Thunderstorms can be very unsettling. Typically, when it comes to our pets, we think of dogs as the ones who end up shaking, crying or hiding when Mother Nature displays a sound and light show, but many cats also become nervous. If thunderstorms cause anxiety to your cat, here are eight tips to help you maintain a calm environment during the storm:
1. Keep Your Cat Indoors
If your cat is normally allowed outdoors and you know a storm has been predicted or is approaching, get him indoors. The most terrifying place to be is right outside in the middle of a storm. For safety, it’s wise to train your cat to come when called. I recommend this for all cats, even indoor ones, but if you let your cat outdoors, it’s especially important. Take the time to teach your cat to respond to his name. Using treats is an easy way to teach a cat to come when called.
2. Be Aware of Your Body Language
If the storm makes you nervous then your cat is likely to pick up on that anxiety. Cats are masters as reading body language and they know when we aren’t behaving and moving like our normal selves. Be conscious of your movements and do your best to portray a calm demeanor. If your cat wants to be with you make sure your demeanor is normal and relaxed. You may even be able to distract him with a little playtime but don’t force the issue.
3. Provide Cozy Hideaways for Your Cat
The most comforting place for your cat during a storm may be to remain curled up and hidden. Provide several cozy hideaway options for him. An “A” frame or igloo style bed may provide just the right amount of comfort and security for an anxious cat. Some cats may need more of a hiding place such as a closet. If your kitty wants to hide there, provide a little hideaway inside the closet or place a box in there, lined with a towel. If you have some hideaways scattered around the house where you spend the most time, that might encourage your cat to stay in the room with you rather than duck under the bed in a room by himself.