Remember, remember... The fifth of November can be a pretty scary time for our furry friends. With bright lights and sudden noises rippling across the night sky, we need to be mindful of how our cats might react. After all, with firework festivities put on hold last year, we’re expecting huge celebrations throughout the weekend.
Whether you're visiting a firework display, celebrating in your garden, or simply planning a cosy evening in, get ahead and plan how to keep your cat as calm and comfortable as possible. Use our top tips below as a checklist to make sure everyone in your household is prepared.
1. Careful of those nighttime strolls…
Does your cat love an after dark adventure? If so, make sure they’re brought inside before the sun sets this weekend. They won’t be ready for loud whizzes and bangs and could become quickly frightened and disoriented.
Once they’re inside, make sure you’ve shut the windows, drawn the curtains and locked your cat flap.
If you’re worried you won’t be able to get them inside - make sure they’re wearing their identity tag so if they’re spooked, somebody can make sure they find their way home. And if you have a shed, keep the door ajar so that they, or any other cat in distress, can take shelter.
2. Create a safe space
You can go the extra mile to make sure they’ve got everything they need to feel secure. A snug den can really make the difference. And you don’t need to invest in expensive accessories either. A simple blanket-lined box will do just fine to give them a sense of safety when things are getting louder outside.
What normally soothes your cat? Think about the treats, sounds and toys that normally help them to feel less stressed and make sure they’re all available when your cat will need them the most.
3. Give them room to roam
Even though you need to create a sense of comfort, with small dens and familiar sights and sounds - don’t keep them in one room. Cats are meant to roam with freedom and if they can’t venture outside, you need to give them enough space to explore and still feel in charge.
Plus, when cats are kept in one small space, they can easily injure themselves trying to escape. Especially if they’re even further wound up by the noises and flashes outdoors.
4. Keep an eye out for fallen fireworks during the forthcoming days
Remnants of fireworks are likely to be toxic to cats. As one of life’s natural explorers, your curious cat might just fancy investigating some excess firework debris. Keep an eye out in your garden, in the local area or in nearby green spaces for any leftover pieces.
5. And lastly, stay calm
It’s easy to panic and become anxious when you know your pawfect pal is stressed. Nobody wants to see their pet going through something scary. But try to keep calm, because you don’t want to reinforce their fear and you being there will help comfort. Reassure them, don’t punish them, for distressed behaviour and put the points above in place.
And don’t forget to enjoy yourself too! By being a responsible cat parent, you’re far more likely to relax into fireworks night knowing that you’ve done everything you can to keep your cat feeling safe.