Welcoming in the New Year can be a wonderful time for us humans, but it can be a stressful and frightening time for your cat or dog.
Whether you’re throwing your own New Years Eve party or just live in a busy suburban area, with lots of people, loud noises and fireworks it’s important that you keep the safety and wellbeing of your pets in mind.
I am grateful that in Australia it is illegal to sell, buy or set off fireworks without a licence to do so, which has certainly reduced the number of backyard injuries caused by inexperienced handling of fireworks and the anti-social, cruel behaviour towards both people and pets. I appreciate though, that laws are different in different parts of the world – the below tips are intended to minimise your cat’s anxiety and keep your cat calm during fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
How to Keep Your Cat Calm During Fireworks and NYE Celebrations
- If your cat goes outside, make sure that you keep her in during the lead up to the celebrations as well as during them. People often like to set off fireworks before the actual event itself, and if she’s outside she’s more likely to get frightened and run away, or worse still get spooked and run into the road. Don’t forget that there are also some people out there who deliberately hurt animals, and with fireworks being commonplace on New Year’s Eve it doesn’t bear thinking about.
- Make sure that your cat has somewhere to hide if she’s feeling stressed and anxious. If she has a favourite hiding place, like under the bed or on top of a cupboard, try to make sure that it’s accessible and as comforting as possible. If she does run off and hide, as long as it’s in a suitable hiding place you shouldn’t try to coax her out. Let her be on her own until the noise dies down and she feels secure enough to venture out.
- If there are fireworks going on outside your home, make sure all the windows are closed and the curtains or blinds are drawn. It’s not only the sound of fireworks that could freak your cat out, the sight of them bursting in the sky might also cause her massive stress.
- Turning the TV on or playing music can also help to drown out any scary noises coming from outside. As long as the sounds she’s hearing inside the house are commonplace, and not too loud, she might not even notice the festivities going on outside or around her.
- If you plan to be home with your cat on New Years Eve you can try to distract her by playing with her. If she gets caught up in the excitement of play time, she’s more likely to ignore the stressful noises of exuberant partygoers and the distant sounds of fireworks being let off outside.
- There are also other options to calm your cat down if she’s naturally nervous – you can try a pheromone diffuser like Feliway, or even a Thundershirt.
How do you keep your cat calm during fireworks on New Years Eve? Please share…