LONDON, December 3 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of veterinary practices conducted by the UK's leading cat welfare charity indicates fireworks pose almost as big a danger to cats during Christmas and New Year as they do on Fireworks Night.
Cats Protection's Effects of Fireworks on Cats survey, conducted during October this year and involving 800 veterinary practices, shows that more than half of vets (56 per cent) say there is another specific time of the year, other than 5th November, when they see cats injured or affected by fireworks, with 85 per cent of this sample naming Christmas and New Year.
The survey also reveals that the top three problems seen in cats that have been affected by fireworks are behaviour-related, rather than physical injuries. The most common cases were cats spraying or soiling indoors (67 per cent of respondents), cats suffering from withdrawal or apathy (63 per cent) and cats scratching or clawing at furnishings (56 per cent of respondents).
Vanessa Howie, Cats Protection's Field Veterinary Officer said: Clearly Christmas and New Year is another dangerous time for cats as far as fireworks are concerned, probably due to the large amount of parties taking place. Keeping your cat indoors whenever firework displays are taking place is definitely advisable, but cats can still be badly affected by the loud bangs and flashing lights going on outside. However, if owners follow a few simple precautions they can still ensure their cat has a happy Christmas and New Year.
Here are a few of Cats Protection's top tips:
- Provide your cat with a litter tray if they are used to having outside access
- Try to reduce outside noise by keeping windows shut and curtains drawn. Playing soothing music or having the TV on may also help.
- Provide your cat with comfortable and safe places to hide, such as an igloo bed
- Pheromone plug-in diffusers that are used to decrease anxiety and spraying also have a beneficial effect in calming a cat during fireworks, but you must start using them a couple of weeks before any fireworks displays to maximise the benefit.
- If planning your own celebration involving fireworks, hold 'silent' displays - many companies now offer quiet or almost silent fireworks - giving you the same spectacle without the loud bangs
- Keep firework displays as far away from homes as possible to minimise any adverse effects on animals indoors. However, bear in mind the effect these displays will have on wild animals
For further advice on keeping felines safe and happy during firework displays, please call Cats Protection's national Helpline on 08702-099-099 or visit http://www.cats.org.uk
Notes to Editors
1) The Effects of Fireworks on Cats survey was conducted during October 2008 by Lake Market Research, on behalf of Cats Protection.
2) Cats Protection is the UK's leading cat welfare charity, helping 157,000 cats and kittens each year through a national network of 252 volunteer-run branches and 29 adoption centres.
3) Cats Protection's registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SCO37711 (Scotland). The charity's vision is to ensure that every cat is given the chance of a life where it will be treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
For media enquiries, please contact Cats Protection's Media Office on +44-(0)1825-741-911 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org