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Fourth of July Cat Safety Tips

sleeping white and gray cat

Photo: Fotolia

Take a Current Photo

If you’re like me, you’re always snapping photos of your cat but just in case you haven’t taken one in quite a while, have a current photo ready just in case your cat does get lost.

Don’t Leave Your Cat Home Alone

If your cat does react to the noise of fireworks or if she shares her home with a dog who gets very fearful of the noise, don’t leave your pets home alone. Hire a pet sitter or ask a neighbor to visit while you go out and watch the fireworks.

Use Distraction

If your cat is getting anxious about the noise going on outdoors, distract her with interactive playtime. Keep your body language and tone very casual so that you send a message to her that all is ok in her world. If your cat is in a sanctuary room because you have company over, periodically go in and check on her to make sure she’s calm and perhaps do a little impromptu play session with her.  YouTube has lots of interesting videos that showcase fish, birds and other critters that will keep kitty amused and distracted.

 

CatWise book and a quote from Dr Lore Haug

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Use Music as a Buffer

Play soft music to block out the noise taking place outdoors. If you must go out and leave your cat alone, it may be a big help to have music playing in the various rooms she tends to favor.

Create Safe Hideaways

Most cats feel safer when they feel they’re not so out in the open. Create some hideaways for your cat by setting up a high-sided bed (a donut bed or “A” shaped bed) or even just put a few boxes on their sides and line them with towels. This may help limit how much time your cat spends hiding under the bed or in a closet. If she feels she has a safe hiding option in the room where the family is, she may be more likely to stay with you.

Keep Cats on Their Normal Diet

Picnic and BBQ foods aren’t appropriate for pets and can cause problems ranging from mild stomach upset to extreme toxicity. The same applies to alcoholic beverages. Make sure all these foods and beverages are kept out of reach of your pets and that all guests to your home know the rules about not offering these things to your cat or dog.

cat eating from white bowl

Photo: Fotolia

Keep Matches, Lighters and Citronella Candles out of Reach

Even inhaling the citronella scent can cause irritation to your cat so keep all of these things out of your pet’s reach. Make sure your dog doesn’t have access to matches or lighters that could get chewed on or ingested.

No Glowsticks

The popular glowsticks that kids wear as jewelry or use outdoors at night can cause irritation if chewed. Keep these things out of your pet’s reach.

Medication

Don’t give your cat any calming medication unless you’ve been instructed to do so by your veterinarian. You don’t know what side effects may occur or how your cat may react to a particular medication the first time it’s administered.

Need More Information?

For more specific information on how to use distraction and playtime to help with behavior modification, refer to any of Pam’s books. Her books have been called “cat bibles” by veterinarians, behavior experts and cat parents worldwide.

three books by pam johnson-bennett on a bookshelf

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For more information on cat behavior and training, refer to the articles on our website and the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. If you have a question about your cat’s behavior or health, contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a medical diagnosis nor is it a replacement for your cat’s regular veterinary care. This article is for general information purposes only.

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