Halloween is a holiday for spooks and scares, but it can be especially terrifying for our feline friends. Cats are especially skittish when meeting strangers, so the parade of costumed children trick or treating can be very stressful for cats. Here are a few ways to keep your cats calm this October 31st.
1. Create a safe spot
If your cat spends time outdoors, start getting them more acclimated to an indoor space in the week leading up to Halloween. Find an out of the way room or space to set up a safe spot for your cat that they cannot escape from. Make sure they have their favorite things and necessities included: litter, food, water, bedding, and toys. If people are coming over for a Halloween party, make sure to put a sign up so they don’t open the door and let a stressed cat roam free. Finally, put on some music or a quiet television show to provide some background noise so all the havoc outside the door isn’t causing quite as much stress for your cat.
2. Keep candy and decorations out of reach
Cats love to chew on wires and bat around new things, so be aware of this when trying to decorate for the holiday. You should especially avoid candles and other decorations that you plan on lighting, as cats can attempt to bat at the flames. This can burn their paws or knock the flame over. Hanging decorations can also be problematic - cats can try to cling to them and might pull down curtains or other items. Outside of decorations, keep candy out of reach. Chocolate is just as harmful for cats as it is for dogs. In addition, ingested candy wrappers can cause serious digestive problems. Keep candy in secured cabinets; any cat owner knows that heights are no problem for a cat to reach.
3. Teach your cat to come when called
If the unthinkable happens and your cat does get out of the house, it can be extremely difficult to locate them. Panic can set in, and your cat will probably have to see you in order to calm down enough to allow itself be found. If your cat gets out of your home, it will most likely try to stay hidden and close by, so having a unique call or clicker pattern can be a life saver. Training a cat to come when called is as simple as giving a favorite treat a few times a day after giving the command. Soon, your cat will associate that command with the treat, and should come running when they hear it. Training a cat to come when called can save quite a bit or stress during an escape attempt.
Halloween can be extremely stressful for your cats, so keep them safe and calm with these techniques. Stress can lead to erratic behavior, so keep a supply of Bio-nihilator on hand in case any accidents happen. Have a happy Halloween, and hug a black cat if you can. They need love too.