How to keep your cat (and other animals) safe during fireworks

The Swiss National holiday takes place on August 1st every year : firecrackers, fireworks, and big fires are almost everywhere lit to celebrate the anniversary of our beautiful country.

Image Pixabay

Image Pixabay

The explosions of fireworks and firecrackers are terrifying for animals : their hearing, much more sensitive than ours, is assaulted by the noise. Animals are panicked and try to run away, with big risks of injuring themselves on obstacles or of being killed in a traffic accident.

How to keep your cat (and the other animals) safe during fireworks ?

  • Choose fireworks without explosion.
  • Use fireworks only the day of the event.
  • Light fireworks in a zone clear and distant from houses and from farms to avoid any danger of fire.
  • Light fireworks far from cowsheds and stables, and far from the pastures where are animals to avoid frightening them.
  • For the municipalities : build your big fires the day of the demonstration only, or protect them with a small roadblock 40 cms high which will be removed 1-2 hours before lighting the fire. These simple measures avoid a horrible death for numerous small animals as the hedgehogs, the mice, or the snakes for whom this wooden heap represents a perfect shelter.
  • Keep your cats and your dogs home, windows closed and curtains pulled. Behave as usual.
  • If your cat hides under the bed or at the top of a cupboard, leave him alone : it is there that he feels safe. Do not try to bring him out of his hiding place.

Pixie hidden in the bushes

What to do if your cat is stung by an insect ?

The UFI (Unidentified Flying Insects) are irresistible for playful kittens or hunters like us : butterflies, mosquitoes, flies, wasps, bees, bumblebees, hornets, horseflies…
insects
In time, we learnt to identify dangerous insects ; however, many kittens and young cats risk get stung. The unpleasant experience arrives generally only once. Most of the time, an insect sting will ache but be harmless for the cat. It can be dangerous if the cat is stung on the face, in particular in the mouth, in the throat, or down on the nose.

What to do if your cat is stung by an insect ?

Wasps and hornets

The venom of wasps and hornets is released under the skin ; it contains among others histamine, which causes inflammation, oedema, and pain at the place of the sting. The cat shows that it hurts and licks constantly the spot of the sting. An anaphylactic shock is possible if the cat is allergic, or if he is victim of multiple stings. The venom of wasps is alkaline, you can dab the location of the sting with some cold water with vinegar to neutralize it.

Image Thomas Bresson via Wikimedia Commons

Image Thomas Bresson via Wikimedia Commons

Bees and bumblebees

Their venom is similar to that of wasps, and causes the same symptoms. Contrary to wasps and to hornets which have a smooth sting, bees and bumblebees have a barbed sting which stays in the wound. As possible, remove the sting with a tweezers without touching the bag poison which is hung on it. You can then dab the location of the sting with some cold water added by sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the venom, because the venom of bees is rather acid.

Gadflies and stable flies

Their bite aches, and they can pass on viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It is important to disinfect the location of the bite.

Mosquitoes

Mosquito bites are irritating but harmless under our latitudes, and go unnoticed most of the time.

Any insect bite in the mouth, the throat, or the nose of your cat is a veterinary emergency !

Zorro dans les oeillets
For any sting in another zone, watch closely your cat. In case of doubt, contact immediately your veterinarian : he can advise you and give you if needed antihistamines or corticoids to treat your cat.