Parents with young children know the steps to take to keep their kids safe on Halloween night. They inspect their children's candy before it gets eaten, they make sure each group of trick-or-treater has flashlights and keeps to the sidewalk, and they insist that youngsters be accompanied by an adult, especially when entering haunted houses. On Halloween night, pets need protection as much as children. Here are several simple steps you can take to keep your favorite feline safe this Halloween.
Keep your cat(s) in a closed room with food and water and away from trick-or-treaters and Halloween festivities.
Cats are natural escape artists and can easily slip, unnoticed, out of a door opened for trick-or-treaters. Even if you have an indoor/outdoor cat, this is one night your cat belongs indoors. This safety measure goes double for people with black cats which are particularly at risk (black cats are such high risk that many shelters forbid the adoption of black cats the week leading up to Halloween). Even if you keep your cat confined, be sure he is wearing a collar and ID tag in case of an accidental getaway.
Also, many pets are easily frightened by people in costumes. If you are having a party at home, keep your cat away from the festivities and occupied with a toy. Lots of people, strange smells, and loud noises can spook even the calmest of animals.
Keep decorations out of your cat's reach.
Lit Jack-O-Lanterns pose a real fire risk as they can be easily tipped over by a curious cat. Cats also run the risk of getting tangled in decorations or receiving a deadly shock from chewing on electrical cords.
Keep the candy for the kids.
Chocolate contains a lethal ingredient called theobromine, and the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Candy wrappers can also be harmful if swallowed. If you want to give your cat a sweet treat, offer her a few of her favorite treats.
Dress the children, not the cats.
Most cats do not like, or are even frightened by the constraints of a costume. Some costumes can also impair your cat's sight, hearing, or ability to breathe. Stick with Halloween themed collars if you want your cat to look the part.
Tara Nemeth is the Director of Field Development for Petlane, a pet product company offering the best toys, treats, gifts, and health and safety items for dogs, cats and birds. People, pets and pet products are Tara's passions. She lives in California with her husband and her 6 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Jade. She invites you to visit her company's website at http://www.petlane.com and for great pet parenting ideas, see her blog at http://www.petlane.com/blog