This holiday season, it's likely that celebratory fireworks will play a large part in ringing in the new year. But the beautiful colours that fill the night sky may come at a cost for your furry friend.
Your feline companion can hear almost three times better than the average person, meaning the boom of celebrations is likely to startle them a bit more. You will know if they’re scared if you see them hiding, grooming excessively or eating or drinking less than normal. You can mitigate their stress with a few simple tricks:
Keep them inside overnight. Cats are usually more flight than fight, meaning they’ll likely run away to hide if they’re scared. If they’re going to be outside, make sure their microchips are updated and they have a phone number engraved on their collar.
Create a safe space. Cats love to curl up and feel cosy, so block off any potentially dangerous areas they may want to squeeze into (e.g. areas with electrical cords or places they can get trapped). Put an extra blanket in their cat bed and maybe add a few treats as an incentive. Also, the higher cats are, the safer they feel. Try putting a blanket on a higher shelf where they can safely snuggle up.
Prep your house. Don’t confine them to one room as that will cause more stress. Close your curtains to soften the sudden flashes of light, as they can be upsetting to your furry friend. Pheromone plug-ins can calm cats as well, and a new toy can distract them. This is also an excuse to cuddle up on the couch with your furry friend and watch a movie – the sounds of the TV will drown out the startling booms.
Prep your feline friend. You can familiarise your cat with loud noises. Start by playing fireworks or party sounds at a low volume and increase it over the course of a few days. Then by the time the celebrations start, your cat will know there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Your feline friend will know something is up if you act strangely, so try to play it cool. To avoid unnecessary stressors, make sure to keep as many things constant as possible, especially their litter box. If they feel safe answering nature’s call, that will help lower anxiety in other areas.