There are many things that can cause a cat to be stressed or anxious. Gizmo, for example, hates loud noises. Giz has always reacted to loud noises by hiding in the dark, under the dining room table. This is his ‘safe’ place, and when he takes himself under the table (which is thankfully now a very rare occurrence), we leave him alone until he is ready to come out again. Whether this happened before he moved into my house or not, I cant be sure. But I am confident that he is a very sensitive kitty when it comes to noises and unfamiliar sounds. He hates the sound of someone knocking on the front door, the brief buzz of the doorbell, and recently I’ve discovered, he hates the noise of fireworks….
Please bare with me as I explain some of my issues with fireworks:
As a human, I am not the slightest bit interested in fireworks. I can understand that some people enjoy watching these visual displays, but I’m not one of them! I have seen the effects that private firework displays have on domestic pets, and larger animals such as horses and livestock. You see, the issue of fireworks evokes strong emotions in many people who have seen the devastating effects that firework terror can evoke on animals of all sizes. Humans can enjoy the visual displays of fireworks, but to animals, its an array of strange sights, sounds and smells, that they just don’t understand and cant get away from. Its not just psychological terror that fireworks can cause to animals; serious physical injuries (and sometimes euthanasia) are often common as a result of fireworks too, as animals try to flee from the display and end up injuring themselves in the process.
One of my issues with fireworks is that anyone over the age of 18yrs old can buy them. Fireworks are easily available in supermarkets, and many other stores on the high street, and NO prior knowledge or experience is required when purchasing them. Unfortunately, common sense is not as common as it should be; you only need to watch one episode of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ to see that some humans are really quite irresponsible (and downright stupid), even when fireworks and potentially dangerous explosive devices are concerned?!
Another of my issues with fireworks is that they are no longer let off on set days of the year; like Bonfire Night for example. It is now common place for fireworks to be let off for ANY occasion or celebration throughout the entire year, and private ‘displays’ are more common that ‘public organised displays’. Considerate people having their own private firework displays may inform their neighbours that fireworks will be let off on a certain date/time in order to allow for arrangements to be made for their pets/animals, but it is not compulsory to inform others, so preparing your pet for these firework events can be especially tricky, as you never know when they are coming and how long they will last for.
So going back to Gizmo, last week, someone nearby let off some fireworks one evening. It only lasted for a few minutes, but for Gizmo, it was a terrifying experience. He immediately ran for the dining room table, and hid underneath, quivering. I’d already began to research effective methods of dealing with firework anxiety in kitties as I thought this may become an issue, so I turned the TV up a little louder, closed the curtains, and didn’t try to extract Giz from underneath the table. I left him in his ‘safe’ area to come out in his own time.
When he did eventually emerge, about an hour after the fireworks ended, I played with him, and life returned to normal, but he was a little more ‘jumpy’ than normal for the rest of the day, and ANY noise in the house seemed to affect him more than usual.
Knowing how sensitive Gizmo is to noises, his Boss, KittyKit had thoughtfully sent Giz the perfect product for him to test out for his October Assignment; a ‘Pet Remedy Plug-in Diffuser – £19.99‘, just in time for the firework season.
If you haven’t heard of this product before, let me tell you a bit more about it. The plug in diffuser is so simple to use; you just assemble the bottle into the device, and plug it into the wall. Its as simple as that. The bottle holds 40ml of the liquid product, and it can last for up to 8 weeks. Refills are also available separately from KittyKit. The product has a low dose of Valerian essential oil, blended with Vetivert, Sweet Basil and Sage that are known for their calming properties. This combination of ingredients has been clinically proven to offer a calming effect on animals and birds without the use of sedation. It can help a variety of animals (including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and rodents) deal with situations such as moving house, going to the vet, when a new pet is introduced to the family, loss of a companion, and fireworks, to name a few…
So, knowing that the likelihood of fireworks being let off in my area is a strong possibility, a few days ago I plugged in the diffuser and it has been ‘on’ ever since. Here is how Gizmo got on with it…
‘Gizmos Human Slave’ Review: Gizmo initially showed some interest in the diffuser when it was first plugged in, but ever since, he hasn’t paid it any attention. And almost EVERY evening since, someone nearby has let off fireworks, at least once every evening. I’m not claiming that this product has ‘cured’ Gizmos fear, but it has certainly helped calm him to the point where he no longer feels the need to hide under the table during firework displays, so I know that this product has contributed to the calmer kitty I now have! Yay!
Gizmos Review: The thing in the wall has made me feel a bit happier, but I’m not sure why!? My human put it in the wall a few days ago, and ever since, I’ve felt a bit happier about the noises that keep happening outside in the evenings. There is a funny smell coming from the wall thingy, but I’m getting used to it now, and I no longer go and hide when I hear loud noises. I wonder if the smell is making my human as relaxed as I am?!
Thank you KittyKit for sending Gizmo this wonderful product that has helped to calm him during the firework season! It has definitely come in useful at reducing his visible stress! The ‘Pet Remedy Plug-In Diffuser‘ and ‘Refill Kits‘, and the ‘Pet Remedy Spray‘ are all available from KittyKit.
If your pet suffers from stress, I would suggest trying one of the products above, as it could help your pet feel happier and, able to deal with their anxiety a little better in a variety of situations.