Bonfire Night has a reputation for being a scary time for dogs, and this is certainly true. But it can also be just as terrifying for our feline friends, too.
As sassy and independent as our cats would have us believe they are, there are few things that can get their eyes as wide or their shackles raised like fireworks can.
A great way to help prepare cats for Bonfire Night is to use a calming supplement like Itch Calm.
Itch Calm is a medicinal health supplement, containing specially blended ingredients designed to relieve anxiety, promote feel-good hormones and reduce stress.
It has a whole heap of well-being benefits for your cat that will work wonders during stressful events like Bonfire Night, such as:
- Valerian Root Extract – traditionally used to ease anxiety
- L-Theanine – an essential amino acid found in tea leaves, used to promote a sense of calm
- Ashwagandha – a source of withanolides to help reduce stress
Thanks to its sprinkle formula, Itch Calm is easy to administer with food. It can be used a few weeks in advance to build up a calm and happy home, or a few days in advance to soothe frayed nerves.
Practical Tips for Dealing with Bonfire Night
Although Itch Calm is a great remedy, there are also some practical tips that you should follow to help keep your cat as chilled as possible.
- Make sure your cat has somewhere to hide if they want to. Cats feel safe when they are high up and out of the way – but a safe space could also be underneath some furniture or in a quiet corner. They should also be able to access their hiding spot at all times.
- If your cat does hide – don’t try and tempt them out. You might think you are providing reassurance, but in fact you could be stressing them out even more. Just leave them to it, and let them hide.
- Keep cats indoors once it gets dark. Even if a cat is yowling like a good ‘un, trust us when we say they’ll thank you in the long run for keeping them in.
- Once it’s dark, close all the windows and curtains. This will help to drown out the scary sights and sounds.
- Put on some music, or the television. Even the radio. Anything to help mask the noise.
- Never punish your cat for being frightened. This will only make things worse.
Keep them comfortable
If you are building a den for your cat, you need to make it comfortable and cosy.
Familiarity is best. Line their den with anything you know they’ll find comforting, such as their own toys, bedding and blankets.
For the ultimate comforting experience, the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night is a great time to treat your cat to a new bed.
We love this velvet donut bed from luxury petcare brand, Scruffs.
Designed for small dogs and cats, this bed will ensure your pet is kept as snug as possible with its one-piece design and wrapped-around crushed velvet finish. Each bed features a fixed deep-filled centre cushion for enhanced support, and high-walls for added security and comfort.
What you can do to make fireworks less frightening for all animals
There are lots of ways that you can easily help to make Bonfire Night a less stressful time for all types of animals.
Only go to organised events
Although organised events are less popular this year, there may still be some COVID-secure events happening near you.
If you can’t attend an event, try to avoid setting off your own fireworks if you live in a busy residential area. More houses mean more pets – and the closer proximity to all the loud noises could be even more unsettling for animals than normal.
Help owners prepare their pets by only letting off fireworks on the traditional dates
Diwali, Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year are the dates when owners know to expect fireworks. By sticking to these dates, you’re giving owners time to prepare their animals and help them cope.
Buy low-noise fireworks
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but if you ARE hosting a display, try and use fireworks which create less noise.
NEVER set off fireworks near livestock
Frightened animals – especially large ones like horses or cows, can accidentally hurt themselves when startled
Always check bonfires for wildlife before lighting
Unlit bonfires are the perfect cosy habitat for wildlife such as hedgehogs, voles or mice to curl up and hibernate. Give it a check for animals before lighting.
Take your rubbish home with you, and dispose of it properly
Make sure to collect any firework litter after it has cooled down, and dispose of it properly. Firework litter can harm animals if ingested.