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HOW CAN I HELP MY CAT IF SHE IS AFRAID OF FIRECRACKERS?

Cats are often afraid of firecrackers, afraid of storms, and afraid of many other sudden loud noises. In short, cats are animals that like to be quiet and have their territory under control. They do not tolerate noisy and unpredictable environments as well. Some time ago, we surveyed those who follow our newsletter, and many of you answered us that your cats are phobic of firecrackers or are scared by loud noises, like the noise of construction sites or the sound of sirens.

We have already spoken to you about this subject on other occasions. Still, in the month that we are here, June, it is obligatory to do so again: Saint John’s Day is approaching, a celebration closely linked to pyrotechnics in many places and which gives way to many other summer festivities in which firecrackers and fireworks are usually an important part of the celebration. Besides, if a cat is afraid of firecrackers, it is widespread that it is also afraid of storms, and summer is a time of the year when they are common.

When a phobia of firecrackers or other loud noises has already manifested itself in your cat, it is best to go to a behavioral specialist to help her overcome it or at least control it. But you can also do a lot to improve the situation.

First step: how to prevent fear of firecrackers and other loud noises

This is probably the most complicated part because when we realize that our cat is phobic of loud noises, we can’t go back. But if you have a kitten now, you can still help her not develop those uncontrollable fears.

Even though cats are not very friendly with noises, we can always educate them to tolerate them better even though, as we have already told you, cats are not very friendly with noises. Playing or doing something pleasant with your kitten, ignoring the noise, and behaving as if nothing was wrong will help your kitten avoid associating loud noises with danger and tolerate them better.

Above all, please do not force them to see that they are nervous or scared because that will worsen. Let’s try to “throw them off” with a pleasant activity, but let them take refuge in a place that gives them security if they prefer.

Second step: how to help our cat to control its phobia to the noises

It is important to make sure that the cat will be inside the house and have food, water, and its hygienic tray available in perfect condition when we know that strong noises will occur, as in the case of popular celebrations or storms. We must make sure that it has no way of escaping by accessing the outside because it could get lost if it does.

In addition to closing the windows to prevent him from escaping, you should lower the blinds or close shutters if the house has them so that the sounds coming from outside are muffled as much as possible. In the case of fireworks or lightning, this will also prevent our feline companion from being frightened by the flashes. Playing music or turning on the TV will help to mask the noise from the street.

Ensure that the cat has hiding places and elevated areas where it can take refuge if it wants to, and do not force it to abandon them or scold it in any way. Put yourself in his place: imagine that you are scared to death and get a scolding that you don’t understand…

Keep your usual routine: do what you usually do at home. Encourage your cat to share activities that he likes with you so that he stops associating noise with something negative, always without forcing him.

Seek the help of a specialist

There are cases of noise phobia more severe than others, in which the owner cannot help his feline companion as much as necessary. If you see that your cat is still having a tough time despite all the support you’re giving it, it’s time to seek help from the behavioral specialist.

Professionals can see much further than we can, and it is possible that a case that we consider lost can be solved relatively easily. However, we would like to tell you that the treatments for severe phobias tend to be very long, require a lot of perseverance, and, sometimes, produce discouraging setbacks that should not discourage us. How can you not put in all the effort needed to make her happy with everything you love about your cat?

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