Halloween Cat Safety
Drs Foster and Smith offer the following tips to keep your cats safe this weekend during Halloween festivities:
- During this time of mischief and pranks, all too often cats become unwilling participants. Keep your outdoor pets well supervised in the yard or, better yet, keep them indoors and safe from neighborhood hooligans at night.
- Make sure your cat is wearing proper identification. If, for any reason, a pet does escape or become lost, you increase the chances that your pet will be returned to you if he is wearing a collar with an ID tag.
- Even the most social cats should be kept in a separate room during trick-or-treat visiting hours. You may even consider setting up a pet barrier in your entranceway to keep your cat from darting out between your legs when you open the door.
- For especially nervous animals, the parade of costumed kids and endlessly chiming doorbells can get to be too much for comfort. There are a variety of calming products designed for storm- and travel-shy pets, which are also useful on Halloween.
- Finally, decorations and Jack-O'-Lanterns are tempting for pets to get their noses into. Needless to say, it's too easy for them to get hurt if left unsupervised, whether it's in a tangle of crepe paper or a singed coat from an open flame. Curious kittens are particularly at risk of becoming burned. Always keep these Halloween favors out of your pet's reach!
We sequester our cats in their "cat bedroom" where we have a Feliway plug-in and plenty of treats, and we run the TV in the room to serve as white noise so that the ringing doorbell and chorus of "Trick or Treat" doesn't alarm them too much. If yours is a fairly quiet household, your cats are more likely to be disturbed by the noise and activity than a raucous household with lots of kids running in and out constantly, so plan accordingly.
What about taking your cat trick-or-treating? Rarely a good idea, unless your cat is secured inside a stroller and is comfortable with lots of shrieking, over-stimulated kids (and dogs).
And remember, don't share your chocolate Halloween treats with Fluffy! Chocolate toxicity is one of the most common "poisonings" seen in vet clinics.