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Cats & Fireworks

The new Fireworks Act – which will restrict the sale and use of fireworks to certain times of the day and year, as well as license public fireworks displays – will help to protect our pets from distress. But, until strong and specific regulations pertaining to noise levels and other fireworks-related issues are introduced under the Act, pets can still be traumatised.

For this reason, Cats Protection urges everyone to spare a thought for their feline friends during the impending firework season.

“Cats are frightened of loud noises, and, if they are out and about during the revelry, they can also be at risk from ill treatment,”

said Judy Bernstein, Cats Protection’s Head of Promotions.

Cats Protection advises cat owners to take the following precautions during fireworks season:

  • Keep your cat in after dark and provide him or her with a litter tray if s/he is used to having garden access.
  • Try to reduce outside noise by keeping windows shut and curtains drawn. Playing soothing music or having the TV on may also help.
  • In order to feel secure, cats need to be settled in cosy, familiar territory such as a comfy bed or favourite chair.
  • Cats that are known to be skittish, sensitive or new to a home, will be particularly vulnerable to firework noise and could panic and run away. Make sure doors and windows are securely fastened.

Other general precautions to ensure animal safety on bonfire night include:

  • Buy hand-held cascading fireworks rather than the noise-making varieties.
  • Keep fireworks and bonfires as far away from homes as possible, to minimise any adverse effects on animals indoors. This does not mean, however, that other wild animals will not be affected.
  • Check bonfires before lighting them to ensure that no small animals are sleeping inside.

Cats Protection Shelters and Branches still see too many incidences of needlessly traumatised and injured cats as a result of bonfire night and is keen to end this unnecessary suffering.

“Just like humans, cats can react in a number of different ways when frightened. Now that fireworks celebrations go on for so long, owners need to be very aware that, due to the stress of such events, their pet’s behaviour can change,” said Judy. Typical reactions that a stressed cat might display include excessive grooming, house soiling, or, becoming less willing to interact with their owners.

Cats Protection’s National Telephone Helpline 08702 099 099 can provide general advice concerning keeping felines safe and happy during the fireworks season.

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