While most of us look forward to the Fourth of July, our pets often have a completely different attitude about the festivities. The loudness of the fireworks can by terrifying to pets. It’s important to have Fourth of July cat safety measures set up in advance.
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In our neighborhood, as I suspect it is with most neighborhoods in America, kids would begin setting off bottle rockets and other explosive things well in advance of the holiday and also beginning on the morning of the big day. It’s enough to make a dog or a cat run for cover!
When we think of fireworks, we usually think of dogs being the nervous creatures. However, cats are not immune to fireworks-related anxieties. Understandably, July 5th tends to be the busiest days at animal shelters. The reason? Pets who have escaped from their homes in a moment of sheer terror, fear or disorientation because of all the activity surrounding the day prior.
Before the big day:
One big important tip, as shared by catbehaviorassociates.com, is to have your cat microchipped in advance of the holiday, if he isn’t already. Even if you have an indoor cat, this is very important. Should he bolt out the door and escape because he is afraid of all the noise and commotion, he could become confused and disoriented and not find his way home.
Sure, ID tags on your cat’s collar are a good idea, but they can become lost. If you have microchipped your cat, his information should be on the registry. (Which reminds us….be sure the information there is up-to-date.)
Keep a current photo of your cat on hand, too. If you are like most cat lovers, you probably have tons of photos of your cat on your cell phone, so you will probably be well prepared in this regard! Have at least one photo that is clear and sharp, so it can be used to effectively identify your cat if he gets lost.
Now, for a few 4th of July cat safety tips to keep your cat safe and calm throughout the big day:
Stay home if your cat is afraid of fireworks
Just skip the local fireworks celebrations and stay home with your cat. He may spend most of the time in hiding, but this is a safer alternative than leaving him alone while you go out.
Close the windows
Even with screens, a panicked cat can still charge through a screen due to the power of heightened fear and anxiety. Plus, open windows simply invite the extra outside noise in that is already upsetting your cat. With such a sensitive nose, your cat will easily pick up on the smell of the burning fireworks, causing additional distress.
Make a safe room for your cat with a variety of secure and comfy hiding spots
Outfit the room with a water bowl and a litter box, too. Before the fireworks and related celebrations begin, put him in the room so he can get settled and relax. Turn on relaxing music. If you have a calming product you use to help your cat relax, such as calming chews, hemp oil, or essences, provide them beginning in the morning, then throughout the day into the evening.
The important thing is to ensure your anxious cat feels safe and secure. Yes, you may miss out on seeing some amazing light shows (which you can watch online later!) The real reward comes from the love and affection you will get from your cat when he knows you are there to comfort him.