Halloween is the most scary and spectacular time of the year! It’s a night to celebrate all things creepy and crawly, with decorations, costumes, parties, and, of course, trick-or-treating. But if we are not prepared, the festive fun that people love so much can be dangerous for cats and kittens.
Alley Cat Allies has tips to help you keep your cats and other animals safe and stress-free for Halloween.
1. Be mindful of your decorations
Without proper care and consideration for our cats, Halloween can go from creepy fun to truly terrifying. For example, fake spider webbing is not only harmful to the environment, but can cause serious health risks if ingested by a cat. Carved jack-o-lanterns can also cause trouble if a curious cat knocks them over while a candle is lit inside.
Make sure any fire hazards or wires are out of reach of your cats or dogs and consider using battery-powered candles instead of real ones. Also keep in mind that edible decorations like corn or pumpkins can cause stomach trouble if cats nibble on them.
2. Make sure candy is out of reach for cats
Many Halloween candies, especially chocolate, are toxic to cats and dogs. To be safe, keep the candy bowl well out of reach of animals. If you think your cat or dog has eaten something dangerous, contact the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. We have information to help you identify the symptoms of poisoning and act fast.
3. Keep cats in a quiet area of your house
The ghosts, ghouls, and goblins trekking to and from your door can stress your cats. If you believe your cat is getting nervous—or already know she is the nervous type—put her in a quiet, sealed off room in your house where she can feel safe. Be sure to provide a litter box and water and check on her throughout the night.
4. Make sure your cats are microchipped
Your cat could potentially dart outside as you open your door repeatedly to give out candy. Make sure your cats are microchipped and that your microchip information is up to date. It will help you reunite with your cat should she become lost or impounded by animal control. Learn more about how microchipping saves lives.
5. You love costumes—but your cat doesn’t
People love dressing up for Halloween. Cats, in most cases, not so much. Respect your cat’s feelings on the matter and do not force on a costume that will cause them distress. If you are certain your pets won’t mind being part of the fun, make sure the costumes don’t restrict their breathing, sight, or movement in any way. Costumes should not have pieces that can get caught in external objects or chewed off and ingested.
6. Keep track of your community cats
In most cases, community cats will hide as costumed kids roam the neighborhood. While Halloween poses no special risk to community cats—yes, including black cats—it is always best practice to monitor every cat you care for and keep an eye out for all of them. Alley Cat Allies’ community cat tracking system can help you get organized.
Make sure your information on each cat is up to date and do a head count once Halloween is over, just to be safe.