Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > How to Calm a Cat During a Thunderstorm: 7 Tips That Work

How to Calm a Cat During a Thunderstorm: 7 Tips That Work

cat scared of thunderstorm

Thunderstorms are notorious for causing stress and tension in our pets. While some cats don’t seem to be at all bothered by thunderstorms, others are negatively affected by the loud sounds and flashing lights from storms. When a storm rolls around, these cats can act in strange ways, including aggression, making them difficult to handle and even dangerous to themselves.

While you cannot change the weather, there are a few proven ways to help your feline stay calm during thunderstorms. You may need to try several methods out and see which works best for your cat, but in most cases, one of the following seven tips should work for you and your feline.


Top 7 Tips for Calming Your Cat in a Thunderstorm

1. Create a safe space

Since the loud noises and flashing lights of thunderstorms can cause stress and anxiety in your cat, the first step in mitigating these reactions is to create a space for your cat to feel safe in. This will usually be a covered area, like a cardboard box lined with blankets or a covered cat bed, but it could even be under the bed or in a closet.

No matter where you (or your cat) choose, a separate room with few or no windows is best, such as a laundry room, but it’s important to avoid restricting their movement in any way because this can cause them even more anxiety. Make sure to leave any doors open and allow them freedom of movement.

Pet parents with anxious companions are familiar with the discomfort their cats experience on a daily basis. The Hepper Nest Bed was thoughtfully crafted with the well-being of nervous pets at its core. Its unique bowl-like design features high rounded sides, offering security and a comforting haven for your cat, alleviating worry and stress. The self-warming, sherpa fleece liner and flexible molded foam embraces cats of all ages, sizes and ailments, making it the perfect choice for almost every day. To discover more about how the Nest can soothe your anxious pet, click here.

Hepper Cat Nest - Washable Cat Bed with Removable...
  • HAPPY COZY CATS - Your kitty will bask in luxurious sherpa-lined comfort while feeling warm, safe,...
  • MODERN DESIGN - Contemporary styling with upholstered fabric construction; just like your human...
  • WARM FLEECE LINER - Self warming, thick sherpa fleece with microfiber trim.

At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

2. Keep your cat indoors

This may seem obvious, but it’s vital to keep cats that are afraid of thunderstorms indoors. Some cats spend most of their time outdoors, and when a storm approaches, you need to get them inside as soon as possible. If your cat is outside during a storm, they may become disorientated and attempt to run away, making them vulnerable to traffic or getting lost. You may need to entice them with food or treats, and once they’re in, make sure no windows or doors are open.

3. Minimize the noise

Since it’s mostly the loud noise of thunderstorms that is frightening your cat, the less of this that they hear, the calmer that they will feel. Keep all the windows and curtains closed to muffle the noise and minimize the lightning flashes. Turn on music or the television to further mask the noise. Again, a room with few or no windows is a great option.

cat near door at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

4. Offer distractions

Sometimes, a distraction can help keep your cat’s mind off of the storm around them. You can try playing an interactive game with them with their favorite toy or give them a calming grooming session. This will not only help provide a distraction but can also help with storms in the future, as your cat will now associate storms with pleasant feelings rather than fear.

5. Training

Sometimes, coddling your cat too much during a storm will have the opposite effect of what you’re intending because you are simply reinforcing the fear that your cat is feeling. It’s a fine line to walk — you don’t want to ignore your cat’s distress, but you do need to be careful not to make the problem worse.

As afraid as your cat may be, you need to stay calm and collected during the storm. Cats are experts at reading body language and are more likely to be calm if you are calm yourself. Petting is fine, just don’t overdo it. Training them while there are no storms is a great idea if their fear becomes a real issue. Try playing thunder sounds at low volumes while playing with or feeding your cat to slowly desensitize them to the noise.

bearded man playing with his cat
Image Credit: Nataliabiruk, Shutterstock

6. Give them space

While some cats may enjoy being cuddled during a storm, this will simply worsen the situation for others. You need to pay careful attention to your cat’s needs to establish their preference. Some cats are simply happy to hide away on their own in their safe space and wait until the storm passes. Cuddling or holding them may make them feel constrained and thus more afraid and anxious. If your cat comes to you on their own, this is a great sign that they need company, but otherwise, they may just need space and alone time.

7. Treats

Giving your cat their favorite treat or even a new treat during a storm can be a great way to calm them down. This is especially true for chewy treats that take a long time for your cat to work on, since they can be a great distraction.

Most cats love catnip, and this herb even has a calming effect on many cats. Catnip comes in many forms, including tasty treats, and this may be a good time to try a few new ones out!

woman hang giving treat to a cat
Image By: StockSnap, Pixabay



Nobody wants their cat to be stressed or afraid, and thunderstorms can certainly cause this reaction in some cats. Luckily, there are a few ways to mitigate the effect of storms and even stop your cat from being afraid in the future.

Featured Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets