helps them feel their best, and maybe even suggest a diet that includes ingredients thought to aide in keeping them calm. In more severe cases, your veterinarian may also prescribe medication to help your cat ease their anxiety.
Prior to the festivities, stock up on some calming cat chews and pheromone sprays. These items help ease your cat's anxiety safely. You may also want to speak with your veterinarian about putting your cat on a prescription diet like Royal Canin Calm Dry Cat Food. This food contains ingredients like hydrolyzed milk protein and L-tryptophan that have a soothing effect on cats. Another option is Purina Pro Plan Calming Care an anti-anxiety probiotic supplement that you can add directly to your cat's food.
Aides to keep your cat calm during fireworks
To immediately calm your cat down during anxious situations like 4th of July fireworks or family barbecues, the ThunderShirt anxiety wrap is a good option. You simply wrap it around your cat's body and it has the calming effect of being held. You can also gently wrap your cat with a shirt that you've worn recently which will have your scent on it. Or you can also try a purring cat toy that mimics the sound of a mother cat — so that your kitty can snuggle with it when the fireworks start.
Create a safe place for your cat
It's vital to create a safe place for your cat to hang out while the fireworks and festivities are going on. A spare bedroom works great for this purpose, especially ones with thick curtains or blinds that will block out the light of the fireworks displays that could scare your cat. You'll also want to turn on a white noise machine, air conditioner, or some soft classical music to dampen the sound of fireworks. Finally, ensure that the room has a litter box, a soft bed, and some food for your cat to eat while confined, along with some fresh water to drink.
Keep your cat calm when the fireworks start
Before the loud noises of the fireworks start, get your cat to their safe place and close the doors and windows to prevent their escape. Ensure that the room is sprayed down with a calming pheromone spray or a pheromone diffuser is plugged in. Close all the curtains. And outfit your cat with an anxiety wrap.
Once the loud noises of the fireworks start, try engaging with your cat in a fun interactive game using their favorite toy. This will take your cat's mind off of the fireworks and focus on you. Or leave their favorite toy (especially one with catnip) in the room to play with while you're entertaining guests.
Keeping cats calm during New Years noise
In your neighborhood, New Years may also be a time when people set off fireworks or use noisemakers. If any of these strategies work for your cat for July 4, you can do something similar for this holiday as well. Try some calming items, or have an extra long play session with a toy or catnip to tire your cat out before the noise starts. Most importantly, prepare a safe and cozy place for them to hide out in your home and prevent escaping by not opening doors if you can help it. A scared cat who gets confused by noice and bright lights may not be able to find their way back home.
The bottom line
The loud noises and bright lights of fireworks displays are scary for cats. To prevent problems, create a safe place for your cat to hang out during the festivities. Use pheromone sprays, a ThunderShirt, calming cat chews, and their favorite toy. You'll also want to plan ahead for the fireworks, so keep your cat indoors for a few days — before and after July 4th. and on the night of New Years if noise on this holiday night is a problem in your area. Always keep your contact information up-to-date for your cat's microchip and their identification tag on their collar — in case they do get spooked and escape.