Cats Protection Inverurie
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Remember, remember…your cat during fireworks season

The fireworks season can be a nightmare for cats, according to leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection. The charity receives hundreds of calls each year from owners whose pets are suffering the ill effects of the fireworks season and staff and volunteers still see too many incidences of needlessly injured cats. But a few sensible precautions can help to lessen the trauma.

The new Firework’s Act that came into force in August 2004 is a small step in the right direction, according to Dominic Sullivan, Cats Protection’s Head of Legal Services. “We’re pleased the issue has at last been taken seriously. However, there is still a long way to go before government legislation can protect cats from all the dangers of the fireworks season.“

New rules stipulate a ban on air bombs and a partial ban on other types of rockets, as well as the minimum age for purchasing fireworks rising from 16 to 18. Noise levels of all fireworks cannot exceed 120 decibels, with noisy fireworks (113-120 decibels) being limited to larger, more expensive firework packs.

Cats Protection advises cat owners to take the following precautions during fireworks season:

Keep your cat in after dark and provide him or her with a litter tray if s/he is used to having garden access.

Try to reduce outside noise by keeping windows shut and curtains drawn. Playing soothing music or having the TV on may also help.

In order to feel secure, cats need to be settled in cozy, familiar territory such as a comfy bed or favourite chair.

Cats that are known to be skittish, sensitive or new to a home, will be particularly vulnerable to firework noise and could panic and run away. Make sure doors and windows are securely fastened.
Other general precautions to ensure animal safety include:

Buying hand-held cascading fireworks rather than the noise-making varieties.

Keeping fireworks and bonfires as far away from homes as possible, to minimize any adverse effects on animals indoors. This does not mean that other wild animals will not be affected.

Check bonfires before lighting them to ensure that no small animals are sleeping inside.

Hedgehogs and other small mammals find piles of logs and rubbish irresistible.

Don't leave bonfires for weeks before lighting as a whole population of small creatures may be inside.

Jim Toy, Cats Protection’s Veterinary Surgeon, says cats are very vulnerable at this time of year: “Apart from the obvious physical damage by accidental or malicious contact with them, cats can be badly affected by fireworks noise and lights. Possible behavioral problems as a result of trauma could include house soiling and excessive grooming or aggression.”


Fireworks and bonfires scare cats
Make sure your cat is safe.

 
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