Fireworks may be a lot of fun for you, but for your cat they mean sudden loud noises and bright flashing lights, and can be very alarming. If you’re having fireworks in your garden, they can also be dangerous unless they’re handled with extreme caution. And unfortunately, there are children who think it’s amusing to frighten cats with bangers and other fireworks. This kind of irresponsible behaviour is stupid, cruel and dangerous, and should be stopped.
Public firework displays are usually held away from private gardens but cats in the vicinity may still be frightened. It’s advisable to keep your cat indoors when there are going to be fireworks nearby.
Q. Every year I keep my cat inside when fireworks are going off, but she still shakes with fear. Is there anything I can do?
Even though you are protecting your cat as much as you can by keeping her away from the actual fireworks, cats are extremely sensitive to noise. Try to stay close to your cat while she is frightened and reassure her as much as possible.
Q. My cat doesn’t like being kept indoors and noisily requests to be let out. Should I let her out, if I know fireworks are being let off in the vicinity?
It depends on your cat’s reactions to the noise. You could accompany her outside and stay close by her, in case there are any sudden loud bangs. Try leaving a litter tray down for her when there are fireworks, as this may be the reason she doesn’t like being kept indoors. Keep cats and kittens safe indoors with you when fireworks are about.
Fireworks, in the right hands, can be tremendous fun. But there are certain irresponsible and cruel people who think there is no greater fun than to torment small creatures with them, and this seems to happen particularly with cats. If you see or hear of anyone attempting to do this, do what you can to stop them doing it and also inform the police straight away.
But even when fireworks are being let off responsibly, the noise and bright lights that they produce can still terrify a cat. When you know that a firework display is planned, it is therefore a good idea to keep your cat shut inside the house, where it will hopefully be unaware of any of the disruption outside. This applies, in particular, to any amateur displays that you or your neighbours are holding in the back garden, which can be not only frightening to a cat but also dangerous. If you are keeping your cat in for any length of time as a result, it will probably be a good idea to put down a litter tray.
- Fireworks originated in China. They are particularly popular in China and Japan.
- Fireworks are traditionally used in Britain on 5th November, to mark Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes was an English conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot, which was intended to blow up King James I and the members of the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
- Fireworks are often used in France on 14th July, which is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in Paris in 1789. This date is thought of as the start of the French Revolution.
- Fireworks are traditionally used in the USA on 4th July, which is a public holiday commemorating Independence Day, or the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.