Halloween can be great fun: parties, costumes and trick-or-treating can make some great memories for people. Our cats, on the other hand, may not get such a kick out of the holiday. The sights, sounds and temptations of Halloween may not necessarily be good for our feline friends, but there are steps we can take to protect them.
- As a rule, cats do not enjoy being dressed in costumes. Sphinx Cat Boo and Lorenzo the Cat are adorable, but they are the exceptions. If kitty really objects getting dressed up, spare her the stress and you the lacerations and focus on your own costume.
- Did somebody say, “chocolate?” You bet they did. And I, for one, will gladly stuff myself on the heavenly concoction, along with other sugary delights. Do your cat (and any other pet) a favor and keep candies and wrappers out of reach. Wrappers can cause bowel obstructions, while candy can cause illness…sometimes fatal.
- The other food associated with Halloween (albeit as a decoration) is pumpkin. It’s just fine to let your cat check out the pumpkins, but take care that she does not eat it – especially as it gets old since it will break down and harbor bacteria. As an obligate carnivore, your cat does not need pumpkin for her health, but she may like the taste. If she insists, a tiny bit of canned (or home-cooked) unsweetened pumpkin is okay – just not too much since it has a high fiber content which can cause stomach upset or diarrhea.
- If you anticipate getting trick-or-treaters or party guests in and out, corral kitty in a closed room while they are out and about. Not only could kitty slip outside, but the children could be allergic, or not mix well with your cat. Your cat may not be happy to not have the 4-1-1 on all of the activity, but it is for his own good.
- Please keep your cat inside. This is important for so many reasons throughout they year, but especially so on Halloween. Tales of ritual sacrifice are largely anecdotal, but there are real dangers out there. On a good day, it is risky to let your cat outside unsupervised. Add to the mix teenagers behaving badly and people on the road after consuming alcohol at parties, and you have real threats to your cat’s health and life.
- Cats – especially black ones – are at an increased risk of being considered accessories during Halloween. Encourage people to stick with cat-centric crafts rather than giving in to the spirit of the season. Cats were persecuted enough during witch hysteria, so let us not add to their historic woes by making them little more than disposable props.
- Watch the decorations, because your cat may want to play with them…and may ingest them…and that could get ugly and expensive.
Sure, this list may seem long, but the pointers are easy to follow. A few precautions will help kitty avoid a spooktacular experience and help you avoid a Pandora’s box of trouble.