Keeping your cat safe this Halloween
Halloween in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham is a lot of fun for people of all ages, but our cats don’t always share in the spooky enjoyment. Trick-o-treaters in scary costumes, knocks on the door, screams of excitement and of course changes in the home environment can all lead to stress for our feline friends.
Here are a few things to consider and keep an eye out for this Halloween season in order to make sure your cat stays safe and doesn’t get spooked.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS ARE CAT-PROOF
Lots of people love to decorate the house at Halloween, but curious cats can sometimes get a bit too stuck in. Young cats especially may want to climb up any hanging decorations or make their mark on some creepy cobwebs, so keep an eye on them if you do choose to put them up. Your cat may also try and knock decorations over, or even try and eat them, so make sure that anything you do put out is in a safe, secure place, away from your cat, and isn’t potentially harmful if ingested. String, and materials like it, can be especially dangerous as they can cause blockages in your cat’s intestine.
2. BE AWARE OF CATS AROUND CANDLES
Candles and cats really should not mix. The flickering of a candle can catch a cat’s attention, (and their paws and whiskers) and they can easily be knocked on to the floor, or furniture even if they’re inside a pumpkin. Instead, it’s best to complete your spooky illusion with electric candles to minimise the risk to both animals, and any children.
3. KEEP HUMAN TREATS OUT OF THE WAY OF CATS
For some, Halloween is more about the treats than the tricks, but most human treats won’t agree with your cat. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to most animals in larger amounts, but can also make your cat sick in small, treat-size quantities. Keep sweet treats away from your cat, ideally in a cupboard that they can’t access, and look out for any signs that they might be unwell or behaving differently to normal. Contact your vet if you have any concerns.
4. MAKE SURE YOUR CAT IS MICROCHIPPED AND THE DETAILS ARE UP TO DATE
If your cat is spooked, there is a chance they might wander a bit further from home and become lost. Make sure your cat is microchipped and that your details are up to date as this will greatly increase the chances that they will make their way back to you if this happens. You should still do this even if you decide to keep your cat inside for the evening, as a scared cat may bolt at the smallest window (or door) of opportunity. Just a reminder that it is now a legal requirement to have your cat microchipped with a new law coming into force on the 10th June 2024.
5. GIVE YOUR CAT SOME SAFE SPACES TO HIDE
You can also help your cat by making sure they have lots of cosy, comfortable places in quiet places around the house where they can choose to hide. If you are going to keep your cat in for the night, it’s best to do this a few times in the lead up to Halloween so this doesn’t come as a complete surprise and stress your cat out even more. If your cat is hiding, don’t be tempted to fuss them. All cats will deal with the situation in their own way, but make sure they have access to their food, water and litter tray should they want to use them.
6. VETERINARY INTERVENTION
If your cat really struggles with the change in routine that Halloween brings, we can help. We can recommend calming products such as Feliway and have plenty of stock at our surgeries. Just give us a call and we can help!