10 Oct Firework season looms!
Setting up a quiet space for your cat
Earlier this week on Facebook, I spoke about ‘safe zones’ in our homes for our cats (you can check it out here). In this month’s blog post, I take a more in-depth look as we approach firework season.
Under normal circumstances, I would be explaining how Halloween can be a scary time for out pets. Noisy parties, scary masks covering faces, and the doorbell constantly ringing with yells of ‘Trick or Treat!’.
It’s unlikely any of this will be going ahead due to COVID, but there’s another scary holiday right after that. Bonfire night. The nights are getting longer and soon the BOOM of fireworks will begin. This is very stressful for our furry family members – so how can we help them cope?
Observe your cat’s sleeping habits
Think about where your cat like to sleep. Is it up high? In a cupboard? Under the bed, or behind the sofa? Understanding where our cats like to sleep helps us better plan where to set up dedicated ‘safe zones’ for our cats. These are places they can go when they want some peace and quiet.
Never disturb or try to coax your cat out of their ‘quiet’ zones. We can select other places as ‘petting zones’ for our cats, where they will learn to go and expect to get attention instead.
Once you’ve taken note of where your cat likes to sleep, we can enhance these places for them. An igloo bed in a cupboard, wardrobe, or under the bed is a great den for them to snuggle up in. For those that like to go up high, an open bed can provide additional comfort and encourage them to use these spots more often too.
If you have the space, large cat trees with hammocks and den areas are also great. Not only does it provide our cats with a scratching area, it means they’re out of our reach if the hoomins are tempted to disturb them for a cuddle. They are also out of reach of young children who might not have yet learned when the cat wants to be left alone – especially if the cat is already stressed from noisy fireworks going off!
A deep breathe in… and out…
Cat’s have a very good sense of smell, so plug-in diffusers can be a great way to help anxious cats. Feliway mimics the calming pheromones cats produce. Pet remedy is a herbal mix containing valerian, which has great anti-anxiety properties. Whichever you go for, place it in the room your ‘quiet zone’ is located a few days before the loud noises are going to start. This helps reinforce that this specific room is a safe place.
You can also purchase valerian drops from Dorwest Herbs. You can add this directly to food, water, or their bedding. It’s best to start them on it a few days beforehand so that it’s already getting to work in their system. This means when the fireworks begin, your cat is starting off in a more relaxed state than they would normally be.
Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven?
Various studies have shown that cats react to certain music the same way humans do – with the part of the brain that processes emotion. Playing relaxing music can help soothe your cat’s nerves. It can also aid in drowning out the scary noises going on outside the window too.
If you have Spotify, there are plenty of different cat-specific music designed for stress. Check out Relax My Cat on youtube too – we play some of their music in our boarding rooms!
That’s it for this month!
We hope this helps you and your anxious felines in the coming months. Keep an eye out on our facebook page for our next video about the set up in my own home for my cats too! Have a question or suggestion for other blog/videos? Drop us an email!
You can also check out some of our other blog posts here too: