Between sparklers and fireworks displays, the loud noises and strange smells can be particularly difficult for cats.
While Independence Day parties can be an exciting way to spend time with friends and family, the festivities can be hard for your pets. In fact, more pets go missing on July 4th weekend than any other time of the year.
Issues Cat Owners Face During July Fourth
According to Dr. Carol Osborne, D.V.M., cats are at risk of many dangers.
“Cats will often fall victim to burns from sparklers and can often be found to enjoy string-like material that can shoot out of some fireworks,” said Dr. Osborne. “These can be very dangerous, so it is best to keep your cat out of harm’s way.”
The sound of fireworks can also induce panic, causing your cat to run away. Cats can end up with broken bones or suffer from dehydration and fatigue because of fear.
How to Keep Your Cat Safe
By being proactive, you can minimize your cat’s stress. Following these four steps can help keep your cat safe and happy:
Confine Your Cat
“Keep your cats inside, especially if they are indoor cats, and keep them out of harm's way” said Dr. Osborne.
One option is to create a secure safe space for your cat, such as a pet carrier with a favorite blanket and toy. Or, if your cat simply must be outside, you can set up a kitty play plen in your backyard so you can supervise her.
Make Sure Your Cat Has a Collar and Tags
If your cat does manage to escape, having identification on her collar can help her get back to you safely.
“Be sure your pets have well-fitting collars with up to date ID tags just in case your pet gets lost,” says Dr. Osborne.Also, having your vet implant a microchip can be lifesaving. If someone finds your cat, they can have a vet scan the chip and locate you.
Locate an Emergency Veterinarian
Before any mishap occurs, it’s a good idea to know where to go in case of a crisis.
“No matter where you and your four-legged family are spending the holiday, locate a 24-hour veterinary facility just in case an emergency occurs and keep the phone number handy,” says Dr. Osborne. Add the emergency veterinarian’s phone number and address to your phone, or paste it on the refrigerator so you can find it quickly.
If you don’t know where the nearest 24-hour facility is, Animal Home has a comprehensive listing of emergency clinics to help you find one nearby.