Fireworks season can be a stressful time for many pets.  Those loud, unknown sounds can be frightening, especially for a kitten, to which everything is new, big and scary.

PDSA vet, Rebecca Ashman emphasises the importance of ensuring kittens are well socialised and introduced to normal household sounds, like washing machines and vacuum cleaners, at an early age.  This way, they are less likely to be scared of noises such as fireworks as they grow up.

‘As part of a kitten’s socialisation, they should be gradually introduced to a range of everyday sights and sounds,’ says Rebecca.

‘Start by letting them hear new noises from a distance (in a different room) or at a low volume, then gradually move closer (or slightly louder) over a few days.

‘A good way of letting your kitten hear a range of sounds is to use a socialisation CD that includes the sound of fireworks, so that when the real fireworks are heard, your kitten is more likely to remain calm and relaxed.

‘Many cats like to hide when they hear fireworks as this helps them cope with their fear. You can help your kitten by making sure he has a hiding place where he feels safe – create a comforting ‘den’ somewhere quiet, such as behind the sofa, with old pillows, and blankets, to help soundproof the area.’

Rebecca advises the importance of keeping kittens inside when fireworks are being let off – keep cat flaps locked and close all windows, doors and curtains to make them feel safe and drown out some of the noise. 

She says: ‘Although it is tempting, do not comfort or reassure your pets as this has the unintended effect of reinforcing their behaviour.   It is better to behave normally yourself, demonstrating that there is nothing to be afraid of.  Similarly, never punish your pets – it’s not their fault that they are scared and it will add to their anxiety.  This is especially important if they accidentally toilet in the house through fear.’

Further information on keeping your pets safe throughout the seasons, visit    

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