Fireworks Season will soon be upon us.
From Halloween, to Bonfire night, to New years, fireworks are inevitable and it is our job to keep our kitties (and pooches) as stress free as possible during this time!
Here are a few helpful tips to keep your fur babies feeling safe and secure while the world pops and bangs outside!
Preparation is key:
- A few weeks before these events, you should invest in and use a Pheromone based calming product, such as a Feliway classic diffuser for cats (and Adaptil for doggos, both of which can be used at the same time). These plug in to the wall, just like an air freshener, except us humans can’t smell them, but the cats can. This emits a pheromone that is an exact copy of the feline facial pheromone that is common to every cat. These chemical markers create a sense of familiarity and security, leading to a decrease in stress and anxiety.
- Make sure you have a litter tray in the house, as kitty should stay indoors during the nights fireworks are going off. You should try getting kitty into a routine of coming indoors just before dark each evening. You can reward them with their supper!
- Stock up on catnip or valerian filled toys and some interactive toys, such as toilet rolls cut up in a box with treats to find; a cardboard box with some scrunched up newspaper and treats to find, and fishing rod toys so you can play with kitty too.
- Make sure you will be in on the nights fireworks are set off. Your kitty will need you around to feel more safe and secure.
On the night:
- On the nights when fireworks are most likely to be going off, you should ensure kitties are indoors before it gets dark. Ensure cat flaps, doors and windows are locked and secure (kitty-bust-out-proof!!).
- Close all curtains/blinds (get blackouts if you can) to prevent the bright lights from startling your cat.
- Turn the TV or radio up a little and play something calming to disguise the pops and bangs outside.
- Make up some toys to keep your kitty occupied (but don’t be offended if they don’t use them!). Cut up toilet roll tubes in a cereal box, filled with treats or a big box with scrunched newspaper and treats to find, will keep them busy for a while. Catnip or Valerian filled toys will also put them in a brief state of euphoria and let’s face it, we all love watching how happy our kitty-cats are when playing with catnip. Some cats will be easily distracted by these things, others may just want to hide and wait for it to be over, all we can do is make it as comfortable as possible for them.
- A place to hide! Make sure your kitty has a safe place to hide, whether it be a box turned upside down with a blanket in, an igloo bed or the underneath of your bed, as long as it’s safe it will do. Some cats like to be up high to feel safe so try to provide them with multiple hidey spaces. If they do want to hide, allow them to do so. If/when they feel safe, they will come out.
- Don’t overreact!! It’s really important that you do not react to the bangs outside. You must be a role model for your kitty….zen is the word! Also, don’t feel like you need to overfuss kitty, if she wants cuddles, she will come for them, otherwise you could be reinforcing the wrong behaviour.
- Be there!!! One of the most important things you can do for your kitty is be there for them during times of stress, even if you don’t really do much, you are familiar to them and provide them with a source of confidence.
We hope this little info page helps you to help your fur babies stay as stress free as possible!
And don’t forget, you could help our shelter kitties stay stress free too by sending some feliway, or an igloo bed, or some catnip toys for them via our Amazon wishlist!