Four Terrifying Things to Cats on July 4th (and How to Help)

While we celebrate the birth of the USA, our cats shudder at the upcoming holiday. Find out how to prep them for the festivities.

By CatChannel Editors | Posted: July 2, 2013, 12 p.m. EDT

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Fourth of July Cat
Stars and Stripes and Cats — they can all get along.
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.

Fireworks
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.
 
Barbecues
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.
 
Strangers
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.

Exits
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.
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Reader Comments

The Big Apple Gang    Staten Island, NY

7/6/2013 6:13:36 AM

We have horrific problems with individual neighbors setting off fireworks. We keep the AC on extra high and Mom puts our favorite DVD on. Sadly, we still have neighbors that set fireworks off after the 4th of July.

J    lakeview, NY

7/5/2013 3:06:01 PM

Great tips!

Don    Syracuse, NY

7/5/2013 4:47:55 AM

I always keep all my cats indoor for life in all my life because they didn't know or hear about these loud fireworks. Thanks goodness! They are doing fine as long as they feel safe and calm.

M    Lake City, FL

7/4/2013 11:56:47 PM

Luckily we only have to worry about fireworks for the holiday- but thanks for the important year round tips!

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