Saturday, October 31, 2020

5 Halloween Safety Tips for Cats

Halloween is one of those holidays that is both spooky and spectacular for humans! There are costumes, decorations, parties, candy, visitors, and fun for all. But what about our cats?  Cats don't react well to change and all of this excitement can be scary and stressful for them. What can you do to make sure your cat stays safe, calm, and secure?

silver shaded Persian, Brulee, inside her Halloween house

1. Keep Cats Indoors and Confined on Halloween

It's important to keep your cat indoors on Halloween. If your cat is normally an indoor/outdoor cat, bring her inside. If your cat is an outdoor cat, try to find a place where your cat will feel secure until all of the costumes, noises, and festivities are over. If you participate in "trick-or-treating" at your home, you should put your cat in another room behind a closed door with food, water, and calming music. Make sure you continuously check on your cat to make sure she is okay during the night.

Cats are very quick and with all of the strangers at your door, the constant ringing of the doorbell, and opening and closing of the door, your scared cat may escape.

2. Keep Candy Out of Reach.

There is an abundance of extra candy in your home during the Halloween season, especially chocolate. Chocolate can be dangerous or even lethal for cats, particularly baking or dark chocolate. Watch out for symptoms your cat may exhibit such as vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, or seizures which may indicate chocolate poisoning. If your cat show any of these symptoms and you suspect she ate some chocolate, it is imperative you get your cat to the veterinarian immediately. Other dangers from candy that isn't necessarily chocolate may be chocking or a blockage if your cat ingests hard/chewy candy or wrappers.

Another danger from candy for cats is candy that is sweetened with xylitol, such as sugar-free gum. Xylitol causes insulin release and low-blood sugar levels that can lead to liver failure.

You should also contact the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 if you suspect your cat has eaten something dangerous. 

Persian Kitten, Brulee, inside a plastic jack-o-lantern
Brulee was the best kind of treat. Brulee was carefully monitored around this candy.
Photo credit - Terri Rogers

3. Monitor Your Cat Around Decorations.

More and more people are decorating for Halloween and there are jack-o-Lanterns, lights, strings, small decorations, stringy webs, and candles throughout the house. Carved jack-o-Lanterns are festive and fun, but make sure it's out of reach from your feline. If there is a lit candle in the jack-o-Lantern, cats may knock it over while lit which could cause a fire. Cats are known for their curiosity and they may get burned or singed by a candle flame or a hot bulb. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorate corn are usually nontoxic, but may cause some stomach discomfort if pets nibble on them.

4. Monitor Your Cat While Wearing a Costume.

First of all, make sure your cat is comfortable wearing a costume. Don't let Halloween be the first time you try an outfit on your cat. It takes some time for a cat to become accustomed to wearing clothing and trying this with all of the other excitement around Halloween is very stressful for your cat. If your cat is comfortable wearing clothing and costumes, make sure you use costumes that are safe, non-flammable, and non-toxic. Your cat should be able to comfortable move around in the costume and the outfit should restrict breathing or vision. Examine the costume carefully for any buttons, strings, or other items your cat may swallow.

Make sure you watch your cat at all times while she is in a costume. Pet costumes are designed to be removed easily. However, your cat may decide she wants to get out of the costume and may become entangled, stuck somewhere, or choke.

Persian cat, Truffle, with Halloween collar
Truffle in her Halloween Collar

5. Provide Proper Identification for Your Cat.

Your cat should wear a collar with an ID tag or be microchipped! If, for any reason, your cat does escape and become lost, the chances your pet will be returned to you is she has an ID collar and/or a microchip. Make sure the microchip is up-to-date with your current contact information.


Resources

Alley Cat Allies. October 30, 2018. Keeping Cats Safe on Halloween. Alley Cat. https://www.alleycat.org/keeping-cats-safe-on-halloween/.

Fear Free. October 14, 2019. 5 Ways to Help Pets Have a Fun and Safe Halloween. Fear Free Happy Homes. https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/5-ways-to-help-pets-have-a-fun-and-safe-halloween/

Koski, Marci. Cat Safety on Halloween - It's not that Scary! Feline Behavior Solutions. https://www.felinebehaviorsolutions.com/cat-safety-on-halloween/. 

MacPete, Dr.Ruth, DVM. October 20, 2015. 5 Tips to Keep Your Cats Safe This Halloween. Pet Health Network. https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-checkups-preventive-care/5-tips-keep-your-cats-safe-halloween

14 comments:

  1. Keeping the kitties safe; that's what we are all about!
    Happy Meowloween!

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  2. Good tips, thanks! The kitties are super spooky cute today.

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  3. You just can't be too safe when it comes to kitties. Happy Halloween!!!

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  4. Great post. I love the shot of Brulee in a pumpkin. :)

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  5. Happy Halloween!
    Annabelle, Boo, Jinx & Ping

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  6. Great reminders ! Happy Halloween ! Purrs

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  7. Great tips and really cute pictures of the kitties! Happy Halloween!

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  8. Great tips for keeping our kitty pals, safe. Happy Meowloween!

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  9. Well this was easy: I'm indoor-only, I don't eat candy (translated- mom and dad can't keep candy in the house), we don't decorate the house, they don't decorate the cat, and I wear my ID day and night.

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  10. Halloween can be a lot of fun for humans, but it can be hazardous for pets. Thanks for sharing these important tips to keep them safe!

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  11. I am so glad we don't have Halloween over here. It has none of the USA's fine traditions of celebration and fun but I do worry that some pets will try to eat sweets or play with them.

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  12. Late, but we avoided the whole thing. Turned off the lights, drew the curtains, went ta bed early. Didn't need to, no one goes door-to-door around here...

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  13. We had twelve tricks-or-treaters come to our door. Mom and Dad just left a bowl of candy out for them with a sign. Mom also put social distancing tape marks on the sidewalk. Sisfur Esmay and I were ready to greet the lil' humans, but Mom and Dad didn't open the door. Tee hee hee.

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