Happy Independence from the British Day! How that became a day of grilling out and gorging on junk food I’ll never know, but in the U.S. it seems we’re always looking for some reason to eat and drink. It’s just our way.
As you can see, the kitties are in rare form practicing for tonight’s festivities!
I plan on joining a friend on a roof top in hopes of seeing the fireworks and my fingers are crossed we’ll have a good line of sight. You’d never believe how many people have rooftop parties assuming the fireworks will be visible, only to be completely blocked by a building – or 5 – leaving party attendees with live sound effects only, relegated to watching them on the inevitable 24″ television. Let’s hope tonight’s not like that!
But in all seriousness, if you think there will be any fireworks near you today, it’s very important to take the well-being of your furry housemates into consideration (and I don’t mean any Middle Eastern guys you may live with – just kidding! I think I can say that given I’m Armenian and our guys are known for hair everywhere save on their head!).
You may be surprised to learn that cats far exceed our ability – and that of canines – when it comes to hearing in the upper octaves (close to two octaves above us, and one above dogs). So imagine how terrifying fireworks, especially the ones that don’t actually go off and make that terrible sound, can be for our kitties!
So to ensure your cats have as lovely an evening as I hope you will, read on for a few tips to keep them safe and reduce stress.
1) KEEP THEM INSIDE
I repeat. Keep your cats inside your home and make sure they stay there. I cannot emphasize this enough. Ignore the pathetic looks and the annoying noise-making. It’s far better than the alternative.
“Oh, Mr. Manx is used to being outside, nothing scares him.” Oh really? Do you really want to test out that theory? Oh, and on top of the fireworks, throw in a few out-of-control teens with noise-making paraphilia (or worse!). Keep your cats (all furry family members for that matter) inside.
The last thing you want to be doing for the next 24 hours (if you’re lucky) is trying to locate a lost pet who in a state of complete distress and surprise ran into uncharted territory. Better to purchase some favorite treats and a new toy or two to distract them and keep them safely inside.
2) CREATE A SAFE HAVEN
If it’s possible your feline will be able to hear the fireworks from neighbors or the official display from inside your home, create a safe, calming place for them, ideally a large enough room with a door you can close (this is important particularly if you are having guests over).
- Turn on the television to something monotone that will help drown out noises, a fan or streaming calming classical music can work as well.
- If you have a Pet Acoustics CD, DVD or MP3 Player, now’s the time to turn that bad boy on (it’s species-designed music to entice play or calm, depending on what the situation calls for and has been proven to work in crowded shelters in soothing animals).
Particularly important if you’re having people over tonight. We all know how stealth and persistent kitties can to get what they want (consider keeping the room they are in closed – but be sure to put a litter box in there!).
While you may not have time to get them micro chipped if they aren’t already, you still have time to get a collar and ID made (many of the larger pet stores make them on the spot). It’s by far the better alternative to losing a beloved friend and begrudging a two-legged ones for inadvertently letting him or her out!
NOTE: The reason it’s important for cats (and dogs) to have both a collar and a microchip is that collars can come off, and sometimes, people don’t bother taking a “found” animal in to check for a microchip but assume it’s a stray or has been dumped.
4) SCHOOL YOUR GUESTS
If you are having guests over tonight who may be curious to see your furbabies (and who wouldn’t want to I ask!), lay down the ground rules.
- Ask them to please not visit the kitties unless you are with them (to ensure no one makes a break for it!).
- Remind them not to feed them human food. You may be surprised to learn the types of foods that are toxic to cats that may or may not be to other pets (avocados, certain nuts, garlic etc). Most of which are commonly served at parties, particularly BBQs.
5) CURRENT PHOTO
Hopefully with smart phones today you already have one, but just in case, and hopefully you won’t need it. Just as with a child, having a current photo on-hand will make finding a lost cat much easier. Plus, if it’s digital you can share it on social media.
5) SKITTISH CATS
Do you have a particularly skittish cat? Considering the following options in addition to the above mentioned precautions:
- A Feliway Comfort Zone Diffuser or Rescue Remedy to reduce stress. Both products are commonly carried in pet stores.
- Calming Coat (also sold under Thunder Shirt brand) that makes the pet feel secure just as one swaddles an infant. Probably something you want to try in advance and not just purchase and use for the first time today.
6) CLEAR THE AREA
Many products sold for the 4th of July have colorful tinsel on them – hats, noisemakers etc – making them very hazardous for cats. In case you aren’t aware, string and string-like objects if long enough, can get caught up inside a cat’s intestinal tract causing them to get twisted and resulting in expensive surgery and some times worse 🙁
If you learned something new in today’s post, or have other tips for keeping your cats safe and happy on a noisy day like today, please share with us in the comments section!
Now here’s Petie signing off from us all wishing you and your kitties a lovely evening!