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Keep Your Cats Safe on Halloween

October 27, 2011

Photo courtesy madeofsmiles

Halloween is a huge holiday, to say the least. More people are celebrating Halloween this year than ever before, and they’re also going all out — spending more money than they have in past years, too.

While it can be great fun to celebrate the holiday with a few tricks and treats, there’s one family member that you’ll want to leave out of the festivities: Your cat. Take a few measures over the next few days to make sure that you both get through the holiday safely.

Stay at home

This should really be a no-brainer, specifically for those who let their cats outside. If you can’t bring your cat into your house, try to contain her to a garage. This is particularly true for special needs cats. If they become nervous while outdoors, they may become even less able to defend themselves or run away.

Even if you trust everyone on your street, remember that people you may not know may still walk through your neighborhood on Halloween. Regardless, remember that on Halloween folks are dressed up in crazy costumes, running around and making noise. This change of pace can be especially terrifying for a cat.

Photo courtesy rabbit57i

Trick-or-treaters

The constant ringing of the doorbell can send anyone up a wall, and it may very well strike terror in your cat. Combine that with the spookily dressed folks shouting for candy on the other side of the door, and your cat can flip out.

Consequently, watch your cat like a hawk. Each and every time you open your door for a guest or trick-or-treater is an opportunity for your cat to bolt.

Isolate, if necessary

If the noises, door bell and activity makes your cat nervous (or even if you think they may), isolate her in a quiet room with her food, water, litter box and bed. Check on her occasionally to make sure she’s doing OK. Turn on some soft music to drown out all of the noise.

If you’ve recently adopted a cat, make sure this is the case. Adjusting to a new home is stressful enough; you certainly don’t want her to become frightened and insecure.

Candy

Animal emergency clinics see a good number more pets coming in around Halloween for one reason — they get into someone’s Halloween candy stash. Make sure your candy (yours and for trick-or-treaters) is stored in a safe location.

Also watch out for loose candy wrappers — your cat may be intrigued by their smell and shiny material. If ingested they can become stuck in their digestive tract.

Decorations

If you decide to decorate your home, make sure the decorations are hung high and cat friendly. Secure wires so your cat doesn’t chew on them. Make sure decorations aren’t easily swallowable or have sharp parts. Even decorations like fake cob webs can intrigue your cat. If you have decorations that light up or make noise, watch your cat to see if she’s bothered by it.

Jack o’ lanterns that are candle-lit are especially dangerous. Make sure to keep them high and out of your pet’s reach. Only light them when you’re around and can supervise. Cats are very curious and may accidentally knock it over or burn themselves. Better yet, purchase a battery-powered candle to put in your pumpkin.

Photo courtesy Mike Fitzgerald

Dressing up

Even if your pet is normally OK with wearing clothes, be particularly considerate on Halloween. With the added stress and noises, your cat may not feel like dressing up. Be respectful and give your cat her space.

If you do dress your pet, make sure it’s completely safe — that it’s the proper size so she can still breathe, see and hear normally. Try it on a few days before Halloween to see if she minds it. If she seems annoyed on the big night (most likely because of the stress), give her a break and put it away.

Granted this is  a long list, but I know we’d all rather take a few precautions and have a safe holiday, then to risk it.

Do you have any other tips for keeping your cat safe during Halloween? Please share in the comments!

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