Thunderstorms can be very unsettling. Typically, when it comes to our pets, we think of dogs as the ones who end up shaking, crying or hiding when Mother Nature displays a sound and light show, but many cats also become nervous. If thunderstorms cause anxiety to your cat, here are nine tips to help you maintain a calm environment during the storm. Keep in mind that it’s normal for a cat seek out a hiding place during storms but it’s not good if your cat doesn’t recover afterward and feels as if he can’t ever come out into the main part of the home again. If your cat doesn’t return to normal behavior following storms, have a discussion with your veterinarian.
1. Keep Your Cat Indoors
If your cat is normally allowed outdoors and you know a storm has been predicted or is approaching, get him indoors. The most terrifying place to be is right outside in the middle of a storm. For safety, it’s wise to train your cat to come when called. I recommend this for all cats, even indoor ones, but if you let your cat outdoors, it’s especially important. Take the time to teach your cat to respond to his name. Using treats is an easy way to teach a cat to come when called.
2. Be Aware of Your Body Language
If the storm makes you nervous then your cat is likely to pick up on that anxiety. Cats are masters as reading body language and they know when we aren’t behaving and moving like our normal selves. Be conscious of your movements and do your best to portray a calm demeanor. If your cat wants to be with you make sure your demeanor is normal and relaxed. You may even be able to distract him with a little playtime but don’t force the issue.