Cat Behavior 101,  Feline Fine Art,  Holidays

Halloween Safety Tips For Cats

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Halloween Safety Tips For Cats

Cat-halloween-delight not frightful

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.


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  • The Daily Pip

    I’m so sorry for your friend …

    We are extra careful with Rosie at this time of year. She doesn’t ever go outside, but she does like to sit in the front window. On Halloween, I usually keep her upstairs out of the downstairs window

  • Montana Baker

    We get lots of trick or treaters where we live but Mom & Dad sit outside at the end of our driveway to hand out the “treats” to the kids. They don’t want me getting worried or scared especially since I’m a black cat. Since I’m also an inside only cat, I stay indoors and watch the trick or treaters and Mom & Dad from the window.Mom & Dad take turns and come in to check on me to make sure all’s well in the house. I’m lucky because Mom & Dad never put costumes on me. Mom says she won’t let me suffer the indignity of being a cat in a costume.

  • Abby

    These are truly great suggestions.
    We are lucky in that our home sits back on our property so we don’t get any trick o treaters and we keep the kitties out of the windows on halloween.

  • Marg

    Those are some great suggestions. We have been lucky so far. We usually don’t get trick or treaters. Also, we will not wear costumes at all. Maybe a little collar but that is all. Great post.

  • Carolyn

    The halloween tradition never used to be very big in the UK, but it is getting more so now, sadly. I am not a fan of witches etc and never have been. It is closely followed by Guy Fawkes night where fireworks are let off everywhere. If it was only one night, it would be fine, but fireworks seem to be being let off over quite a long period this time of year. Austin, being a nervous cat, gets terrified. You are so right about routine. Animals don’t like change … and loud noises!

    Keep safe.

  • MoMo

    It’s really important to look after your kitties around Halloween, especially if they are black.

    Last year someone dumped a dead cat on our driveway. My SS was very upset about it.

    BTW, The Ladies of Autumn are hosting a Halloween Party on our official website ( It will be a hoot. You are cordially invited to join us on Oct 31. Would be great if you would submit a photo of your kitties in Halloween theme such as the one in your post above to be included in the party post. You can send it to me at momoandco AT gmail DOT com. with the name of your kitty.

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