Keeping Your Cat Calm at New Year’s Eve
Welcoming in the New Year is a wonderful time of reflection and celebration for many, but it can be a stressful and frightening time for our feline family members.
From fireworks to a party full of friends, it’s enough to stress out even the calmest cat during the countdown to midnight.
Whether you’re throwing your own New Year’s Eve party or just live in a busy suburban area, with lots of people, loud noises and fireworks, it’s important that we keep the safety and wellbeing of our cats in mind.
Make Party Guests Aware
If you’re hosting a party at home, remind any guests who may not be aware that you have a four-legged friend in attendance. While there are some guests who may not be comfortable being around our feline friends, your cat may equally find the presence of strangers a little unsettling.
Create a Safe Space
If your cat is particularly unnerved by loud sounds or by being around unfamiliar people, it’s best to prepare a safe zone for your cat before visitors arrive. Areas that guests can’t access, such as your bedroom, are ideal areas for your cat to feel safe in.
If you aren’t able to dedicate an entire room to your cat for hiding, you can provide them with additional hiding spaces, such as old cardboard boxes or shoe boxes. Areas that offer any type of dark space will help relax your feline.
Just be sure your cat has access to fresh water and their litter box during this time.
A Spot to Perch
Don’t be surprised if your cat darts for the closest bedroom or hides under the bed the minute guests start to arrive.
The addition of a cat tree can provide a safe place for your feline friend to stay out in the open while still feeling secure. An elevated perch or window sill gives your cat visual advantage to see more of what’s going on.
Use Calming Music
Soft, calming sounds can be a great way to counteract startling noises and to help create a more relaxing environment.
You can also try a cat friendly playlist designed to soothe fearful felines or even turn the TV on in the room where your cat is hiding to drown out party noises or other loud sounds.
Pheromones are chemicals that animals use to communicate to one another and products containing pheromones are available to help our cats cope with the fear of fireworks. A pheromone spray like Feliway is scientifically proven to help reduce some unwanted behaviours that result from stress or anxiety.
All you need to do is spray it onto bedding or areas where you think your cat may want to hide during fireworks. It offers extra comfort if they get anxious.
For most cats, their favourite place to be is usually where you are. Whether it’s on your lap, next to your feet or curled up nice and close on the couch, just being near you can calm them down.
Before the fireworks start, try to comfort your cat. Pet, hold or brush their fur if that makes them feel better. A simple massage could even do the trick. For an easy to follow guide on massaging your cat, click here.
If you are going out, hiring a pet sitter might be a good idea especially if your cat is anxiety-prone.
As we come closer to the New Year, it’s important to remember that our celebrations can be stressful for our pets. The holiday period involves many changes in routine, parties, visitors and excessive noise in the neighbourhood. So, the more prepared we are for these occasions, the more relaxed, happy and confident our feline friends will be.