Please find below some useful tips in form of a Guest Post by the team from Pets at Home:
With sensitive ears and trademark trembling, dogs are notoriously nervous on Bonfire Night, and most seasonal pet advice is centered on keeping canines safe and happy. But cats, with their characteristic stoicism and independence, can be a little less willing to show when things are bothering them.
But loud bangs and bright flashes can be stressful for felines too, as well as being painful on the ears. Uncharacteristic behaviour, such as anxious mewing, scratching or spraying, a refusal to eat, or hiding are good indicators that your cat’s not having the best time!
First of all, no matter how much your cat loves the great outdoors, it’s best to keep them in the house on bonfire night. Hopefully they’ve started heading home a bit more regularly to keep out the cold, but if not make sure you spend the week before the 5th getting them acclimatised to being at home again. You can do this by creating a safe space to curl up in at home, or adding some extra treats or comforts to their already-favoured spot.
If they’ve not come home, don’t assume they’ll be fine – particularly if your cat is a fan of hiding in cosy spots outside, such as wood piles. Head out and have a look around – be sure to check sheds and garages, as well as any of their common hiding spots, or neighbours’ houses where they may sneak off to enjoy some extra treats!
On the day, make sure you feed your cat before the sun goes down – once booms and bangs start sounding outside, they may go off eating, so don’t let them go hungry! Make sure to give your cat plenty of space on bonfire night, and provide them with a safe hiding space that you stay out of, as they may become aggressive if they’re worried and feel backed into a corner.
If you’ve got a scaredy-cat in the house, it’s an understandable instinct to want to rush over and comfort them – but this isn’t always the best idea. If they can sense that you’re worried, it will only add to their fear. Act normally, and praise your pet when it’s calmed down to help reinforce that there’s nothing to be scared of. Instead of fussing, distract your cat’s attention with their favourite toys to keep their minds off things, or let them hide away.
Keep cat flaps, windows and doors closed, curtains drawn, and the TV on – this will go a long way towards muffling and masking the sound of any fireworks outside. Louder noises rising above the normal sounds of the house are less frightening than sudden punctures of silence.
By just taking a little care, and paying attention to your feline friend’s moods, you can make sure that the 5th of November is non-too-stressful a date in your cat’s calendar.
More tips on fireworks safety for your pet to follow on Wednesday!
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