Get your kitty used to the noise
You can get firework noises on CD, which can help your pet become acclimatised to the sound of fireworks. Putting on a CD before the noises start can help mask any unexpected bangs on November 5th. You can also find popular firework displays on YouTube (such as New Year celebrations) which can be used to help household pets get used to the noise and celebrations.
Keep your cat in during the evening
Once it’s dark, close the cat flap (and check windows and doors are closed) and keep your cat safe indoors. The loud bangs can make a cat startle and run without thinking about where they are going, and they can easily get lost and possibly injured.
If your cat is used to having free access outdoors, ensure they know where the litter tray is before you close the cat flap. Reports of cats going missing over Bonfire Night increase by 22% over any other time of year.
Ensure your microchip details are up to date
At NAWT, we recommend all cats are microchipped. If your cat does get lost during firework season, ensuring your cat's microchip details are up to date and correct can greatly increase the chance of them being reunited with you.
If your cat isn’t already chipped, your local vet will be able to carry it out, the procedure is very quick.
Calming Sprays and Diffusers
You can get a calming spray, or a room diffuser, to help your pet relax with stressful situations. Some pets react differently to others, so it’s hard to say which product is best for your pet.
If you have rehomed your pet, speak to the previous owners or the rescue centre, as they may have tried a product successfully before.
Check local event pages
Keep an eye on Facebook Events and your town council website, so you know when planned displays are going to take place. This will help you plan keeping your cat in. Ask neighbours if they are planning displays in their gardens.
Draw the curtains and turn on the television or radio
This will help muffle the sound of fireworks on the night and help with the unsettling flashes of light.
Create a safe place
Does your cat like to hide when they’re scared? Create a safe space in your home, where you can keep an eye on them, but give your cat the space they need when feeling worried.
By giving them this space, they hopefully won’t associate you with the noise of fireworks. It’s ok to stroke and cuddle your cat if this helps keep them calm.
Ensure young members of your family leave your pet alone during fireworks, even the most gentle of cats might lash out when scared.
Try your best to not let it show that you’re worried about your cat, they can pick up on this and it can make them more anxious. Just act normally and stay calm. Give your cat praise for calm behaviour.
Check your garden
If your neighbours are hosting a firework evening, check your garden the following morning for any debris following their display. If anyone in your family uses sparklers in the garden, ensure they are put out and disposed of safely.
When to visit your vet
If your cat starts showing continued signs of stress, such as over-grooming, urinating in the house and reduced appetite sometime after fireworks have finished, speak to your vet. There could be another underlying cause for your cat’s anxiety and stress.
If you would like any further advice about pets and fireworks, please get in touch. If you would like to provide calming supplies to help the homeless cats at NAWT through the noisy firework season, please donate here.