New Year's Eve with your cat

A lot of cats are afraid of the sound of fireworks. There are, however, a number of ways to reduce stress and to start the New Year with an anxiety-free pet.

Are cats afraid of New Year's Eve? 

Cats can react in very different ways to the noise caused by fireworks. Some do not seem to be scared at all, while others hide away in the furthest corner of the room. Maybe you have already spent a first New Year’s Eve with a cat, so you know what to expect. However, perhaps this is the first time and you are having reservations about it. You can imagine what to expect if you have a sensitive cat who easily gets scared in certain situations. You may have noticed that your pet always runs away and hides when a door slams or at the sound of noise from a building site. At least with the door, cats are able to associate the sound with a particular situation, whereas with sounds from outside, for example when people throw bangers, this is not possible. The bang comes completely unexpectedly for the cat, and sometimes repeatedly, and it is not able to associate it with anything. It is therefore quite understandable that some cats are afraid of the sound of fireworks.

Can I leave my cat alone on New Year's eve? 

If this is your cat’s first New Year's Eve, then you should under no circumstances leave it alone at home. A lot depends on how your pet experiences this night. If no one is there for your cat, it might panic or even become traumatised for life. Some cats will be afraid to come out from their hiding places and will panic if they hear a firework the next day. You should therefore spend the first New Year’s Eve together with your cat. If it turns out that your pet does not seem to have any problems with the noises, then you may decide to risk leaving it alone next New Year’s Eve. It is not certain, however, whether this will work equally well; after all, you will not be there to provide reassurance. You should never underestimate this, even though your cat may have not wanted to stay close to you during the previous New Year’s Eve.

What should I do if I have to leave my cat alone on New Year's eve? 

Whether you have one, two or several cats, they would certainly prefer you to spend New Year’s Eve at home with them. However, if this is not possible, it is best to take some precautions: 

  1. Prepare a resting area for your cat that can be darkened, and place an inviting cat basket, food and a water bowl there, as well as a litter tray.  
  2. It is important that you do not shut your cat in this room and that it can continue to move around freely.  
  3. The quiet area should serve as a retreat for the cat and ideally also provide a pleasant distraction from the loud banging noises in the form of calm classical music.  
  4. The resting area should already be available for your cat a few days before New Year’s Eve.  
  5. Have a lengthy play session with your cat before leaving your home. It is then quite possible that your pet will sleep right through New Year’s Eve.

How can I calm my cat down on New Year's eve? 

Some cats are so easily frightened that the resting area and distractions provided will not be enough. In such cases, a visit to the vet is advisable. Here the cat can be prescribed a suitable tranquilliser. You should, however, never self-medicate your cat.

When should I let my cat ourside again? 

If your cat is allowed outside, you should not let it go out after midday on New Year’s Eve at the latest. It would, however, be better to keep your pet inside from the 28th of December (in many countries, the first day on which fireworks are on sale). This will help to make sure that your cat does not panic if it suddenly hears banging noises. It is therefore a good idea to keep your pet indoors until the 2nd of January.

You may also like this