Happy Diwali kitty!
Diwali is the festival of lights, which celebrates the victory of good over evil. Irresponsible people, however, make it menacingly noisy which not only ruins the sanctity of the festival but makes it painful to the ears of both animals and humans. As a pet parent, you need to do create a protective environment for your furry darling during Diwali.
Cats have a very astute hearing ability. In fact their hearing prfcowess is seven times of a human. Certain sounds are heard
forty times louder by cats as compared to the impact on a human ear. The bursting of crackers may cause the feline species a myriad of health hazards from panic attacks to even a
Sound proof the house: Close all the doors and windows. Draw the curtains. Firecrackers are high in phosphorus content. Their fumes are health hazards for cats. Shutting doors and windows will prevent Diwali smog from infiltrating into your home. You may turn on the air-conditioner at a comfortable temperature and turn on the fans, if you think that there’s lack of ventilation.
Cats retire to a secluded nook like inside a cupboard or under the bed, from which they may refuse to come out. It’s advisable not to coax the animal from her favourite nook. Even during feeding time, pet cats may prefer to have their meals in the corner they perceive as safe. Some pet parents create a cocoon for the cat with a cardboard box surrounded by pillows. Vet Dr Dhananjay Govind Dighe, who runs a clinic in Vasai in Maharashtra suggests, “Stuff cotton or put rubber earplugs in the ears of the cat.”
Keep the decibels low: During your personal Diwali celebration, prefer lights over sound. Dr Dighe advises, “It’s better to have a soundless Diwali with just colourful fireworks which don’t create noise.”
Soothe your cat: Dr Dighe recommends that a pet parent should sit beside the cat and pacify him, if he gets nervous because of the noise. Laying a comforting hand on your pet, may calm her frayed nerves. Cats perceive the loud sounds as a threat to their safety and wellbeing. You may turn on calming music for cats, which you may easily Google online. Never scold or shout at a nervous cat.
Though some vets readily prescribe allopathic psychiatric medicines to appease frightened cats, Dr Dighe would rather put the animal on homeopathic stress relievers. “There are anti-anxiety medicines in homeopathy as well. I would prefer not to sedate animals as it’s not good for the organs. Allopathic psychiatric medicines should be administered only if absolutely required,” he says.
Keep no open flame: There are more Diwali threats to put your cat on fire, than a rocket hitting her. Just like you safeguard kids from Diwali fire, ensure that there aren’t burning candles or lighted diyas in the vicinity of your pet cat.
Safeguard from fireworks: Even sniffing fireworks may be harmful for your cat. Ensure he doesn’t smell or taste the fireworks. Keep them away from your cat’s reach.
Prevent your cat from fleeing: Dr Dighe cautions, “Often cats run away from home during Diwali. Many animals are rescued from the street during the festival.” This also increases the risk of the cat from getting burned. Also, some sadistic people come up with cruel tricks like throwing a lighted firework on a cat or tying crackers around the animal and lighting them. Responsible cat parents place nets over their windows, so that cats cannot escape from the house. Keep a cautious eye on the pet, so that she doesn’t flee from home. Put the cat’s name and your mobile number on the collar just in case, he goes missing.
Don’t feed sweets: Cats don’t have a sweet tooth, which means that they can’t taste anything sweet. Feeding them sweets can adversely affect their health. No matter how imploringly your cat looks at you as if asking for sweets, don’t indulge them. The same goes for nuts, which is widely gifted during Diwali.
Keep them away from guests: Diwali is the time when guests start pouring in. Cats may not be comfortable in the presence of a continuous stream of strangers. Put them in another room so that they don’t constantly have to be face to face with the guests. They may not want to be petted by people they don’t know.
Protect street cats: Whereas your pet is a privileged cat, stray cats are out on Diwali night amidst fumes and noise. Tell the kids of your neighbourhood to be kind. If you live in a pro-cat neighbourhood, teasing during Diwali will be seriously dealt with. You may report cases of purposely done animal injury to the cops or neighbourhood vet or non-profit organisations for animals.
Have a happy and safe Diwali!