Halloween can be a spooky time of year, not just for humans but for our furry friends too. With all the ghosts and ghouls out and about, it's important to make some adjustments to keep your pets safe. From helping themselves to treats to ending up outside on the chaotic streets on trick-or-treat night, cats run into a number of hazards that can be easily prevented. Here are some tips on how to have a spooktacular holiday while keeping your feline friend out of trouble.
Even if your cat normally spends time outdoors, it is recommended to keep your cat indoors where they'll be safe for Halloween. During this holiday, your neighborhood may be full of unfamiliar sights, sounds, and people that could spook your cat. Keeping your cat indoors is the best way to make sure they have a safe and happy Halloween. Keep in mind that trick-or-treating in your area may be on a different day than Halloween, so it can be a good idea to follow these safety tips during the days before and after October 31st. Take extra steps to make your cat comfortable if being indoors for an extended period of time is new to them, such as providing fresh food and water and a window to look out of.
In the event that your cat does get out, they have a much higher chance of making it back safe and sound if you ensure that they are microchipped and up to date on their vaccines.
A microchip is a small chip that can be implanted under your cat's skin at the vet. The chip contains a unique identification number that can be used to identify your cat if they ever get lost or stolen. Most animal shelters and vet clinics have special devices to read the microchip information and help them return them to you. Keeping your cat up to date on vaccines can prevent them from getting sick with contagious diseases they may come into contact with. It’s important to keep both indoor and outdoor cats up to date on rabies and other routine vaccines all year, but Halloween can be a good reminder to get caught up if you’ve fallen behind.
While Halloween wouldn’t feel complete without the signature decorations, it’s important to keep the safety of your cat in mind. Decorations such as candles, jack-o-lanterns, and string lights can pose a fire hazard, while others like synthetic spider webbing, ribbons, and small figurines can be choking hazards or cause an intestinal blockage if swallowed. Choose decorations that are made from safe materials. Avoid decorations that are made from material that will shatter if knocked over by a cat, as well as those with open flames. Some feline-friendly alternatives for common Halloween decorations are battery-operated candles, plastic instead of glass, and LED fairy lights. Remember to keep plants or seasonal floral arrangements out of reach as well.
Cats are just as likely as dogs to end up at the emergency clinic for eating Halloween treats, with 45% of felines who ingest Halloween treats or non-food items being taken to a vet clinic or emergency clinic.
Chocolate is one of the most common Halloween-related hazards for cats. The methylxanthines theobromine and caffeine that are present in chocolate are toxic to felines. The amount of chocolate that your cat consumes will affect the severity of its symptoms. Chocolate poisoning in cats can be fatal if enough is consumed. Contacting poison control or an emergency vet as soon as possible is the best course of action if your cat consumes a toxic substance, whether chocolate or otherwise. Other candies can present a toxic or gastrointestinal hazard for cats due to their shape, texture, size, or ingredients. Keep human candy (and wrappers) out of reach and have healthy cat treats on hand to keep your cat from getting too curious.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned cat owner, you can book a virtual appointment to discuss ways to keep your cat safe this Halloween and throughout the year. A veterinarian can provide you with valuable information on how to care for your cat, what to feed them, and how to keep them safe from potential hazards. They can also help you create a health plan for your cat so that you can be sure they are getting the preventive care they need. Vetster offers 24/7 on-demand, online veterinary appointments so you can speak to a vet and get the information you need, whether your cat has a health issue or you just have a question.
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