Halloween Safety Tips For Cats
Many years ago, a friend of mine let her two cats out on Halloween. One returned but her black cat never did. It still haunts her. It’s always easier to be safe than sorry. Superstitions about cats especially black ones sadly continue, as does cruelty. While Halloween is fun and festive it can noisy, scary and potentially deadly for cats. This Halloween, have a delightful and not frightful Halloween.
1) Holiday Hell. Cats like routine. If you are expecting trick or treaters or having a party, your cats will wonder what the hell is going on. There will be more noise from doorbell ringing, strangers in strange costumes invading your cat’s territory, children shouting “Trick or treat!”, unfamiliar children and adults having fun, more traffic, loud music and perhaps scary sound effects. Cats have a highly sensitive sense of hearing to begin with and can be easily spooked.
Communicate with them before the action starts what is happening and that everything will be back to normal the next day. If possible, sequester them in a room or part of the house away from the action and noise with their favorite bed, toys, food, water and litter. This way they won’t be underfoot at a party or slip outside with frequently opening door. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat keep them inside the entire day and night. Even the calmest or sociable cat can behave out of character with unusual stimuli.
2) Treats can be toxic. Bowls of snacks, treats and candy with crinkly wrappers can be tempting. Cats don’t have the gene to taste sweet and can get sick or choke from snacking on chocolate or other treats.
3) Decorations aren’t toys. Cats being curious are attracted to Halloween decorations, costumes, shiny foil, stringy cobwebs, spooky lights etc. A little plain cooked pumpkin is healthy for cats but raw pumpkins or blazing jack-o-lanterns are not. Keep all candles away from cats.
4) Cats aren’t decorations. I don’t believe in dressing cats up in costumes. Never force your cat to wear a costume. If you do, don’t be surprised if they retaliate in unpleasant ways. If your cat doesn’t mind dressing up, make sure the costume fits comfortably, is kept on briefly and the cat kept within your sight to avoid “wardrobe malfunctions”.
5) Just in case ID. If your cat isn’t micro-chipped, place a breakaway collar with ID just in case they manage to play Houdini and escape.