Halloween Safety For Your Cat
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It's Halloween . . . and while you are buying the candy, designing a costume and carving the jack-o-lantern, don't forget to take a few minutes to make sure your cats are safe and protected.
Kitten Inquiries in October
Unfortunately, Halloween can be a dangerous time of the year for cats—especially black ones. Sadly, every year there are reports of cats that fall into the hands of misguided individuals and are tortured or killed.
But a few precautions on your part will keep your kitties safe.
While it is always important to ask a lot of questions of anyone inquiring for a kitten, the smart breeder is even more careful in "vetting" those people looking for a new kitten in October—and especially if they are looking for a black cat.
Some breeders will not place a kitten in October at all—especially blacks. Instead, take the application from the prospective buyer, screen them, and if they pass they fill out and sign the kitten contract, pay their deposit and then pick the cat up on November 1st—after Halloween.
If the new owner wonders why they must wait, simply explain that all the excitement of Halloween night is too upsetting for a kitten just settling into a new home.
While most breeders keep their cats indoors exclusively, Halloween is an especially dangerous time for outdoor felines.
The safest cat is always an indoor cat.
ALL cats should remain indoors throughout the end of October and for a few days after Halloween. It is a small inconvenience to ensure that your cat is protected and safe over the holiday.
Don't leave any lighted candles or jack-o-lanterns with candles where they could be knocked over by a curious cat. Not only could your pet start a fire but they could severely burn themselves in the process.
Some of the traditional decorations used at Halloween can be dangerous to cats. Items like Spray-on-cob-webs and paper streamers are a threat to your cat if ingested.
You may love to dress in costume but then, you aren't a cat.
However, if you are going to dress your cat in a costume, keep in mind that unless the cat is very laid back, you could be causing it discomfort and stress.
Some cats don't mind at all but others do not want to be bothered with this kind of thing. Remove loose buttons, strings or other bits that could be chewed or swallowed from the costume.
If your cat just hates wearing the costume, but you just cannot resist dressing it up - go ahead and do it. Dress it up, snap a photograph, and then remove the outfit. Your cat gets to relax and you get to giggle over the photograph of your kitty with the long-suffering (or "I could just kill you") look on its face.
Open Doors on Halloween Night
Halloween night you will be opening and closing the front door repeatedly handing out treats to the little ghosts and goblins who will come knocking.
To keep them safe, lock your cats away in another room. Don't take the chance your cat may slip out the open doorway.
Ringing Doorbells, Squealing Kids
Halloween night can be noisy . . . the doorbell ringing constantly, excited children squealing and lots of loud talking can be frightening to a cat. Besides being happier in a quiet room far away from the front door, try giving your cat a radio turned on low to help drown out the noise and make your cat feel more secure.
Remind your children that even though their cat loves them, it may be frightened by seeing them in costume. They need to approach their cat slowly and calling its name when in costume until it recognizes them.
Unless your cat is ultra friendly and doesn't mind loud noises, music and lots of people you should keep it confined in a room as far from the festivities as possible. Food, water, litter box, a favorite bed and toys will keep your cat happy until the party is over.
As much as your cat thinks it is a person and may beg for some of the Halloween candy, chocolate is toxic to cats even in small amounts. If you plan to give out chocolate treats to the children, place them in a sealed container to keep them out of the kitty's reach. Also, take the goodies gathered by your own children while trick or treating and seal them up away from the cats too.
Warn your children not to feed candy to the cats. You can always make a home made cat treat especially for Halloween for them to feed their furry companion.
A candy wrapper looks like a great toy to the average cat . . . but plastic wrappers, tin foil, the elastic strings on candy necklaces and even small hard candies can choke a cat or cause intestinal blockages if eaten.
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