I love those summer afternoons when a cool wind begins to blow, the skies darken, and distant echoes ring through the air. I eagerly anticipate what comes next: torrential rain, incredible lightning, and epic explosions and rumbles. And when the storm finally comes, I’ve been known to stand by the window and watch the spectacle in awe of nature’s glory—well, until lightning gets too close, that is.
Of course, not everyone likes thunderstorms as much as I do, and not all cats are as calm as mine when a storm hits. If your cat is afraid of noise and lights and needs care and protection, here are some things she can do to help keep her calm.
1. cats react to changes in weather, and that’s normal
Some scientists hypothesize that the change in air pressure as the weather changes, plus a cat’s very keen hearing, makes it aware of thunderstorms before we know they’re coming. this knowledge can lead to nervousness. If you see your cat behaving strangely and you know thunderstorms are in the forecast, you can take some preventative care before the weather turns wild.
2. make sure your cat is inside
If your cat does go outside, make sure she has a way to get back in so she doesn’t get caught in the storm without protection. This is especially important if you’re in a tornado-prone area, because you’ll want to have your cat with you if he needs shelter.
3. your attitude is key
Cats capture the energy of people. If you are anxious about the coming storm, your cat will notice it and also become nervous and stressed. do your best to stay calm and focused.
4. rescue remedy can be helpful
bach rescue remedy is a flower essence designed to help the body and mind deal with fear or trauma. Rub a drop into the fur on top of your cat’s head. if you are nervous about thunderstorms, take a dose yourself – two or three drops under the tongue. (The pet version contains the same flower essences as the regular rescue remedy, but does not contain alcohol.)
5. if your cat wants to hide, let it
it’s a cat’s natural instinct to take shelter in a storm. leave your carrier open and place a soft blanket inside. spray some feliway on the luggage rack before you climb on it. if your cat is more comfortable under your bed or in a closet, leave him there until the storm passes, unless, of course, you need to move him to the basement in the event of a tornado.
6. if your cat wants comfort, comfort him
Some say you should ignore your cat’s fear during thunderstorms, but I don’t, and here’s why: If you saw a terrified girl, would you leave her alone while she was shaking and crying? not. you would hug the child, radiating calm from her, and reassuring her that she is safe. cats sometimes need comfort too. but there’s a fine line between comforting and coddling. Overindulging may reinforce your cat’s belief that it’s okay to be afraid of storms, which could make her more reactive in the future.
7. calming wraps can help
The best known of these is the thundershirt. Originally developed for dogs in 2009, the product proved very successful, so the company released a version for cats. I know a few people who have used a protective shirt on their anxious cats and they say it works great.
Do you have any other tips to help your cats during the storm? please share them in the comments.
About Janea Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer, and complete geek with a passion for mean puns, clever conversation, and brain teasing. role and adventure She gratefully and graciously accepts her status as the master slave to cats for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing her advice column on Cats, Paws and Effect, since 2003. Janea dreams of making a living from her love of cats. cats.