Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Cat Safety on July Fourth

There are some holiday dangers for cats in the summer.

Summer—and the 4th of July in particular—is a great time to have friends over for a backyard barbecue. Unfortunately, summer parties can pose potential threats to your cat. Follow these tips to help keep your cat safe during the summer and holiday fun.

Some Holiday Food Is Unsafe for Cats

It may be tempting to give your cat table scraps during a summer barbecue because you want to include her in the fun, but refrain from doing this. Seasonings and sauces on barbecued food can upset your cat's stomach and make her sick. Also, ingesting raw beef or chicken during a barbecue could result in Salmonella poisoning. Bones can cause chocking, gastrointestinal perforation, or dangerous GI obstructions. Consuming unattended alcoholic beverages, even in small amounts, can cause serious health issues for your cat. Be sure to keep all food and beverages out of your cat's reach. You can read more about human foods that are toxic to cats in this slideshow.

While barbecuing, keep a close eye on any lighter fluid or matches; these can be toxic to cats.

Guests Don't Always Know the Rules

If you are having a party, make sure that your guests know not to let your cat out of the house. The commotion of a party can put stress on your cat and cause her to want to run and hide from the noise. Thus, it is essential to make sure that your cat does not have access to the outside. Unfortunately, escape could happen easily if your feline friend is roaming around the house during a party and a guest leaves the front door wide open. You may want to put "Please close the door so Kitty doesn't get out" signs on all doors that would provide your cat with an exit from your home.

Provide Your Cat a Safe Hiding Place During Fireworks

On the 4th of July, it is best to contain your cat in a safe room at least an hour prior to the fireworks going off. That way, you can be sure that she does not panic and run away. Providing your cat with comfort items, such as her bed, a scratching post or pad, and a favorite toy may help calm her nerves. Playing classical music or leaving the TV on to dull the noise outside may also be soothing. When you confine your cat to a safe room and are also expecting guests, try to pick a room that people are unlikely to enter, and place a note on the door alerting them not to let your cat out.

Bring Outdoor Cats Inside

In order to make sure that your outdoor cat is safe, place her in a room inside and always have a break-away collar with an attached ID tag containing up-to-date information on her (this goes for inside cats too), just in case she does panic and run away during all the noise. If you think there is a real chance that your cat will escape, consider putting her in her carrier during your party, or at least while the fireworks are going off. The noise from the fireworks could be disorienting and frightening to a cat who is outdoors.

A Note on Home Fireworks

Unlit fireworks within the home are dangerous. Fireworks contain chemicals that can be toxic to cats if they are consumed, so keep all fireworks in a safe place out of your cat's reach.

Therapies to Calm Your Cat

Some cats get very anxious and scared when the fireworks celebrations begin. Other cats don't seem to mind at all. If your cat needs extra reassurance to calm her nerves, consider using one of the following:

Feliway pheromone spray: Feliway resembles the facial pheromones that your cat uses to mark her territory. When your kitty is rubbing her cheek against something, she is depositing her pheromones on it, claiming it as hers. These pheromones give your cat a sense of calm that may help her better cope with the stress that fireworks can cause. Learn more about Feliway here: "Feliway - A Useful Tool to Help Treat Stress in Cats."

Rescue Remedy: Bach Flower Remedies has an all-natural Rescue Remedy product for cats that you can apply topically or add to drinking water or food to help soothe them through stressful situations. Rescue Remedy can be used in conjunction with other therapies.

Anti-anxiety medication: For extreme cases of fireworks fear in cats, anti-anxiety medication may be needed. You should consult with your veterinarian to determine if this would be a good option for your cat.

Never give your cat any medications without speaking with your veterinarian first. Many medications are toxic to cats and can result in severe injury or death.

Enlist a calming person: Another option (which can be combined with one of the above therapies) for calming a kitty who's scared of fireworks is to have someone she knows and trusts stay with her while they are going off. There may very well be someone at the party who fits this description and would be willing to calm kitty by talking to her in a soft, soothing voice and lightly stroking her (if kitty desires) while the firecrackers are exploding outside.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Animal Cruelty: Signs and Prevention of Cruelty to Cats

Stress in Cats

Traveling with Your Cat

Feliway - A Useful Tool to Help Treat Stress in Cats

Cat Collar Controversy

Why Some Cats Do Not Like Doors

Halloween Safety for Cats

<Keep Your Cat Safe and Happy During The Holidays

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with

Notice: Ask-a-Vet is an affiliated service for those who wish to speak with a veterinary professional about their pet's specific condition. Initially, a bot will ask questions to determine the general nature of your concern. Then, you will be transferred to a human. There is a charge for the service if you choose to connect to a veterinarian. Ask-a-Vet is not manned by the staff or owners of, and the advice given should not delay or replace a visit to your veterinarian.