Cats and dogs, or humans, a sudden thunderstorm could easily give anyone a natural jump scare with its loud, frightening sound and bright lightning. Some cats can stay calm and relaxed in such situations, while on the other hand other cats could be super scared of it, and will display unusual behavior.
It’s very necessary for a cat parent to learn the most effective ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm, and we have jotted them down for you!
17 effective ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm:
What Makes Thunderstorm So Scary for Cats?
Sometimes even you can get jump scares by the thunderstorms, which are so loud accompanied by bright light. And it’s completely normal, as they are actually very scary! So after all it’s our dear cats! Fear would be such a natural response.
Now what’s not normal is the fact that cats have a stronger hearing power than humans! I guess this is enough to explain, what makes it so scary for them.
On the other hand, cats are also very sensitive to pressure, and thunderstorms can cause an increase in atmospheric pressure. So you can also find a slight change in their body language with other signs such as increased static electricity.
We have jotted down the 18 most effective ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm:
1. No Outings for Cats in Thunder Season!
One of the best ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm is to keep her away from experiencing any such events which can be so frightful for her, you can call it better safe than sorry! Cats can develop anxiety and stress at a very high level due to the loud noises of thunderstorms.
So if your cat loves to roam outdoor of the house, in the backyards or gardens, call them indoors. you can start taking notes of the weather forecasting just to keep track of the possible thunderstorms.
If you have a pet door, you can securely lock the flap once your cat gets in. make sure you keep a tab on her and don’t keep her locked for a longer time.
2. Create a Safe Place for Them to Hide
Being a cat parent, you must be aware of such events where your cats used to hide away in places such as, under the bed, under the fridge, back of a closet, or some other warm cozy places! Cats hide when they are stressed or anxious.
You can use this as one of the ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm, as hiding is the most comfortable option available for cats. They might just snuggle up, or curl up and sleep in such spots as a coping mechanism to deal with the fear.
You can make such spots for your cat where she can safely hide. An empty bedroom is a good example for your cat, leave it open and make it dark by leaving no space for the thunder light to enter, and you will find your cat in peaceful mode.
3. Lookout for Anxiety-Induced Behaviors
For our ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm to work properly, you need to observe her body language, and determine if it’s normal or abnormal!
The normal reaction of a frightened cat due to a thunderstorm would be, sporadic running, aggression, pacing, etc. on the other hand, being very aggressive and destructive are not normal and need your concern.
4. Determine if Your Cat Has a Thunderstorm Phobia
Now, this point is very necessary, and you got to give all of your attention to it! So as we discussed above, it’s very natural for humans as well as cats to discover the fear from thunderstorms as they are very loud, like a roaring lion!
Fear is a natural response but on the other hand, a phobia is something which is an extreme, irrational fear of something.
The question is how to find out the difference?
If your cat is having a phobia from thunderstorms, she will indicate the following behaviors:
- standing fur on your cat’s body
- hunkered down body posture
- large pupils
So these are the signs you need to look for in cats for the determination of phobia in cats.
5. Music Or White Noise
A genius idea and one of the super useful ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm is eliminating the loud noise of the thunderstorm, and you can actually do it with some soothing background music.
You can quickly and simply find a claiming playlist on YouTube customized specially for your cats.
6. Keep Tabs on All Pets
Cats are no less than your babies, and they can give you a headache at times! Well, that’s applicable to both! So if you are a parent to more than one, you need to keep tabs on all of them in such a situation. Some cats couldn’t care less about the thunderstorm, yet others can be super fearful of that.
Once you make sure which category your cat falls into, it’s time to divide them into such situations! Sometimes, when cats are scared, they can be very aggressive towards others.
Make sure other cats don’t fall victim to such aggressive behavior and separate them before! You can place her in a quiet room for that particular time.
With this, also know one thing that cats are going to be the least affectionate towards you, so don’t need to worry and do not try to over pet her.
7. Stay with Your Cat
One of the most effective ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm is to be with her and pay attention to what she’s trying to express! With that, you also need to maintain the status quo, because cats are like our children’s who are experts in picking up emotions.
