Halloween is several weeks away, but before you can say “boo” the non-stop parade of adorable ghosts, goblins, witches and small monsters will be roaming around your neighborhood; ringing doorbells and chanting “trick or treat”. What’s more, eager, high spirited grown-ups planning to join in the festivities are busily making their costumes, preparing their Halloween displays and stocking up on candy.
On Halloween night, children, (some accompanied by parents) will incessantly be ringing doorbells, shouting out the familiar refrain, “trick or treat”. While Halloween can be great fun for humans; it is not very safe for kitties. Therefore, we are responsible for paying special attention to their needs.
Although we may enjoy the parade of adorable children in costumes, our cats frighten easily. The shrieking sounds of excited children will certainly not be endearing to kitties. In fact, the stream of masked pint-sized “bandits” can be frightening and confusing. Additionally with the constant opening and closing of the front door, this can be a tempting invitation for a cat to escape.
To ensure that cats are safe and protected on Halloween night, please keep kitties indoors. Black cats in particular are at increased risk of injury or even torture around Halloween. To ensure the safety of black cats, during the entire month of October, some shelters and humane societies won’t put these beauties up for adoption.
Although some people consider black cats bring bad luck; in the United Kingdom, Asia and part of France black kitties are thought to bring good luck and fortune. According to Dr. Fernand Méry, a veterinarian and journalist, “Black cats have the power to attract wealth into any house where they are loved and well fed.”
By observing just a few simple cautionary measures we can make Halloween safe for our kitties. Just knowing that our cats are protected will heighten our pleasure and enjoyment while we are celebrating this special event.
Here are a few tips to help keep our cats safe and sound:
1. Keep all cats indoors on Halloween.
2. Cats can be extremely frightened by the masked and costumed visitors. Their fear may become so intense that they may hide in deeply secretive places around the house that finding them after the festivities are over may be difficult. It’s wise to keep cats safely confined in a room that is far from noise and distractions. Cats are generally happier and more secure when tucked away in a familiar room. Having a radio tuned into soft soothing music can help keep kitties calm.
3. Lighted candles are attractive and add ambiance to your Halloween decor. At the same time they are dangerous to cats. Curious kitties can accidentally knock the candles over, starting a fire. For safety, use artificial candles and jack-o-lanterns instead.
4. Do not bring kitty along if you are planning to go trick-or-treating with your children. Costumed cats may be fun for the guardian but most kitties will disagree. The majority of cats truly dislike wearing costumes anyway since their own natural “fur coats” are far more attractive.
5. Stash all candy safely away from curious cats. Chocolate and artificially sweetened candy is toxic to cats, even in small amounts. Using common sense goes a long way to make Halloween fun and entertaining. By keeping your cats safe and secure will make celebrating Halloween night less stressful and enhance your enjoyment.
Take a moment to enjoy this charming video that depicts black cats as special felines who bring lots of good luck, love and pleasure to their guardians.
By: Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW, (Ret.)