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Keeping Cats Calm During Storms

​Stormy weather is the bane of everyone’s existence. Rain, thunder and lightning can dampen anybody’s mood. This is also the case with cats. Our feline friends, like any pets, tend to dislike thunderstorms. The violent weather combined with the ‘build-up of static electricity in the air’ can create immense anxiety in cats.

Unlike dogs (who are quite vocal about their disdain for storms), a cat’s reaction to storms can vary. Outward behaviours such as ‘being clingy, restlessness … [and] pacing’ are obvious signs that your cat is distressed. However, if your furry friend tends to stick to themselves, they may hide from the storm in safe places such as ‘under beds or in dark, quiet corners.’ Regardless of how your cat reacts, we’ve put together some tips for how to keep any cat calm during storms.

​Create Hiding Places

​The most common reaction a cat would have to a storm is to hide. Because of this, it’s important to have a number of hiding places around your residence. These can be as simple as your cat's napping area or leaving a wardrobe open for them to hide inside. Rain and thunder can be loud, so the goal here is make your cat feel as cosy as they can be. With that in mind, keep tabs on where your furry friend is at all times. The more your cat wants to hide, the more reclusive their spot may be. Keep an eye on their physical safety and make sure you don’t accidentally lock them inside something.

Keep Them Inside

It might seem obvious, but it needs to be said. Cats need to be indoors when storms hit. In this case, you need to be vigilant and be mindful of what the weather is like at the time. According to ‘cat behaviour consultant and … author’ Pam Johnson-Bennett, it’s best to bring cats inside ‘well in advance of inclement weather.’ At the same time, Johnson-Bennett also advises for pet doors to be firmly locked once all cats are inside. As humans, we hate being caught outside during a storm. Cats are the same.

​Breathe & Give Your Cat (Some) Space

Our pets can read us like books. They know what we’re feeling and they’ll base their emotions on ours. When it comes to cats in storms, they’ll panic if they see us panicking. The best way to deal with this is to act as if nothing is out of the ordinary. You might pet your furry friend once or twice, but don’t go overboard.

In regards to giving your cat space, this has to do with their behaviour. Generally speaking, cats may want to be left alone during storms. Taking them out of their hiding places or holding onto them will do nothing but make your cat’s anxiety worse. Let your cat know that they are still in your presence, but don’t coddle them. With that being said, if your cat comes to you for comfort, go right ahead and pet them.

While there’s a variety of medications and ‘anxiety wraps’ that can keep them calm, the above tips are some of the easiest ways of keeping your furry friends calm during stormy weather.

Written by Matthew Leong for FFARQ


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