It’s that time of year again – Halloween.
I do a safety post for Halloween every year, I wish I don’t have to do this warning post anymore but unfortunately I still have to.
As a result, here is a confession – I most absolutely HATE Halloween.
Every year, so many cats (especially black cats) falls victims of the ‘holiday fun’. Cats being chased, tails being burnt. Or even just the general noisiness scare them to no end.
I hope one day I won’t need to do this post anymore. Until that day arrives, let’s work on keeping our feline friends as safe and comfortable as possible.
Before I talk further, first and foremost…
Please remember to keep your beloved cats indoors this Halloween.
They might not be happy and start whining at the door, but between them being whiny and them being tortured by some people. You know which one to choose.
Now that they are inside, let’s talk about the danger around the house. Oh yes, there are dangerous are the house…
Pet Halloween costumes are becoming more common, but before you play dress up with them, make sure the costume doesn’t impair their movement, hearing, sight, or ability to breathe, eat, drink, or go to the loo. Also make sure there won’t be small bits that they might be tempted to chew and choke themselves. Better yet? Most of them don’t really like costumes, (dogs generally do like them, however, but DO NOT compare them to dogs, pleeeeease…) Substitute elaborate cat costumes for a simple, festive bandanna – most cats can live with that!
2. Trick or treaters
The constantly ringing doorbell and knocking on the door can make cats very nervous and more prone to running away. Set up a room with food and water bowl and a lovely loo for the cats, far away from the main door. They would rather snooze in front of a fire than dealing with ghosts and goblins, trust me. You might also want to make sure your cat has ID tags in case he or she accidentally freak out and run out of the door (if your cats are not microchipped, what are you waiting for?)
3. Chocolate and sweets
Keep the candy dish, bulging trick-or-treat bags, and purses containing sweets way out of paws’ reach in case they accidentally chew on them out of curiosity.
- Chocolate is extremely toxic to cats. Signs of a chocolate poisoning: vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst and urination, heart rhythm abnormalities, and even seizures.
- Xylitol is much lesser-known, but potentially fatal, toxin. It’s a sweetener used in sweets and cakes. Thank gawd it’s much less common in Europe. In cats, it can prompt a sudden release of insulin, resulting in low blood sugar, a condition known as hypoglycemia. Signs that your cat may have swallowed a product containing xylitol include a sudden lack of coordination, vomiting, lethargy and, eventually, seizures and possibly coma. Ultimately a cat that eats xylitol may end up with liver failure, resulting in death.
4. Hey! Watch where you are tossing those candy wrappers!
Those shiny and crinkly things are huge appeal to cats! If they chew them while playing and eat them by accident, it is potentially dangerous. It can make them sick and if you have a cat prone to chewing it could block their guts if they swallow a substantial amount of them.
5. Hallowmeow decoration
Nothing says “Happy Halloween” like an illuminated jack-o’-lantern. But I don’t think I need to tell you leaving a candle on without supervision while you have cats (or children for that matter) is asking for a disaster. Opt for LED candles for safer ambience. Another tips is this – if you don’t want your cats to ruin your decoration, you might want to keep them up high, as there is no way they are NOT destroying them. Full stop.
6. Feliway and Calm-eze
The buzz around Halloween could be a really stressful time for your cat(s), even if they are indoor cats, the firecrackers usually start going off a few days before Halloween. If you have a cat who are nervous, you might want to look into some additional help. Feliway and Calm-eze are particular useful around this time. You might want to start plugging Feliway in TODAY and start on Calm-eze.
If you are in Dublin, check out my favourite pet shop in city centre – Shauna Pet Shop. They have the full collection of Feliway products and Calm-eze products. Support local businesses, shop in Dublin Town.
Play safe and happy Halloween!
(I still hate Halloween but I know some of you really enjoy it…so enjoy!)