Cats

How to calm your cat on Bonfire Night

Allie Simpson

Bonfire Night is a popular tradition, with plenty of fireworks being set off all over the UK during the autumn months. While we may enjoy these colourful celebrations, your usually fierce feline may become nervous and unhappy.

If you’re worried that your cat may get distressed this bonfire season, we’re here to help. Join us as we take a look at some pawsitive things you can do to help calm down your cat on Bonfire Night.

 

A picture of a black and brown shorthair cat sat in a cardboard box

How to calm down a cat on Bonfire Night

Even the most confident of cats can turn tail when it comes to Bonfire Night. The bright flashes, loud bangs, fizzes, and whooshes of fireworks, paired with the burning smells of bonfires, could create an uncomfortable environment for your feline.

  • To help keep your cat calm, try bringing them indoors when it gets dark. This may reduce the risk of them getting spooked by any fireworks or enthusiastic cheers from the neighbours.
  • Create a safe space for your cat to retreat by lining cardboard boxes with blankets.
  • As some cats may feel safer higher up, you could try placing their safe space box on a shelf or table.
  • Music may also create a sense of calm for your cat, so turn up the radio or watch your favourite TV show at a higher volume than normal. This could help drown out the sound of fireworks so they don’t get spooked by any sudden bangs.

> Do cat calming plug ins work?

If you think your cat may not cope well with the noises, you could buy a pheromone plug in. These are diffusers that you can plug into sockets in your home and the blend inside imitates a cat’s facial pheromone. Whether a cat calming plug in works depends on each individual cat. Some owners find they create a calming effect on their anxious feline.

It may be worth trying it out before bonfire night to see how it changes your cat’s mood. Try placing it in the room your cat spends the most time to get a better idea of how much it calms down your kitty. Also, think about consulting with your vet first to check that it’s safe to use.

> Can my cat pick up on my stress?

Cats are smart animals with acute senses, and they may even be able to recognise our body language and facial expressions. Remember to try and stay as calm as possible on Bonfire Night, as your cat is more likely to feel unsettled and stressed if you are.

This may mean not over-comforting your cat as it could lead to them feeling even more stressed. If your feline is naturally anxious, it may be worthwhile trying some of the steps for dealing with cat anxiety.

 

A picture of a black and white cat sat on a windowsill next to a closed window

How to keep your cat inside the house on Bonfire Night

Sudden bangs and bright flashes could spook your cat to the point where they attempt to escape from your home. Leaving the house on Bonfire Night while in an anxious state could lead to injury, illness, or your cat becoming lost and disoriented.

  • Bring your outdoor cat inside when it gets dark and remember to check that all windows are closed and any cat flaps are locked.
  • You could even do this a few days on either side of Bonfire Night to help your cat adjust to the routine change. It may also prepare them for any fireworks set off in gardens on the days surrounding Bonfire Night.
  • It’s also worth noting that firework displays may be set off earlier so that young children have a chance to see them, so you may want to bring your cat in earlier.

> What can I do if my cat is scared of loud noises?

If your cat is scared of loud noises, prepare your home in a way that can help ease their fear.

  • Closing outside doors and all windows doesn’t just prevent escape artists, it may also create a barrier between the loud bangs of the fireworks and your cat.
  • Creating a safe space for them could also be helpful, as they have somewhere comforting to hide if they get scared by a loud noise.
  • In the lead up to bonfire night, you could play sounds of fireworks using CDs or videos online to help acclimatise them.
  • Start with the volume level low, and gradually increase this over time. Never increase the volume past a level that they’re comfortable with, as this could antagonise their stress.

 

Always focus on the well-being of your cat and look out for them over bonfire season.

If you’re concerned about your cat escaping, speak to your vet about microchipping them, and check the information is up to date if already done.

 

If you’re looking out for your cat, don’t forget about their insurance. Our lifetime cat cover could give you peace of mind that your cat is protected.

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