Loud noises, big gatherings and burnt food – your cat wants to know why you actively seek this out every Fourth of July. While justifying your lifestyle choices to your cat is your own decision, you can comfort your cat on July 4th by reassuring that the following will cause no harm.
Lit fireworks are loud and scary for cats. Keep kitty safely indoors, keep all windows and doors closed, and turn on your air conditioner, fans or soothing music to provide white noise. Unused fireworks can be toxic if your cat eats them. Unlit fireworks contain hazardous chemicals like chlorates that harm red blood cells and the kidneys, soluble barium salts that cause life-threatening drops in potassium, and sulfur and coloring agents that contain dangerous heavy metals. Symptoms include vomiting, a painful abdomen and bloody diarrhea in your cat.
Your cat might ask why you’d ruin perfectly good food by charring it outside. Barbecued meats can cause anything from mild vomiting and diarrhea to full-fledged fatal pancreatitis. Desserts made with xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener, can also be harmful, causing an acute drop in blood sugar and even liver failure. Likewise, foods containing grapes and raisins can result in severe, fatal acute kidney failure when ingested.
Guests will come and go, so create a sanctuary room for your cat which partygoers cannot access. With windows closed, drapes drawn and some soothing white noise, this room also provides shelter from frightening firework noise and light.
Holiday mayhem leads to lots of loose ends, including doors left open and cats in line to get lost. If the unthinkable happens, you’ll want your cat to be properly identified. Microchip and tag your cat for the best chances that she will return home if she escapes. The Fourth of July celebrates freedom, but not the kind from your warm safe home.
With information from Pet Poison Helpline.