Feline Wellness

Fireworks Safety for Cats

July 03, 2023

Fourth of July festivities may be fun for humans, but they rarely are enjoyable for animals. Cats can easily become stressed or scared at the sound of fireworks. Cats love routines and they typically do not love loud noises. Their hearing is much more sensitive than ours and the giant booms and flashing colors of fireworks interrupting their evening can be terrifying. Luckily, we have some advice on how to keep your cat calm during Independence Day celebrations. 

Most importantly, keep your cat indoors! Make sure doors and windows are properly closed. Close the curtains if possible too. Both the sight and the sound of fireworks can scare your cat. Loud noises often cause animals to panic and run - the busiest days of the year for intakes at animal shelters are the days surrounding the Fourth of July - and you don’t want your cat to run outside and get lost or hurt.

Create a safe and quiet area for your cat to stay in. This should be a room that your cat is familiar with already. Put their favorite things in this area - blankets, beds, toys - so they feel as cozy as possible. Don’t forget to move their litter box here along with some food and water. Whether or not the door to this room is closed is up to you. Some cats become more stressed when they are alone whereas other cats may feel safer. 

Within this room, you can create a little nook where they can hide out if they get really scared. Try turning a cardboard box on its side and putting it on your closet floor with a soft blanket inside. It’s very important that cats always have the opportunity to hide out, especially when they are frightened. 

Tire them out before the parties get started. Have an extra long play session or two to get your cat to expel all their energy. If they are really tired, they may be less aware of the fireworks later.

If your cat gets really anxious during loud celebrations, you can try a white noise machine or playing some music. If you will be out enjoying the holiday, leave the TV or radio on so your cat hears familiar sounds rather than the confusing booms of fireworks when they’re home alone. 

If you will be home, try to ignore the fireworks. Cats feed off your energy so if you act like everything is fine, they will be less scared. Try to distract them by playing with them, feeding them, brushing them, whatever they most enjoy. You know your cat best and you know what comforts them the most - most likely it’s YOU.  

You can also try giving your cat catnip or CBD or using pheromone diffusers to keep them relaxed. If you already know that your cat becomes extremely uncomfortable hearing fireworks, you can consult with a veterinarian to get some anxiety medication to help them to remain calm.

It’s best to always be prepared so just in case your pet does panic and run out of the house, confirm they are microchipped and that the contact information on their microchip - your name, email address, and phone number -  is current. If your cat wears a collar, get them an ID tag with your contact information.

While it can be really upsetting to see your cat unhappy, remember that the fireworks will end soon and your cat will return to their usual silly self. We hope these tips help your cat feel as safe and stress-free as possible during the Fourth of July fireworks.

Love, Nala