Monday, November 1, 2021

5 Tips For Keeping Your Cat Safe on Halloween

Children and adults alike love the excitement of Halloween! The magic of dressing up in favorite characters and visiting neighbors with doorbell rings and exclamations of "Trick or Treat" can be fun for all. However, cats don't react well to changes in their environment, especially different sights, smells, and sounds. Cats may become frightened and/or stressed. While planning for this fun occasion for the humans in your home, it's important to make arrangements for your cats to help them feel calm, safe, and secure.

Title graphic of silver Persian cat inside Halloween house

More and more, people are preparing their home for Halloween a month in advance with decorating the home, purchasing candy, and making costumes to wear. During this preparation, another "to do" should be added to the list of preparation: Make Your Home Safe for Your Cat! Here are a few tips to help your cat feel secure and safe during the Halloween preparations and festivities.

Silver Persian cat inside Halloween house with tips for Halloween safety
Truffle inside her Halloween House in a safe and secure area in the home

Keep Cats Indoors

Cats should be kept inside on Halloween evening or during Halloween festivities. If your cat is usually an indoor/outdoor cat, bring her inside the the home until the activities are over. Place her in a quiet room away from the noises, smells, and costumes. If there are inside festivities, your cat should be in a room behind a closed door with food, water, and calming music. Always check on your cat to make sure she is okay during the night. 

If your cat normally stays outside, find a place (such as a garage or a room in the back of the house) where she can be away from the noises, costumes, and festivities are over. 

If your cat isn't confined to a special room, she may become fearful and try to escape through the door with the constant ringing of the doorbell and strangers at the door.

Keep Candy Out of Reach

On Halloween, there is usually an abundance of candy in the home, especially chocolate. Chocolate can be dangerous or even lethal for cats, particularly baking or dark chocolate. If you suspect your cat has ingested chocolate, watch for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, or seizures, which may indicate chocolate poisoning. If you notice any of these signs, get your cat to the veterinarian immediately.

There are additional dangers of candy such as chocking or a blockage if your cat ingests hard or chewy candy or wrappers. Another danger is if candy contains xylitol (sugar free gum). Xylitol causes insulin release and low-blood sugar levels that can lead to liver failure. 

Contact Animal Poison Control Center at 888-4236-4435 if you suspect your cat may have ingested something dangerous.

Silver shaded Persian Kitten inside Jack-o-Lantern
Brulee inside Jack-o-Lantern as a kitten
Photo credit - Terri Rogers

Monitor Cat Around Decorations

Halloween decorations include lights, strings, small decorations, stringy webs, and candles throughout the home. Make sure all decorations are out of reach from your cats. If you have a lit Jack-o-Lantern, your cat may knock it over, which could cause a fire. Cats are curious and may be burned or singed by a candle flame or hot bulb. Some popular Halloween plants, such a pumpkins and decorative corn are usually nontoxic, but may cause some stomach discomfort if cats nibble on them.

Strings and small objects may cause a blockage if cats swallow them. This is an emergency which may cause surgery to remove the item.

Monitor Cat Wearing a Costume

Don't let Halloween be the first time you put a costume on your cat! Your cat should already be comfortable wearing clothing. It takes time for a cat to adjust to wearing costumes and Halloween shouldn't be the first time you put something on your cat. Make sure costumes are safe, non--flammable, and non-toxic. The costume shouldn't restrict breathing or vision. Your cat should be able to move freely in the costume. Check the costume carefully for any buttons, strings, or other items your cat may swallow. Watch your cat at all times while she is in costume.

Proper Identification

Cats should be microchipped in case they escape from your home. Having cats microchipped allows veterinarians or rescue organizations to identify your cat and the chances she will be returned home are higher. Make sure the microchip is always up-to-date with your current contact information.

You may consider putting a collar on your cat with your contact information. If you choose to use a collar, make sure it's a break-away collar in case your cat gets it caught on something.

Silver shaded Persian cat with Halloween collar
Truffle wearing her Halloween Collar

Halloween can be a fun holiday for both humans and cats as long as precautions are taken to keep your cats safe and secure. 

What special things do you do to prepare your home for the safety and comfort of your cats during the Halloween festivities?


Alley Cat Allies. October 30, 2018. Keeping Cats Safe on HalloweenAlley 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 HalloweenFear 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 Solutionshttps://www.felinebehaviorsolutions.com/cat-safety-on-halloween/

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

Paula A. Gregg, Ph.D.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Good advice! Hope all had a happy and safe Halloween!

  2. Great tips. Hope you got lots of treats for Halloween. XO

  3. Those were good tips. We're finally getting around to visit, the ghouls ate our internet late yesterday afternoon.

  4. Great tips! I always encourage a festive collar instead of a costume, since I know most kitties aren't like me and hate dress up.

  5. We have an easy system. Annyone knocks on our door, we hide unner the bed. And we DONT wear clothes...

  6. Great tips! We hope you had a happy -- and safe -- Halloween!


By leaving a comment you are consenting to your email being collected for communication purposes only.

Thank you for visiting us today!