Your login session has timed out.
Please login below.

Willows website uses cookies - by continuing to browse the website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Further information

close willows alert cookies

Submit Case Report

Do you wish to submit this report?

Submit Case Report

Prior to submitting please preview the report using the Save and Preview button.

Use the browser back button to return.

Cancel Case Report Assignment

Are you sure you wish to cancel your assignment to report on this case – all inputted data will be lost!

Delete Case

Do you want to delete this case?

This site is optimised for modern web browsers, and does not fully support your browser version, we suggest the use of one of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, some sections of the website may not work correctly such as web forms

Bonfire Night!

30 October 2016

Bonfire night – scared cat hiding at home


Remember, remember the 5th of November… yes it’s that time of year again!

Whilst many humans enjoy nothing better than a spectacular firework display on a cold November night, for those of you with dogs and cats with firework phobia, the season can appear endless. Some dogs may tremble and pant, others will bark. They may also want to hide in small spaces. Cats are also likely to want to hide away. It is a stressful time of year for our pets, so here are a few tips that may help:

  • Try to walk your dog before dusk so they will be relaxed and have been to the toilet before the fireworks start.
  • Allow cats to hide away, they may choose spots high up on furniture or want to hide under the bed. Don’t try to get them out of these spaces as they have chosen them because they feel safe.
  • Feeding your pets in the late afternoon may also make them feel more relaxed.
  • Make sure your cats are in before the fireworks start and leave them indoors overnight, remembering to provide extra litter trays during this period.
  • Do not leave your dog alone and make sure they are indoors when the fireworks start.
  • Create a safe place or den away from windows and keep the curtains closed. Your dog must be able to access the den at all times. Cover the sides with a blanket or a thick duvet to muffle the noise of the fireworks. Put treats in the den so they associate it with a positive experience.
  • For dogs, plug in an Adaptil diffuser, at least two weeks before the firework period. This will release a dog appeasing pheromone that will help calm your dog. For cats plug in a Feliway diffuser that will give off appeasing pheromones for cats that will help them feel more secure.
  • Try to follow a normal routine and do not act differently.
  • Avoid soothing your pets as this will give them a sense that there is something to be worried about and may inadvertently reinforce their anxious behaviour. Do not punish fearful behaviour.
  • Try playing moderately loud music to mask the noise.
  • Supplements such as Zylkene, which can be prescribed by your vet, may help reduce anxiety.
  • Long term desensitisation using a CD with firework sounds may help, it needs to be started a month or two in advance. Initially the CD is played at a low volume and gradually the volume is increased.


Further information see our Firework Advice for Dogs Information Sheet.

Bonfire night – scared dog blocking its ears


Further advice for cats can be seen by downloading the iCatCare poster Halloween Hazards and Fireworks.