If you’re like me and you live in an urban area, the 4th of July may be a distinctively fraught holiday for you. Were those fireworks? Were they gunshots? Haha who knows! Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, your cat is easily distressed in a similar way. For many cats, every firework that is let loose into the great oblivion is an echo of destruction, heralding the end times.
However, there are some small things you can do to make your sweetpea more comfortable while your drunk neighbor shoots off dollar store fireworks in the middle of the street. You know, because ‘MURICA and stuff!
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Adjusting Your Cat’s Environment
Reassuring her that the world is not, in fact, ending, is a good first step. Keep your cat company while the ruckus outside amasses. Though it may not seem like they appreciate it, cats do respond to their humans when we speak to them in a soft, calming timbre. If you remain relaxed and exhibit a certain serenity during the auditory onslaught, your cat will pick up on your cues and will have an easier time following suit.
Some obvious, common-sense solutions include closing your windows and ushering your pussykins into a room that is as far away from the commotion and as sound-proof as possible. You know, if you live in a place that has more than one room, you fancy pants moneybags, you!
Next, surround miss kitty with things that are familiar – things she’s really attached to and likes to be around, like her favorite toys, blankets, etc. Also, as many cat owners have probably happened to realize, cats REALLY love boxes for some reason, and studies have shown that cats feel generally safer and more at ease when they have access to boxes. Plain ol’ empty cardboard boxes. Consider that next time you impulsively buy that must-have circus-themed tent for your cat. As much as I’m sure she’ll appreciate it, I gather she’ll love the box it came in just as much, if not more.
Help Your Cat Become Used To The Noise
If you’ll be out and about participating in the blur of red, white and blue, there are some things you can do to help your kitty from afar while she’s alone. In preparation for the Independence Day festivities, you may want to consider subjecting your cat to what’s in store for her before-hand. Looking for clips of fireworks on YouTube and playing them for your cat to hear will help to “desensitize” him from the racket. Start off quietly, and gradually increase the volume until you’ve reached the max. It may seem unpleasant, and your cat will take some time to get used to the noise, but you will ultimately be benefiting him in the long run.
Last but not least, remember to let your cat do his thing. Don’t try to pick him up when he’s stressing out, as cats tend redirect their aggression when they are scared, or feel threatened. This means that they will probably end up unloading their anxiety on you in the form of a nice big gash on your face. Even if you mean well, you’ll likely only be spooking your cat more and doing more harm than good. (Trust me, I’ve tried, and it breaks my heart seeing my kitty suffer when all I wanna do is give her sweet Eskimo kisses. “Just let me love you!!”, I scream, from a distance. It doesn’t help.)
The best thing to do is remind yourself and your cat that it ain’t gonna last forever. Within a few hours, the amateur firework show that Bobby Whatsisface from next door tried to put on will be a distant memory for the both of you. I promise!