So if you will try to be extra-extra attentive or over possessive she will understand that something is wrong, and I need to be panic! Instead, try to be as normal as you can, this will help them to think that” nothing is wrong and there’s no need to be worried.”
8. Keep the Curtains Down
From many ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm, keeping the curtains down is one, because thunderstorms are not just loud in noise, but they are also scarier in appearance, yes we’re talking about the bright lights.
If the space you select for your cat to rest, has windows or doors, make sure you put the curtains or blinds down. Although you won’t be able to defeat the flashes of thunderbolts that come through, it will reduce the impact.
9. A New Cat Toy: Good Source of Distraction!
Toys such as cat interactive toys, cat chew toys, teasers, balls, toy mice, and catnip-filled toys.
These are not just helpful in day to day life of your pet, but it’s also very helpful in stressful situations. Basically, the easiest way to calm a cat during a thunderstorm.
10. New Cat Treats: Good Source of Distraction!
Remember the time when you used to have bad days in high school and your mom would lighten up your gloomy mood with new and good food treats! You can apply that formula here because good food means a good mood!
Giving your cat some fun and pleasurable treats during stressful situations is possibly the most brilliant way to calm a cat during a thunderstorm.
Tuna treats are so far the most suitable option, or you can also go for freeze-dried treats of chicken, fish, and rabbit which will consume a great amount of time to chew down, eventually, she will get so busy enjoying them that she will probably forget about what’s going outside.
11. Catnip: Perfect Time to Use It
If you are a cat parent, we are pretty sure that you must be aware of catnip and its effects on cats, most cats love it! Catnip targets feline “happy” receptors in the brain.
The psychoactive effect of it will make your cat roll, flip, rubbing, and eventually zone out.
Basically, your cat will be in a lighter mood. So you can go for this option, as catnip isn’t addictive or does not have any long-term side effects on cats.
12. Try Cat Calming Sprays
Cat calming sprays are effective in reducing some select signs of stress, they are completely safe.
However, you need to make sure that your pick should be vet recommended, drug-free, and clinically proven.
13. Pheromone Collars
Pheromone collars are other options that can be used as an effective way to calm a cat during a thunderstorm. So if you know that it’s going to rain heavily you can put this collar on your cat’s they will release, facial pheromones to calm your anxious buddy!
The best thing about these pheromone collars is they are releasing pheromones around your cat all the time, so it doesn’t matter if your cat chooses to roam here and there in the house. They work for up to 30 days.
14. Herbal Remedies:
You can also try herbal remedies for your cat as ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm, vets recommend an alcohol-free homeopathic remedy for relaxing your cats during stressful situations.
15. Cat Storm Wear
Yes, it’s a thing you will find on the internet especially designed for your cats to deal with their anxiety in situations like thunderstorms.
To relax your cat, the Thunder shirt uses gentle hugging, its revolutionary design has a remarkable soothing impact on most cats who are frightened, fearful, or overexcited, with moderate and steady pressure.
Make sure you make it familiar to your cat before putting it on her.
16. Positive Reinforcement
Once you are done testing all the ways to calm a cat during thunderstorms, it’s time to focus on the bright side, which is that once your cat starts responding positively even if it’s in the slightest Manner, you got to reinforce it!
Counter conditioning, a way to provide your cats treats or toys so that they could relate it with happiness, which is also known as positive reinforcement.
17. It’s Time to See the Vet
The last option is to take your cat to the veterinarian! If none of the above mention ways to calm a cat during thunderstorms were useful for your cat, then this is the only option left with you.
They will help you to figure out the core of this issue. Your cat might get prescribed medicines such as antianxiety medications.
Your pet behaviorist can help you to with particular recommendations based on your cat’s personality. They can also prescribe anti-stress medication to calm them. All you need to do is be prepared for the coming weather conditions.
We hope that our above mention ways to calm a cat during a thunderstorm should work for your frightened cats, but if you are not witnessing any progress then you should take her either to the vet or a cat behaviorist.
They can prescribe medicines or antianxiety medications. Even some basic desensitizing training could be of use.
- Helpful Ways to Calm Your Cat — PetMD
- The Ultimate Guide to Cat Anxiety — PetMD
- Fears, Phobias, and Anxiety in Cats — VCA Animal Hospital