4th of July and cats

NY cat man

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Casper is okay about small fireworks like bottle rockets and firecrackers but he doesn't like mortars and M-80s.

He'll startle when he hears the first couple of reports but, after a minute, he just settles down to a "moderately annoyed" state. He gets a look like he's saying, "Aw, GEEZ! Not THIS crap again?!" Then he'll go find a spot and settle down until it's over.

When the big ones go off Casper dives under the bed. We're happy to let him hide there until the fireworks are over.

I don't think that Casper is afraid of the fireworks as much as he is annoyed by them. If he was afraid, he'd hide even from the small ones. I think it's more about the fact that cats' ears are more sensitive.

When it rains, outside, humans hear the pitter-pat of the raindrops and think it sounds okay. To a cat, that pleasant pitter-pat probably sounds like a million marbles cascading into a giant frying pan. I don't think that the sound of fireworks from a distance would be painful to a cat but more like the level of annoyance a person feels when they are trying to have a conversation when a jet flies overhead. (Close up, the sound of fireworks probably is somewhat painful to a cat's ears, depending upon circumstances.)

I do know that when it comes to things like this, our pets DO mirror our emotional reactions. If we get upset about things, the cat or dog will get upset, too. Pets see their humans as leaders. They take their cues from us.

My mother has a Brittany Spaniel (hunting dog) that lives indoors with the family. Whenever there are fireworks, Mom gets all worked up and upset because she thinks that the dog is afraid of them.

Every year, I tell her, "Mom! He's a HUNTING DOG! Hunting dogs are used to GUNFIRE! Fireworks are nothing compared to that!"
Every time, she replies, "But...But...But..."
I tell her, "The only reason the dog acts afraid is because of YOU!"

A few years ago, on the day after our family July Fourth picnic, I was outside, cleaning things up when I found a few unexploded firecrackers so I lit them off just to get rid of them. The dog was outside at that time, just sniffing around and doing "dog things." He was probably fifty yards away from me. When he heard the first firecracker, he turned toward me to see what the sound was but, once he realized what it was, he went back to "dogging around" like he was, before.

I think this is a perfect example of the way dogs and cats mirror the reactions of their humans.

When it comes to Casper, we humans act like, "Oh, crap!" and that's, pretty much how he acts.

My advice to others goes along the same lines: Just stay calm and let your cat do what it wants. If YOU act upset, the cat will act upset but, if you act calm the cat will probably be calm, too.

Just make sure that the cat has a place to hide out if it wants to. Mainly, this is because it gives the cat a place where the noise won't bother its sensitive ears so much.

If your cat gets really, really bothered by fireworks, you might want to call your vet and ask if they can give you some tranquilizers for the cat.

If it's like an emergency and your cat is totally freaking out, despite the fact that you are modeling calm behavior, you can use Benadryl in a pinch. Benadryl does have sedative effects like tranquilizers. However, best practice is to call your vet and get advice first before you give your cat ANYTHING.

Best advice for the Fourth of July: Stay calm and enjoy your cookout. :)🌭🍔🍺🇺🇸:thumbsup:
About hunting dogs and fireworks? It ain't necessarily so. When I was a kid, one of my uncles lived with us, and he was an avid hunter. We also had a mostly-spaniel dog that absolutely loved to hunt as well. The problem was that some idiot kids from down the road threw firecrackers at her and scared the bejazzus out of her. After that, she was terrified of fireworks or thunder- but not of gunfire, because then she knew where the noise was coming from. It was so bad that once she broke away, and I found her almost half a mile from home, with her tether entangled in a hedgerow.
 

MoonstoneWolf

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The bushes my ferals hide in caught on fire. I’m so sad. I hope the cats are ok and I see them again but I doubt they’ll return to me after this. 😢
 

Caspers Human

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About hunting dogs and fireworks? It ain't necessarily so. When I was a kid, one of my uncles lived with us, and he was an avid hunter. We also had a mostly-spaniel dog that absolutely loved to hunt as well. The problem was that some idiot kids from down the road threw firecrackers at her and scared the bejazzus out of her. After that, she was terrified of fireworks or thunder- but not of gunfire, because then she knew where the noise was coming from. It was so bad that once she broke away, and I found her almost half a mile from home, with her tether entangled in a hedgerow.
Yes, I understand that. :)

I grew up with hunting dogs. My father bred them.

