Cats and Fireworks: Remedies for Scared Cats

Post Published on June 25, 2016 | Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Jenny

Cats and Fireworks: Remedies for Scared Cats

FireworksIn the USA, our Independence holiday is around the corner – the 4th of July. For many pets, the 4th of July is a very stressful time because of fireworks. And it isn’t always just the afternoon and evening of the 4th – it includes the days leading up to and following the holiday.

Many fireworks our outlawed in cities because of the fire dangers they pose, but in more rural areas or around lakes they seem to be more readily available making it even worse for pets.

My family loves to celebrate the 4th of July in all the traditional ways, including fireworks. However, it wasn’t until my parents German Shepherd, Tucker, that I realized how devastating they could be for an animal – loud noises over and over again from outside. He was a 90 lb. happy-go-lucky guy and fireworks turned him into a frighten, terrified, hiding pup.

Rags, the Ragdoll cat I grew up with, never responded poorly to fireworks – nor did he thunder. But, Charlie and Trigg really do not care for fireworks. The past few 4th of Julys, I have stayed home with them and I am glad I have. Prior to being with them on the night of the 4th, I did not know that they ran around the house growling at the ceiling in fear and confusion.

Many dogs and cats get lost because of fireworks too – they become afraid and look for a place to escape the loud noise, so it’s always important to have your animals indoors on firework-inspired holidays.

So what can you do?

  • Stay Calm – As with any situation where your cat is stressed, you want to stay calm. If you’re stressed, you will only stress out your cat more, so it’s important to stay calm.  I like to talk to Charlie and Trigg and say, “It’s OK.”  And I tell them what’s going on – “Those are fireworks and people set them off in honor of our Independence Day from Great Britain a long, long, long time ago.  And those fireworks will cause a big mess for someone to have to clean up tomorrow.”  I do.  I seriously just keep talking to them as if we are having a cup of tea.  Ha ha ha – can you tell that we used to have to clean up the waste from the fireworks the next day as a little kid? Something I don’t miss.
  • Give your kitty a safe place to hide – like under a bed or a covered ottoman.  More than likely you have already found your kitty in these places – for example, Trigg’s is under the ottoman or the chair upstairs.  He feels protected in those areas while being able to still hear what’s going on in the house.
  • Desensitize your pets – You can also prepare your kitty or pup for loud firework/thunder like noises by playing a recording of them at a low volume leading up to the big day.  That way they are used to the sound of the fireworks leading up to it.  Come to think of it, maybe that’s why Rags was not bothered by fireworks.  My dad, when we were teenagers and liked to sleep in, would (by 10am) play this fireworks CD at full volume to get us out of bed.  So, Rags probably got used to it from that.

Products that might offer solutions:

  • Cats and Fireworks Remedies for Scared CatsPet Remedy – A product from the UK that made from herbal essences, Valerian, sweet basil, sage and vetiver.  It comes in difussers and sprays.  You can learn more about it on their website.
  • Thundershirts – This product is a shirt that wraps around your cat or dog.  You then velcro it tighter to make it feel like they are being hugged and therefore they feel more secure.  The concept, I believe, was developed by Temple Grandin in her work with cattle.

Do your kitties or pups get scared from fireworks?  What do you do to keep them calm?  What works for you?

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6 thoughts on “Cats and Fireworks: Remedies for Scared Cats

  1. Patti Johnson says:

    Great post, Jenny! I have mixed feelings about fireworks. I lurve to see a big display of fireworks celebrating July 4th and New Year’s at a park or something. Truly gorgeous and so much fun to watch. And, as a kid, my favorite thing were SPARKLERS!!! But having neighborhood fireworks is so noisy and they leave so much trash around (as not everyone is diligent with their cleaning once the fun is over). But, where we live now, is nice and quiet (us old folks lurve quiet…lol) so we never have a problem with fireworks noise upsetting our Miss PSB. However, when we lived in the country (at our previous home) the firework noise was just awful and all our kitties and dogs hated that noise so much. It was just something we dreaded each year and the day after there was so much trash in the road and in everyone’s yard…blech. Glad those days are behind us. 🙂

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

  2. Teresa Reid says:

    Thankfully where we live, they don’t shoot off too many and the ones they do are usually pretty far away. HOWEVER, a neighbor moved in down the street and let them off last year in my next door neighbor’s yard while she was away on vacation. It almost caused a fire, burning her grass in the front yard. Wouldn’t that have been a horrible thing to return home to? Even though it was loud, the girls weren’t too afraid. I talked to them just like you said you do Jenny and that seemed to be enough. The thundershirt didn’t work on Mari. She fell over and then, the longer she wore it, the more anxious she became, so I just stopped using it. But, we did find one thing that really does relieve her anxiety around here and that is Rescue Remedy. Have been very pleased with the results from that and if she is afraid this 4th, will definitely use that for her. The two Ragdolls aren’t very effected by it. They show concern, but don’t hide or pace, etc. Now, I’m really worried about my new little feral manx, Lord Greystoke, that is barely just trusting us lately enough to eat and then run away. What in the world will he think is happening if they start that stuff? Pray that he can hide in the backyard and feel secure enough that he stays put. Would hate for him to run away and get lost or hurt. Think that fireworks are great when they are used safely and the laws are followed. Sadly, just like everything else, some people abuse the privilege and almost cause a fire or worse. Hoping this holiday will be safe and happy one for everyone.♥♥♥♥

  3. plmcat says:

    two of my cats don’t care for the fireworks but they aren’t too afraid but one, my grey tabby is absolutely terrified and it breaks my heart and literally makes me cry and very angry. there are many fireworks that are outlawed in my city but people light them anyway and the cops won’t do anything about it unless you see them and they won’t respond at all for the day before the 4th and the 4th itself. i think fireworks should be stopped all together. it scares all animals, not just our pets and why their comfort and peace should be disregarded sends me into a rage. i had a dog once that jumped through a glass window because she was so terrified and she didn’t come home for 3 days and then had to go to the vet because her nose was cut open. with my cat now i do stay home, i talk to him and i am this year giving him “spirit essence” trauma that jackson galaxy promotes. i have heard that it works well and am hoping it can help him be not so afraid. it really hurts me that we only consider our fun and never think about how our “fun” is others nightmare and terror. i also cover my front window. i don’t have anything on them because i love the light coming in and if my cat sees the fireworks in the sky he is sooo scared so i get some blankets over it during this time. i also have my computer on with cat videos to distract them or music and make it fairly loud to help drown out the noise outside. i like to watch the fireworks, i like the colors and celebration but i HATE the mortars and bottle rockets and all that crap that just makes noise. to me we can celebrate the 4th without all the noise and without creating such a horrible time for the animals that we love and the ones that we share this planet with. i’m all for them being outlawed all together!

    • Jenny says:

      i am mixed about them being outlawed – they are noisy, cause issues with our pets, cause fires and cause a lot of debris – but man, as a kid, i loved them…some of my favorite times were going to the fireworks stand with my dad and picking out my fireworks and setting them off….especially the parachute ones.

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