Thunderstorms can be very unnerving, even for the best of us. If we become anxious during storms of any kind our cats pick up on that from our body language. If they feel us being stressed, then they also become stressed. Not only that, but cats will instinctively want to hide/shelter from storms, even if we are stressed by the storm.
Loud noises, like a sudden clap of thunder, strong wind, heavy rain or even man-made noises like fireworks and other celebratory banging, etc could send your cat into distress. This stress is characterised by hiding, a cat shaking or even a crying-type of meow.
There are a number of things that you can do as pet-parents to help your distressed kitty during these times. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Safe Hiding Place. As mentioned earlier, one of the patterns of behaviour for a cat that is stressed is for them to hide. Make sure that they have a safe place, or even several. That is comfortable and cozy for them to escape to. This should be a place that is dark (they feel safe in the dark) and isolated from the scary world around them. A closed box with an entry hole in it could work just fine.
Anxiety Wraps. The most well-known brand of wrap is the Thundershirt. According to their website, www.thundershirt.com, the wrap applies gentle, constant pressure, similar to swaddling an infant. I’ve used one of these on my cat, Boots, and it works a treat. It’s even good for other stressful situations like, when you have visitors staying with you (strangers – according to the cat), or when visiting the veterinarian.
Bach Flower Remedies. Rescue Remedy is also known to help cats de-stress. If you find your cat stressing out during a storm, fireworks or other stressful situations, then two or three drops of this elixir in your cat’s drinking water will calm them down very quickly – assuming you can get them to drink.
In the video below, you will see a cat, “Manny”, during a thunderstorm. He tries to hide in a closet, and as more thunder claps occur he tries to find the darkest place.
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