Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Safety Tips for Cats

A graphic depicting an owl. The graphic says, "Halloween Safety Tips for Cats."

Halloween is fast-approaching.  Whether you like to celebrate by handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, throwing a Halloween party, watching scary movies, or going to haunted houses, it's important to keep your cat's safety in mind during your celebratory activities.

Keep Cats Indoors: It's unfortunate, but there are cruel people in the world who steal, injure, or even kill cats during Halloween.  While black cats are most vulnerable during this time of year, it's best to keep your cat inside, no matter his coat color.  Don't just keep your cat inside on Halloween night - keep him confined to the house several days before and after Halloween to ensure his safety.

A cat made up of different Halloween-themed symbols, such as pumpkins and ghosts
Provide a Safe Space: If you're planning to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, it's advisable to keep your cat confined to a bedroom with the door shut during trick-or-treating hours.  While your kitty may not typically try to escape through the front door, the chaos of strangers coming to your home may prompt her to slip through the door.  If you think the disruption of having strangers come to the door will bother your cat, play some soft music for her in her safe room.

Likewise, if you are throwing a party at your house, confine your kitty to a safe room.  Be sure to provide her with comfortable places to sleep, food, water, litter box, and toys.  Do not allow guests to go into her safe room during the party unless your kitty is already comfortable with them.  You may also want to play soft music in the room to calm her if she is nervous having house guests over.  Additionally, if you can slip away for a few minutes, visit your cat periodically throughout the party to check in on her and provide her reassurance.

Please ensure your companion is wearing a collar and ID tag on Halloween in case she accidentally escapes outdoors.  If your kitty is microchipped, take a moment to ensure your contact information is up-to-date as well.

Halloween Decorations: It's fun to decorate your home with festive decorations for the season.  Pumpkins and decorative corn are typically considered to be safe plants to have around pets, but they may cause digestive upset if your cat snacks on them, according to the ASPCA.  Pumpkin is actually very beneficial to a cat's digestive system.  Instead of letting your kitty chew on your pumpkin decorations, though, purchase some unsweetened, plain canned pumpkin for him to eat.  You can feed a teaspoon of it to him plain or mix a little into his canned food.

A lit jack-o-lantern sitting on a porch

Jack-o-lanterns are one of my favorite Halloween decorations, but they certainly can pose a danger to our beloved furry friends.  Cats are particularly curious and run the risk of burning or singing their paws and whiskers on lit jack-o-lanterns.  Please keep lit jack-o-lanterns and candles out of your kitty's reach for his safety.  Alternatively, purchase LED candles, which are safe to use near your companions.

Some Halloween decorations have electrical cords.  For your cat's safety, please protect electrical cords with cord covers or spray them with a deterrent like Bitter Apple.  Cats who chew electrical cords can suffer cuts, burns, and/or life-threatening electrical shocks.

Candy is Not for Cats: I'm sure you've heard about the toxicity of chocolate for cats.  While dark and baking chocolate are the most toxic to cats, all types of chocolate are dangerous for kitties to ingest.  Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, found in some candies is also toxic to kitties.  If you believe your furry friend has ingested xylitol or chocolate, please call your local veterinarian, emergency animal hospital, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for immediate assistance.  You can reach the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.  Please note that a $65 consultation fee may apply.  

Candy wrappers also pose a danger to kitties.  Please keep all candy out of your pet's reach and promptly throw all candy wrappers into a covered trash can.

If you'd like to get your companion a treat for Halloween, purchase her favorite cat treat or try a new one.  Carmine and Milita absolutely love ProPlan Savory Bites in chicken flavor.  If your cat hasn't tried these, we highly recommend them!

Carmine poses in his orange bow tie.
Costumes: Please do not dress your kitty in costume unless you know he loves it.  Dressing up a cat who doesn't enjoy it causes him distress.  He may even end up hurting himself trying to get out of the costume.  Most cats don't enjoy being dressed up.  Instead of a costume, you could purchase your cat a bow-tie that slips onto his collar.  You can see Carmine's bow-tie in the photo to the right.

If you know your furry friend loves playing dress-up, be sure to try his costume on him before the big day.  If he starts acting abnormally, seems allergic, or looks distressed, it's best to let him celebrate Halloween in his "birthday suit."

Thoroughly examine the costume to ensure that there are no small or dangling parts your cat can chew off, choke on, or swallow.  Additionally, make sure your pet's costume fits well.  Clothes that are too loose can get caught on objects, which can potentially injure him.  Your kitty's costume should not restrict his breathing, ability to meow, or ability to hear, see, or move.

Utilizing these Halloween safety tips for cats will ensure a safe and happy holiday for everyone in your home.

Do you have any plans for Halloween?  Please share them with us in the comments section. 

10 comments:

  1. We don't have any plans for Halloween. Those are some mighty good suggestions for the kitties. It is a scary time for them;
    Could you please leave me another comment on my blog with your email, so if you win, I can contact you. Thanks

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  2. No plans for Halloween. We live way off of the road so no one really comes up our long dark driveway.Plus we have no children in the immediate area. Hope you'll enter our giveaway which we posted about on Monday.

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  3. Good tips, Sierra! Halloween, unfortunately, is a bad time to be a kitty. It makes us especially glad our are indoor-only cats!

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  4. My human doesn't do much decorating during Halloween and she doesn't participate in the trick or treat thing, so we don't have as much to be concerned about! I do worry about my outdoor kitty pals, though.

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  5. We don't celebrate Halloween here. Those are great tips. Purrs

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  6. Gweat posty, we too be writin' 'bout halloween and safety. Weez not celebwate, so weez have no plans. Weez'll be gettin' weady fur meez birffday pawrty. Hope Carmine and Lita get to come.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexii

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  7. Great tips fur sure! I used to love seing the mini-peeps in there costumes. Then a great big silver alien showed up and no more for me.mmIt was real i tell you.

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  8. Excellent post, you covered everything. I do make my cats wear costumes, but just for a few seconds to get a photo- and the ones that really hate it only need to wear a hat. :)

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  9. Meowmy has to work on Halloween...we are going to stay inside quietly with pawppy.....no trick or treaters come to our rural den...

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  10. Great tips! We have a black kitty so we'll be home with him and our Huskies for a safe Halloween! Hope everyone has a safe and fun time!

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