My cat is afraid of fireworks, which is not surprising since cats have superior senses. Their hearing is about three times better than humans, and their eyesight in the dark is much better than humans. It is, therefore, not surprising that many cats are frightened by the sound and light of fireworks on New Year’s Eve. But how can we help our four-legged feline friends in this stressful situation?
1) Get Your Cat Used to the Sound of Fireworks
Cats are creatures of habit. They are equally sensitive to unfamiliar sounds and sudden routine changes. For this reason, “firework desensitization” using an audio file or CD of New Year’s sounds may be a good method. Cats cannot become accustomed to new sounds in a day, so it is important to start training early.
Let your cat hear the sounds in his daily life, such as when you come home to eat or spend time together on the sofa. Lower the volume a little at first, then gradually increase the volume (over several days) when the cat is calm. It is also essential to be as relaxed as possible during the training. Try to behave as you usually would and do not listen to noises. Doing so teaches the cat that loud noises are normal and there is no need to get angry.
2) Never Leave Your Cat Alone
Don’t make preparing for a New Year’s Eve party stressful for yourself and your cat. For your cat’s sake, avoiding wild parties with large crowds, loud music, and champagne corks flying around is best. Celebrating New Year’s Eve outdoors and leaving your cat alone is also not a good idea. Not only do cats need rest, but the best thing you can give them is the peace of mind that comes with being able to deal with loud bursts of noise.
After all, even a small house party with family and close friends can be great fun.
3) Giving Cats a Home
Cats are escape animals, but since they cannot escape outdoors on New Year’s Eve, it is essential to provide them with a place in the house where they can retreat “in case of danger”. Ideally, it should be a quiet, private room where the cat can hide, as far away from the noise of fireworks as possible. The cat will feel safe if you place the usual cat cage there. If you cannot use the entire room for your cat, you can make a small den under the bed, behind the sofa, or in the wardrobe. You can also darken an old cardboard box and provide a thick blanket. Many cats love to lounge in blankets or their den, and will happily do so on New Year’s Eve. But don’t be disappointed if your cat chooses another shelter, and respect their decision. Under no circumstances should you force your cat to try a cozy cave that will scare and confuse it.
4) Provide Musical and Pleasant Distractions
Another way to distract your cat from the unfamiliar sound of fireworks on the street is to turn up the usual sounds in your home. Play favorite music or turn on the television or radio. Calm classical music is also a great way to relax your cat. In addition to sound, you can also distract your dog by giving him treats or playing with a fishing rod. Homemade paths for cats to climb or hide in the house can also be a distraction.
5) Creating a Relaxing Space
Use an aroma diffuser designed explicitly for electrical outlets to relax your cat further. These use synthetically molded pheromones and the body’s own scent to make your cat feel good. For example, the pheromones a nursing mother cat emits to her kittens sends an unconscious message, “It’s okay, relax. This often significantly reduces stress levels caused by fireworks.
Let us know if these few tips have helped in the comments below!