For us, the 4th of July often means fun with friends and family, cookouts, and breathtaking firework displays. For your cat, however, it can be terrifying and dangerous. Being proactive can help your cat have a safe and calm holiday. This year, we’ve teamed up with Integrative Veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM to compile a list of 8 simple things you can do to give your cat a fearless 4th of July.
#1 – Make sure your cat has a well-fitting collar with tags
More pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other time of the year. Loud noises from fireworks or rowdy parties can make even an indoor cat bolt from the safety of home. The noises can then quickly disorient your cat, making it hard for her to find her way back. Make sure your cat has a well-fitting breakaway collar with updated tags. If your cat has a microchip, make sure the information is up to date.
#2 – Avoid giving your cat unfamiliar foods
Cats have sensitive stomachs and do best on familiar diets. Keeping your cat on her regular diet can help avoid an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and a trip to the emergency veterinarian.
#3 – Minimize noise
Your cat’s sense of hearing is very sensitive, so loud noises from fireworks or parties can be disorienting and distressing for your cat. Help protect her from holiday noises by closing windows and turning on the radio or television for a distraction.
#4 – Consider calming remedies
Homeopathic calming remedies like Bach’s Rescue Remedy help to safely reduce stress levels for cats with no adverse effects. Only use remedies that have been specifically formulated for cats, since human versions may contain ingredients that are dangerous for cats such as alcohol or toxic herbs.
#5 – Keep your cat inside (yes, even outdoor cats)
Since loud noises can be so disorienting and distressing for cats, it’s important to keep your cat indoors, even if your cat is normally allowed outdoors. Keeping your cat indoors will also help protect her from getting in the way of fireworks and eating dangerous foods off the ground. Make sure your guests know to not let her out.
#6 – Create a safe space
Make sure your kitty has a safe space to hide out for when she starts to feel anxious or overstimulated. Create a quiet space for her in a dark, cool room that includes all of her necessities (a cozy bed, scratching post, food, clean water, litter box). Don’t force her to be there, but make sure she knows it’s available. This is especially important if you’ll be having guests over to celebrate.
#7 – Use a pheromone plug-in
Your cat uses glands in her cheeks to mark her environment with special pheromones when she’s feeling safe and happy. Some very smart companies have created synthetic versions of your cat’s “happy” pheromones, which can help cats feel comfortable in situations or environments that would otherwise make them anxious. The pheromones come in several forms (spray, collar, etc.) but the plug-in version will give the most consistent results.
#8 – Know your local 24-hour vet
An emergency is not the time to be scrambling around to find the phone number or address for your local 24-hour veterinarian. Write it down right now and stick it to your refrigerator so it’s always handy.
About Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM.
Dr. Carol Osborne is an author and world-renowned integrative veterinarian of twenty plus years. A pioneer in anti-aging medicine and longevity research for pets, she created and patented the original PAAWS: Pet Anti-Aging Wellness System for dogs and cats. Dr. Carol holds both the dog and cat scientific patents.
After graduating from the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Carol completed a prestigious internship at the Columbus Zoo. Shortly afterwards, she launched a very successful private practice and became founder and director of the non-profit organization, the American Pet Institute. Dr. Carol offers traditional veterinary care for dogs and cats with a softer, natural touch. Her approach highlights the importance of nutrition and utilizing holistic avenues in combination with traditional treatments.
Dr. Carol has appeared several times on Fox & Friends, The Today Show, Good Day L.A., and Discovery’s Animal Planet. She’s also been featured in USA Today, The L.A. Times, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s World, InStyle, and the New York Daily News.
Official web site: www.chagrinfallspetclinic.com