Keeping cats safe during fireworks

ORLANDO — July 4 means fantastic celebrations, and in Orlando, there’s the major holiday bash known as Festival On The Fountain, which ends with a fireworks spectacular.

While the fireworks can be exciting to watch, the explosions in the sky can be scary for your pets. Unexpected loud noises can cause fear and anxiety in your pets, especially cats. So, how can you keep your pets feeling safe, and create an enjoyable Independence Day for them?

Here are some tips that your cats and dogs should enjoy.

Keeping your cats safe during fireworksFind some fun cat toys.

Stop at your local pet store and pick up some extra toys they can have fun with. Pet stores also have “Cat Calming Aids” designed to help pets relax, such as calming soft chews, calming aid supplements, and even Calming Diffuser Kits. These are all designed to help ease the anxiety cats may have when the fireworks explode in the sky. These items are known for helping to put your cats’ mind at ease.

Keep them cool in the summer heat.

As summer temperatures soar, it’s important to keep your pets cool and well hydrated, same as people need to be. If you have a strong air conditioner, keep them indoors where it’s cool and relaxing. Make sure your cats have access to a water container, like an everflow indoor fountain.

If you have a dog, consider getting a decent sized dog pool for them to splash around in — your dog will love it!

Get your cat microchipped.

Keeping your cats safe during fireworks

The sad reality is that once those fireworks go off, pets can get very scared, and if they’re outdoors, run off looking for safety. More pets get lost on July 4 than any other day, so it’s important in advance to ensure your cat has a microchip with your current contact information. That’s going to increase your chances of reuniting with them if they do get lost.

And finally, I think it’s important to keep reaching out to your pets, talking to them, letting them know you’re there and everything is going to be okay. That may sound corny, but I truly believe that talking to cats can be very reassuring to them. Speaking in a calming voice can have an impact — believe me, I’ve done this before.

I’ve learned the hard way just how scary it gets for people and their pets alike when a major storm hits your area, such as a hurricane. July 4 is simply a night of fun and relaxation, not a storm on the horizon, so celebrate and enjoy it.

And certainly if you love your pets, take some extra steps today to ensure their well-being once the boom booms begin. You’ll be very glad you did.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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