The July 4th holiday may be a fun time for us humans, but it’s a stressful, terrifying time for cats. The sound of fireworks can frighten cats and send them running for cover or bolting out the door. Explosions – even miles away – can cause cats to panic. Every year, animal shelters around the country are suddenly flooded with scared, lost cats and dogs that could have been prevented with some simple precautions.
You can make the July 4th holiday less stressful for your cat by thinking ahead and following some simple tips to protect them and keep them as comfortable as possible.
Ways to keep your cat safe on July 4th
- Make sure your cat is microchipped and your contact information is up-to-date.
- Keep your cat inside (if you have an outdoor-outdoor cat) 24 hours before July 4th and 24 hours after July 4th, while fireworks may be displayed.
- Try to stay indoors with your cat or cats, if you can.
- Keep all windows closed in your home and make sure that any windows your cat has access to—are shut.
- Keep doors closed to the outside and when opening doors be careful about where your cat is.
- Keep your cat in a safe enclosed space like a bathroom or bedroom with the windows and door shut, and provide them with a comfortable place to hide like a dark closet with some soft bedding.
- Turn on some soft music (classical or jazz!) in the room to help diffuse the noise of the fireworks.
- To help calm your cat – there are several natural over-the-counter remedies that are very effective and harmless, including: Rescue Remedy, Feliway, and Quiet Moments.
- If you know your cat tends to panic when hearing loud noises like thunder and lightning – you may want to check with your veterinarian about a short-term anti-anxiety medication (just for 1-2 days).
- Take some photos of your cat in advance, just in case your cat gets lost.
If your cat becomes lost during the holiday, immediately do the following:
1. Call your local animal control or shelter first to notify them of your missing cat. Provide them with photos, date and time your cat went missing, and a short description with any identifying markings.
2. Post flyers in your neighborhood with a good photo and a detailed description of your missing cat. Include lost time and date and your contact information.
3. Check with neighbors and let them know your cat is missing – give them a description and photos of your cat and your contact information.
4. Post your missing cat’s description on Craigslist‘s “Lost & Found” postings section as well as in your local newspaper
5. Leave fresh cat food and water out everyday, morning and night, at your front or back door, and a cat bed or something with your cat’s scent on it. Lost and missing cats are often hiding in the immediate area of your home, under or behind bushes very close to your house and are paralyzed to move. Go out daily, morning and night, and call for them while canvassing the neighborhood. Always check under and behind bushes and take a flashlight with you at night.
Here’s more helpful information in case your cat goes missing.