Storm anxiety in cats can go unnoticed as the symptoms are often covert and can manifest as cowering or hiding.
Here’s our top tips to manage storm anxiety in kitties, so that you can keep them calmer:
1. Calmer in a “safe” space
If they have a “safe space” in the home, a place they go to seek comfort, settle and relax, make sure they can access that area. If they have already learned to associate this spot with relaxation and good things, they often calm down once they are there. This could even be under a bed or table.
2. Reduce exposure to light and noise
Close and block the windows where possible. Have the blinds down, or covers across the window to reduce the flashes of light seen. Providing some background noise for distraction, such as TV or radio, putting the dishwasher or washing machine on can help reduce the intensity of the noise too.
3. Calming garments
Products that hug your pet, such as a thunder shirt. They apply gentle, constant pressure and have been shown to be calming, similar to the effect of swaddling an infant.
CDs with thunderstorm sounds can be used to slowly and gently introduce cats to their sounds when they are young, or gently desensitise cats from their phobia at any age. Note that if the light flashes are causing the storm anxiety – this alone won’t help.
5. Calming aids
Consider calming aids. These include artificial pheromones, which replicate the calming pheromones of cats and can really aid in stress reduction. These can be provided via collars, sprays and room diffusers.
Every pet is different
It’s important to note that what works for one pet will not necessarily work for another. Many anxious pets need prescription medication together with home management of their anxiety, so use these tips as a handy guide, and if you’re still unsure or concerned, please chat with a Veterinarian.