Do you ever wonder if your cat is OK when it’s outside in a storm? As a cat lover, you’ve probably had that experience when your cat’s gone out and a storm’s rolled in. The rain’s hammering down and lightning’s zig zagging across the sky. You open the back door and your cat zooms in, eyes wide, fur drenched, and skids towards the nearest hiding place.
But why are thunderstorms so frightening for cats? And should you keep your cat inside if storm clouds are gathering? We investigate how to keep your cat happy when the skies are darkening and the barometric pressure is falling.
Why do cats hate storms?
Cats hate rain and they hate loud noises. A storm delivers both in abundance, so it’s no wonder your furry friend just wants to hide under a table until it’s over.
As you know, cats are disturbed by any loud or unexpected noises. They hate the sound of vacuum cleaners, hairdryers, shouts, screams, sirens and – of course – dogs. Some people also say they dislike the sound of tinfoil being crumpled up near them. We haven’t tested this and probably won’t, because a) we don’t want to annoy our cat and b) it would be a waste of tinfoil.
Your cat’s hearing is three times more powerful than the average human’s hearing, and they can hear a much greater range of sounds than us. This means your cat is highly attuned to noticing the rustle of potential prey, but also means that a clap of thunder will sound much louder to them than it will to you.
Cats hate a wet coat
It’s also true that cats don’t like getting wet. Well, you might find the odd exception, such as the Turkish Van, aka the swimming cat. But, for the most part, cats prefer to avoid water.
Some say that cats first evolved in arid desert environments, so they’re just not well adapted to the rain. Cat fur is also less waterproof than a dog’s fur.
Whatever the reason, your cat is unlikely to be delighted by being drenched by a downpour while caught out in a storm.
Whether they’re indoors or outdoors, instinctively, cats will lie low during a storm. At the first sound of thunder, they’ll hide themselves away in a dark, quiet place where they feel protected from the worst of the weather.
If they’re inside the house, they might take cover under a bed or hide out in a far-off corner. If your cat is outside when a storm breaks, they’re usually pretty good at finding some form of shelter, whether it’s in a porch, a shed or a garage, in a doorway, underneath a car, or in an area of woodland where they’re protected from the rain.
So if your cat is caught out in a storm, don’t be too concerned. In our experience, our feline friends are extremely savvy at finding a hiding place where they can wait it out until the worst of the weather has passed.
Should you let your cat out?
If a thunderstorm is raging outside, your cat is unlikely to want to go out, preferring to stay safely inside where it’s quiet and warm. It’s probably wise not to let your cat out if you suspect a storm is coming. Instead, make sure that they have a calm place where they can escape from the booming thunderclaps and torrential rain.
Avoiding a freaked-out feline
Your cat will pick up on your feelings, so do your best to stay calm so you won’t pass on your anxiety to your pet.
You could try a calming supplement such as YuCALM Cat, which contains natural, scientifically proven ingredients to help your cat cope with stress. These include:
- Lemon balm to help your cat feel more relaxed.
- L-Tryptophan – an essential amino acid that is metabolised into serotonin in the brain, decreasing stress-related behaviour in cats.
- L-Theanine, which has natural calming properties.
- B vitamins to reduce excitability and improve your cat’s concentration.
- Natural fish protein hydrolysate to help your cat feel calmer and happier.
Share your tips
Do you have any tips for our pet-loving community on how to keep your cat safe and happy during a storm? Please share your pictures and ideas with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love to hear from you!