I’m pretty sure that if cats had anything to say about it, they’d get rid of Halloween. From a cat’s perspective, there’s not much to love about a holiday when strangers come knocking at your door, your humans dress up in weird outfits and scary looking masks, and some humans even try to put you in costumes. It’s up to us humans to reduce the stress of this holiday for feline family members and keep them safe so everyone can have a happy Halloween.
Some cats tend to like the taste of pumpkin, and they may nibble on your carved master pieces. And while pumpkin can actually have benefits for cats (it can regulate digestion,) pumpkins that have been sitting out for days can grow mold and bacteria, so keep carved pumpkins out of kitty’s reach.
Decorations, electrical cords and candles
Keep decorations and electrical cords and wires out of curious cats’ reach. Cats could ingest strings from decorations, which can cause intestinal blockages, or chew on live wires and get electrocuted. Real candles and cats never mix. Use battery operated candles instead.
Trick or Treat
If you are going to open your door to trick or treaters, provide a safe room for your cats. Put their favorite bedding and toys in the room, along with a litter box and fresh water. Close the blinds or drapes, and consider playing soft music to diffuse the sounds from the rest of the house. Classical music has been shown to calm cats.
If you’re hosting a Halloween party, follow the advice above about providing a safe room for your cats during the festivities.
Keep cats indoors
Indoor cats live longer and happier lives, but if your cats normally go outside, Halloween is not a good time to allow them to roam. This is true for all cats, not just black cats. Black cats are actually not at any greater danger at Halloween; this is a myth that just won’t die. Black cats suffer far more harm due to many shelters shutting down adoption of black cats during the month of October. “The only thing that such a fear-driven policy does is put more cats of every color at risk of dying in shelters due to overcrowding,” Francis Battista, cofounder of the Best Friends Animal Society, told Vetstreet.
Microchip and collar tag
A microchip and id tag on your cat’s collar will increase the odds of having your cat returned to you, should the unthinkable happen and your cat slips out.
Don’t dress your cat in costumes
Cats who actually enjoy being dressed up are few and far between. Being forced to wear a Halloween costume will stress most cats out. If you must dress her up, limit the “costume” to a seasonal collar. Use a photo editing software instead to give your cat that Halloween look.
We skip the festivities at our house. I’m not a Halloween Grinch, but Allegra and Ruby’s safety and comfort come first, so I turn the porch light off to discourage trick or treaters. They both love visitors, so for them, to be locked up in a bedroom while the door bell keeps ringing would not only confuse them, it would also stress them out.
How do you keep your cats safe at Halloween?
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons