We love Halloween. But often, our pets would be happy to skip the holiday. Mounds of chocolate, heart-stopping costumes, and pranksters on the prowl can all pose a danger to your cat.
Here are 9 tricks for making Halloween a treat not a nightmare for your cat:
1. Beware of chocolate. Though vital for human existence, chocolate is toxic for pets. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous since it contains elevated levels of theobromine, which can be lethal to cats.
Put chocolate away, and keep an eye on kids who may want to share their favorite treats with their furry friends. If your cat (or dog) gets into a bag of chocolate candy, contact the veterinary emergency center nearest you and ask for help.
2. Lock up the raisins. A box of raisins may be the perfect healthy treat for the goblins and princesses who turn up at your door. But these grapes of wrath contain mycotoxin, a fungal byproduct that can cause kidney damage or complete kidney failure in cats.
Keep raisins out of your cat’s paws. If you suspect your cat (or dog) has snacked on raisins, use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, and call the veterinary emergency clinic immediately.
3. Keep cat costumes simple if you indulge in them at all. Pinterest is jam-packed with darling pics of cats in costume. Sure, it's photogenic for people, but most pets (cats especially) hate dressing in clothes. Your cat may find a costume frightening, degrading, or uncomfortable.
Pet costumes can also be dangerous since a cat can get choked on a loose button, snap, thread, or another piece. If you simply have to dress up your kitty, and he doesn’t seem to mind, then stick with something basic like a fancy collar or a flashy bandana.
4. Nix that frightful noise. Sensitive cats can freak out when confronted with a tribe of hyper trick-or-treaters. Some inside cats have even darted out the door in a panic, getting lost or even becoming victims of cars or aggressive dogs.
The solution? Let your cat celebrate Halloween quietly in the bedroom. Set up the space with her food and water dishes, a litter box, and a favorite toy. She won’t miss out on seeing the costumes; instead, she’ll appreciate you treating her like a cat instead of a tiny human.
5. Believe in the magic of the microchip. If you're opening and closing your door often to serve trick-or-treaters, your cat may see an opportunity to explore new worlds and go dashing out. Once outside, an indoor cat is in danger of getting lost or becoming the victim of an aggressive dog or driver.
Do everything in your power to prevent your cat from getting lost on Halloween. In the event your cat becomes lost, however, a microchipcan help your neighbors know whose cat they’ve found. Check with your vet for more information.
6. Chill on the costumes. Your kid might be having fun acting out their character or swishing their wand or sword around, but seeing it might terrify your cat especially if he's the timid type.
Keep your cat away from trick-or-treaters and even family members sporting costumes. If you are hosting a fancy dress Halloween party, put your cat in a closed room and post a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. An introverted family member may volunteer to chillax with the animal during the party.
7. Be a "fraidy cat" when it comes to candles. While jack-o-lanterns lit with real candles can light the night with style, the open flame poses a significant danger to cats. Our feline friends are noted for knocking over items when leaping around the room. You don’t want to see that happen with a burning candle.
Plus, cats are curious and may try to play with the fire. Or there could be an accident with a burning wick and a swishing tail. Be super cautious with open flame.
8. Prevent your cat from choking. Cats love tiny, shiny, crinkly objects — basically, they adore candy wrappers. Unfortunately, our pets can choke on those wrappers or even the stolen treats they hold. Once ingested, these items can also cause intestinal blockage.
Keep a sharp eye out for discarded wrappers or treats that fell to the floor unnoticed. Scoop them up and throw them away as soon as you spot them.
9. Don't take your cat trick-or-treating. It can be tempting to add your black cat as a finishing touch to your Halloween costume. Please, don’t do it. Halloween night is filled with strange sounds, pranksters, sugar-spiked children, dogs on leashes, and potentially fatal hazards. Cats shouldn’t accompany children on a trick-or-treating trek even though the black cat image is an awesome one.
Halloween is a great way to kick off the holiday season. Just be sure your pets are safe and calm during the festivities.
Our pet-friendly Halloween plan includes a calm, quiet, and safe room with light music in the background. We'll probably include some of our cat's favorite toys, and we might even spray a few feline-friendly pheromones to help our kitties stay calm.
Let's keep our cats healthy, safe, and happy with cat-friendly treats and tricks this Halloween.