Noise Phobia and Your Pets

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Noise Phobia and Your Pets
Posted on June 20, 2023 in Caring for your pet, News

The Fourth of July can be super stressful for pets, with exploding fireworks, loud bangs, and unusual crowds throwing them into a literal frenzy. In fact, July 4th is the most common day of the year for pets to go missing. Shelters report a 30% increase in lost pets during this period. It shouldn’t come as a surprise — our pets don’t know the reason behind those loud bangs like we do, so when they hear them, they think something really dangerous is happening!

But here’s the good news: We have an at-home treatment, and some tips, that can help.

The most common noise phobias are fireworks and thunderstorms. But some pets may develop a fear of any sound no matter how inconsequential. First, look for the signs. Does your pet react to loud noises (fireworks, thunder, vacuum cleaner, construction noise or street noise) with any of the following behaviors?

  • Pacing
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Hiding
  • Restlessness
  • Cowering
  • Lip licking
  • Refuses to eat
  • Excessive vigilance/hypervigilance
  • Vocalizing (whining or barking at the sounds)
  • Brow furrowed and ears back
  • Yawning
  • Owner seeking behavior and abnormal clinginess
  • Freezing or immobility
  • Urinating indoors

For more helpful info on noise aversion, check out this link. In fact, the full interactive diagnostic survey can be completed and printed out. Please schedule an appointment with us and bring the survey results with you.


Helping Your Cat Overcome Fears of Thunder & Fireworks

(Courtesy of It’s not uncommon for a cat to be afraid of loud noises, especially thunder and fireworks. They usually display by hiding. A cat suffering from a substantial fear of loud noises may begin to display anxious behavior before the thunder begins. Rain on the roof of the house, bright flashes of light or even the drop in air pressure before a storm may be enough to trigger anxiety. It is important to know what to do when the situation occurs:

  • Staying calm will help your cat feel safe. You might even try to play with your cat to distract from the noise of thunder of fireworks.,
  • Make sure your cat has a safe place to seek refuge. Cats typically will run under a bed or under a chair to escape loud noises. Your cat chooses these places because she feels protected and the noise of thunder or fireworks is muffled. If your cat has not already picked out a place, provide one. Try leaving a few kibbles of their favorite food in safe place to encourage your cat to go there.

Try desensitizing your cat to loud noises so the sound becomes normal. This is usually done by playing recorded thunder at a low volume and in short intervals while you monitor your cat’s behavior. This process is long and requires patience, but in the end your cat will be much more comfortable during a storm or near a fireworks display.

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