When it comes to fireworks, it’s usually dogs that most of us worry about, but are cats just as scared? And if they are frightened, how do we know and what can we do about it? Let’s delve into the issue of how loud noises like fireworks affect cats and what you need to know as a cat owner to keep them safe.

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  1. Sounds That Scare Cats
  2. So Are Cats Scared of Fireworks
  3. How To Calm Your Cat During Fireworks
  4. FAQs
  5. Conclusion

Sounds That Scare Cats

Cats are notoriously sensitive creatures and one of the reasons for this are their super predator senses. Their eyes are exceptionally sensitive to light, making flashing lights such as lightning and fireworks startling and possibly painful—think of a bright light suddenly switched on when you’re in the dark. What’s worse is their hearing. Since they can hear up 64 kHz, which is higher than humans and dogs, loud noises affect them more.

Examples of some common sounds that scare cats are:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Vacuums
  • Drilling and hammering from construction sites
  • Alarms
  • Lawnmowers and weed cutter
  • Leaf blowers
  • Booming music from nearby parties

Remember, cats aren’t big fans of changes in their environment, and fireworks and other loud noises are definitely a big, sudden change that they can’t understand. If you’re not home, investing in a Pet Cam is a great way to keep an eye on them when things get noisy.

So, Are Cats Scared of Fireworks

Some cats are more bothered by fireworks than others, but it’s more likely that we overlook fearful behavior in cats during firework displays because they tend to hide while dogs are more vocal and prone to running away.

Dr. Arnja Dale, DVM, says "Cats are more likely to hide and cower during fireworks than dogs."

And studies show that while slightly fewer cats seem scared of fireworks than dogs, the numbers are still quite high, with between a third and half of cats showing signs of stress during fireworks. This means not all cats, but many of them.

How To Calm Your Cat During Fireworks

Luckily there are a number of steps you can take to keep your cat calm during fireworks. These are:

  1. Make sure your cat is in quiet and secure room they can’t escape from. Provide them with a hidey hole to hide in—an enclosed cat bed works well for this.
  2. You can try playing music or white noise to cover the sounds outside.
  3. Some cat owners have success with feline pheromone diffuser and sprays, but test them out as they don’t work on all cats.
  4. Catnip is definitely a go-to solution in any stressful situation
  5. In severe cases, especially when you cat is in danger of injuring themselves, you can speak to your vet. They may suggest calming supplements like zylkene or prescribe anti-anxiety medication.

Always be prepared in case of an accident. The Petcube Emergency Fund gives you unlimited access to veterinarian online 24.7 and the fund covers up to $3000 in emergency vet bills. Blog readers can also get a 27% discount here.


What percentage of cats are scared of fireworks?

Studies indicate that up to roughly 46 to 49% of cats show signs of stress and fear during fireworks.

Do fireworks hurt cats' ears?

Yes, fireworks can hurt cats' ears due to their sensitive hearing. Although it shouldn't do permanent physical damage, the sound may be overwhelming and cause emotional distress.

What medication can I give my cat for fireworks anxiety?

Vets may prescribe anti-anxiety medications like alprazolam or diazepam in severe cases or supplements like melatonin and Zylkene.


Fireworks are a problem for all pet owners, not just those with dogs. Cats, with hypersensitive hearing, can be just as badly affected by loud noises as dogs, so it's vital that cat owners are aware of the dangers of the holidays and do everything they can to make sure their feline buddies stay calm and comfortable.

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