Happy Halloween! As you get your home ready to celebrate all things creepy and kooky, remember to keep the basics of holiday safety in mind to ensure your pets stay out of harm’s way.
Here are some tips for keeping your cats safe and sound while celebrating this most spectacular Spooky Season.
Halloween decorations can be very enticing to cats, especially hanging decorations like crinkly streamers or fake spider webs. However, these can be choking hazards or cause digestive issues if swallowed so keep them away from your pets and try to deter them from playing near - or with them.
Decorative twinkling lights can resemble a wand toy to cats and they may want to bat at or even chew on them, mistakenly thinking it is a game. While this may seem adorable, it’s actually quite dangerous if a bulb breaks or if they bite through the wire. Please do not allow your cat to play with strings of lights, especially with their mouths.
Similarly, make sure any costume pieces, such as masks, capes, or props, are stored out of your cat's reach. Curious kitties may chew on or play with costume accessories, which could be harmful if ingested, especially strings, ribbons, or beads.
Candles and Jack O’Lanterns
The flicker of a flame can also be quite enticing to a curious cat so please be extra careful when lighting any holiday candles or jack o’lanterns. Cats can easily burn themselves - their paw pads are very sensitive! - or even accidentally start a fire if they’re trying to play with an unattended candle. OUCH!
Cats love a routine. When things change and there are new sights, smells, and sounds around, your cat may get overwhelmed. To keep the holiday fun for the entire family, make sure your cat feels safe and allow them at least one room that has not changed. If you can keep the celebrations to one area of the home, especially if your cat is a bit of a scaredy cat, that would be ideal. Provide some cozy, quiet hideouts for your cat so they always have a safe space when things become all too much.
If guests come over, please remind them that you have a cat. Make sure they know to keep all doors and windows of the home closed so your cat can’t accidentally get out. Tell them of your cat’s personality and let them know if and when they like to be pet. Leave out your cat’s favorite toys and treats in case a friend wants to spend some time with them.
Black cats are associated with Halloween, witches, and magic and, unfortunately, they are prone to Halloween-related mischief. Make sure your black cat stays safe from harm by keeping them inside.
Trick or Treating
The safest place for your cat on Halloween is inside. Keep your cat in a quiet room away from the front door to prevent them from escaping when trick-or-treaters arrive. Play some calm music or white noise to keep them from getting scared by the constant ring of the doorbell.
If your cat is prone to sneaking out, prepare ahead of time by making sure they wear a collar with an ID tag and are microchipped with your current contact information. You can even use a pet gate to block them from slipping out the door.
If your pet doesn’t like dressing up, definitely don’t force them. Some cats enjoy wearing outfits and some don’t. Other cats don’t mind a bow tie or a cute bandana. Try a few options to see if your cat likes dressing up. If your cat doesn’t like dressing up, try setting them besides some fun props. You can definitely participate in the holiday and keep your cat happy at the same time.
If you want them to wear a cute costume and they tolerate it - go for it! But limit the amount of time they wear the clothes and ensure the outfit fits. Restricting a cat’s movement is definitely no fun for them. They should be able to see, hear, eat, breathe, walk, and move their tails with ease.
Always supervise your cat while they are wearing an outfit. They may feel trapped and unsuccessfully try to take it off. Accidents happen in a moment and nobody likes getting hurt.
Spooky Meals and Treats
When company is over and things are hectic, it would be easy for a cat to sneak a bite or two of something that may make them sick. Discourage guests from feeding your cat any table scraps as cats have very sensitive tummies. Most human foods are not healthy for cats to eat and cats cannot taste sweet flavors so please don’t feed them any desserts. Candy can even be toxic to cats, especially if they contain chocolate, xylitol, or coffee. Keep candy - and empty wrappers - out of your cat’s reach.If you’re going to offer your cat a treat, make it one made for cats!