Saturday, October 24, 2015

Keep Kitty Safe and Sound on Halloween

by Adam Jablonski

Halloween is fast approaching and you're likely stocking up on candy goodies for trick-or-treaters. While celebrating Halloween is frightfully fun and delicious for people, there are a few precautions one should take to make sure the festivities are safe for cats too. 

Many know to keep chocolate from dogs, but it's toxic to cats too. Large amounts of high-sugar, high-fat food or candy can lead to pancreatitis in cats, and ingested wrappers can cause blockages in the digestive system. Raisins are a no-no as well, as they are toxic to cats and can lead to kidney failure.

Overall, it's best to keep all treats meant for humans out of the reach of furry friends.
Be aware of glowing jewelry and glow sticks too, as a cat's sharp incisors can puncture these items and cause them to leak. Any unusual behavior, like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss-of-appetite, could be signs kitty got into something, so keep a close eye on your little loved one for a few days after and consult your vet ASAP if she begins to act strangely. 

Sockie likes the witch hat, Santa is tolerating it, and Jill? That's a polite, but firm, NO.
Dressing your cat up for Halloween or a costume party? Some cats love it, some merely allow it, but if your kitty is game, it's important to make sure she'll be safe in that disguise. Costumes should never restrict breathing, movement, or the ability to see and hear.

Josephine, pictured here at right, is dressed as the angry office boss venting to the internet abyss. The tie is loose around her neck and not affecting breathing, but we wouldn't let her get out of sight with it on. The sounds of youthful exuberance and the front door opening and closing could startle a cat and cause her to bolt, so be mindful of costumes that could catch on household items and cause injury. 

"56K internet connection, WHYYY?!"
Also, take care with dangling tassles and beads that can pose a choking or poisoning hazard if chewed off and swallowed. (This applies to decorations too, like the skull fringe under the raisins pictured above.) 

Watch out for candles as well. (You know those fluffy tails aren't looking out for themselves!) Keep open flames up and out of the way, or consider switching to battery powered lights. And finally, for some cats a bit of quiet time in a back room is the best plan for Halloween night. Scaredy-cats will appreciate the dampened noises and Houdinis that escape the house even on normal days will remain safe and sound.

Taking these few simple precautions will ensure Halloween is safe for humans and cats alike. Hopefully a few black cats DO cross your path this Halloween!

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