Friday, July 5, 2013

Firework Fiasco

Yesterday, here in America anyway, was Independence day. Everywhere people set out their grills, had picnics (That is, if it wasn't raining a monsoon as it was here in Georgia), spent time with family and friends, and probably watched fireworks--maybe even setting some off themselves!

"You're not planning on setting these off inside . . . are you?" - Finny

Yes, people love fireworks. And why not? They are excitingly bright, colorful, and festive. Other than the noise, they're great! That's just the problem though for pets, especially cats. As people, we understand that those huge explosions in the sky are harmless (to us anyway--the atmosphere takes quite a poisoning from fireworks), but the noise is terrifying to our little furry friends.

"Is it safe to come out now? Is the boom-boom gone?" - Finny

Since there's no way to prevent fireworks on special holidays, the best thing we pet owners can do is help protect our cats and keep them calm during firework shows. There are many sites out there that provide insight on how to best do that, but I found two particular articles to be the most helpful.

Two days ago, posted an article entitled "Dogs and cats may fear noisy fireworks." The article encourages pet owners to keep their pets inside during fireworks because scared animals are more likely to run away from home. It's difficult to re-catch animals when they are scared, so it is better to just keep them inside so they can't escape and get lost accidentally.

Wikihow also has an article on the subject. They've compiled a list of 5 steps and tips to help keep your cat calm during fireworks. Most of the steps consist of keeping your cat away from the fireworks so that the sounds won't be so loud. Good ways to do this are:

  • Close doors and windows to decrease the firework sounds.
  • Put your cat in the most sound-proof room of the house (this is usually a bedroom or some other place they like to hide).
  • Play calming music and talk gently to your cat to ease their nerves.
  • Pamper your pet. Make your feline feel like royalty by bringing them treats and creating a special area just for them to hide in.

If these tips don't help, there are more drastic measures you can take to help calm your kitty. For extremely-jumpy cats, you can talk to your vet about getting some tranquilizer pills, which should help to calm them down.

Another idea, which Finnegan is a huge fan of, is to give your cat catnip. Supposedly, the cat will be so entranced by the "kitty drug" that it won't even notice the firework sounds.

Just remember: even if none of these ideas work, don't get angry at your cat for being scared. Treat them gently and remember that cats' hearing is five times better than a humans'.


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