by Soojin Um
Staff Writer

cat-2963830The day America declared Independence should be celebrated with joy. For cats, however, it can feel like the Revolutionary War is still being waged all around them. In recent years, more and more communities have regulated fireworks to reduce noise, injury, and fire. However, there are still many places where fireworks can be purchased and set off. So, what can we do when we want to enjoy our national holiday but our cats are terrified? Here are some tips that may help you and your cat spend the Fourth with less fear and stress.

Batten down the hatches
The first thing you should do is make sure your cats are indoors during the festivities, especially if they are outdoor cats. If your cats are indoor-only cats, this may not be an issue. However, make sure to keep your doors shut because a scared cat may run outside and head for the hills.

Also, you may want to keep all of your windows closed. This can significantly reduce the noise level of the fireworks, especially if you have soundproof windows. Try closing the drapes too, as this can be an additional buffer to outside noise. Anything you can do to reduce the sharp sounds of the fireworks will help your cat that much more.

A safe place
cat-2806957It might be a good idea to plan a few days in advance and make a “safe sanctuary” for your cat to retreat to when things get a bit noisy and frightening. You can do a little research to see where your furry friend goes when she wants to be alone and not be bothered. If they have a place they naturally go to, that could be the ideal place to prepare a hideout. Maybe it’s your bed under the blankets. That could provide a noise buffer, and being hidden could make them feel more secure. Or maybe a cozy igloo-style bed inside your closet could also provide a quiet(er) sanctuary for your cat to hide into when the going gets scary. If your cat has a special place she knows she can go to, it could provide a bit of welcome stress relief.

Stay at home
cat-1148305You might be looking forward to spending the Fourth with your friends, admiring the fireworks while enjoying some of your favorite barbecue. If, however, you’re concerned about your cat having to endure an evening of your neighborhood kids lighting off firecrackers and other fireworks, maybe you might want to consider staying home. Having you at home can go a long way in providing your cat with some peace of mind. It won’t lessen the sounds of fireworks, but your cat might feel more secure with you being there. You might miss out on a fun evening, but your cat would be forever grateful for your sacrifice.

Or take a trip
cat-1575650_1920If you can swing it, maybe plan for a little trip on the Fourth of July. You may have wanted to take a vacation for a while now, but haven’t had time. The holiday could be a great excuse to take a couple of days off and go for a relaxing drive to that spa or the out of the way resort you’ve been meaning to check out. A nice, soothing getaway, just you and your cat (okay, you can bring your significant other too), could be the perfect way to celebrate the Fourth. What can be more appropriate than declaring your freedom… from stress?

However you spend Independence Day, your cat will be looking to you for comfort and safety. The Fourth of July only comes once a year. A little planning ahead could mean a fun holiday for you and your cat. Think of it as a chance to do something different. You never know, maybe it could become a little tradition with you and your loved one.

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