It is said that spaniels were bred with floppy ears to help protect them from the sound of guns. I think that there is some truth to that but, just because a dog has floppy ears, it does not make it immune to loud noise. Their temperament also helps. Brittanies are just more tolerant to the sound of guns because they were bred that way.

A good hunting dog also needs to be "gun broken." (Acclimated to the sound of guns.)
My father did it using a starter's pistol soon after the dog was old enough to run in the field. After the dog was used to that, he used an actual shotgun. At first, he was far away. As the dog got used to the sound, he would move progressively closer.

We never had a dog that spooked at the sound of gunfire but there were a couple that would occasionally break point, mainly because they were excited about hunting and they knew that, when the gun went off, it was time to go get the bird. They just didn't want to wait for the command to fetch. (Dogs are usually trained to wait until told to fetch because the hunters might be taking multiple shots at more than one target and we don't want dogs running down range while hunters are still shooting.)

If somebody shot and missed, the dogs would often turn around and look at the shooter with a look that seemed to say, "You big dummy! You MISSED!" ;)

Anyhow... I digress...

I'm sorry that your (uncle's) dog became skittish because some @$$hole threw fireworks at her. That pi$$es me off!
Yeah, I've messed around with dogs but never anything that could hurt them like that. As a kid, if I ever did something that made a dog gunshy or skittish like that, my father would have beaten me! I'm not kidding!

My point about telling my mother about Brittanies not being afraid of fireworks because they are hunters is because I KNEW that the dog wasn't actually afraid that that my mother was the root of the dogs behavior.

We never had a dog that was afraid of the sound of guns or fireworks until this one. I would say that a contributory factor in the dog being afraid is because he wasn't gun broken like the other dogs were. Instead, he was kept as a house dog and Mom babied him too much. Instead of trying to comfort the dog and teach him not to be afraid of loud sounds, she would get hysterical and that taught the dog to be afraid.

Our cat, Casper, is probably more tolerant of fireworks than that dog! ;) ;) ;)
 
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betsygee

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I could hear loud booming from fireworks when I stepped outside last night but from inside, it was a very muffled sound. The cats didn’t react at all. :clap2:
 

susanm9006

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It sounded like cannons and bombs going off on my street last night. So loud they set off car alarms multiple times. Willow was gone at the first noise and didn’t come up until this morning.
 

NY cat man

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A guy 2 houses away from us had a high old time last night, shooting off fireworks- big ones, too. There is a pile of empty casings in front of his house that would fill a bushel basket. Thankfully, our cats didn't seem to be bothered by the noise.
 

neely

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Because our town cancelled fireworks due to the pandemic there were a lot of amateurs who decided to shoot off their own. I couldn't tell exactly where they were coming from but it sounded close to the house. It's the first time I ever saw Carleton react to fireworks, i.e. pacing, wide-eyed and restless. Fortunately he calmed down once I was able to get him to sit on the sofa with me. :lovecat2:
 

MonaLyssa33

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Hours of fireworks last night from neighbors. I hated it. I had to wear earplugs and my noise-cancelling earmuffs because it was stressing me out. I could still hear them. My cats didn't really have any reaction to them which was a surprise to me.
 

Kat0121

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The girls don't worry too much about the noise, unless there are some that are really loud. We have learned that, if we don't make a fuss, the girls won't either. Often they'll sleep right thru the noise, again except for the really loud ones.
Same here. They don't care about it at all. Lily slept through most of it. Sophie sat with me for a while and then went off to relax in one of her favorite spots. The usual.
 

Boris Diamond

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There were lots more fireworks this year, but it did not seem to bother the kitties. Now the amazing thunderstorm last night had them scurrying around!
 

MoonstoneWolf

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Ugh I did it again. Posted to the wrong thread.

Anyway there weren't many fireworks last night. Not enough to scare off the cats.
 
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