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Halloween Cat Safety Tips

Halloween Cat Safety Tips

Halloween is a real spooky time of year for everyone. But for cats, this holiday can pose serious dangers that are difficult to come back from. Chocolate poisoning, escaping due to stress, and burns from jack-o-lanterns are all potential hazards. Outdoors, your feline could become the victim of a mischievous "prank" or get lost in the commotion.

The change in routine whether you're greeting trick-or-treaters or hosting a party can lead to abnormal behavior in your pet. While this may cause you to think twice about participating in the festivities, you don’t have to. You can still have fun by keeping a few Halloween pet safety tips in mind.

5 Cat Safety Tips to Follow

Learning how to keep a cat inside and under supervision is the safest solution to a happy Halloween. Start by setting up a special space or area in a bedroom that is off-limits to guests and away from trick-or-treaters. Playing soft music or having the TV on helps block out scary sounds and spooky music. With a room full of their favorites including a blanket, food, water, litter box and toys, your cat will have a safe and peaceful Halloween. Keep reading for additional precautions to consider.

1. Keep all candy out of reach

If you’ve ever wondered, “Is chocolate bad for cats?”—the answer is yes! This sweet treat contains an ingredient that can diminish blood flow to the brain, cause heart attacks and a variety of other life-threatening problems for cats. As a rule, the darker the chocolate, the more lethal. Small candy is also hazardous and can damage your cat’s teeth. As such, keep chocolate and all other candy away from your pet.

Advise children to dump out candy in a cat-free zone and not to share any as treats. Stay ready for emergencies by having your veterinarian's number or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s number (1-888-426-4435) on hand. They can tell you what to do if your cat eats chocolate or any other toxic sweets. If you do opt to contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, there may be a fee for the call.

2. Make your cat easy to identify

Make sure your cat is wearing a collar with an ID tag in the event they break free from their "safe-room." A glow-in-the-dark collar and tag are ideal. These will help you spot your cat if they do slip out while also making them visible to motorists. Microchip ID tags are another effective and permanent way to ensure your cat is returned if they ever escape or get lost. Contact your veterinarian or check when Vetco is at your local Petco store to setup a microchipping appointment.

3. Pick up loose wrapping scraps

Are you known for the best homemade treats on your block? If trick-or-treaters line up at your door for goodies wrapped in plastic or tin foil, be careful. While these materials help you create festive sweets, they can be life-threatening to your pet. If ingested, they can cause a blockage in your cat’s stomach so be sure to take extra precaution when working with decorative wrapping.

4. Choose cat-safe decorations

The magic of Halloween is all in the decorations. At the same time, it’s important to consider the potential dangers things like cobwebs and plastic or glass ornaments pose. If ingested, shards from a broken ornament can puncture an intestinal wall. To avoid this, vacuum or sweep any floors right after decorating. For lights, cover electrical cords to prevent possible shock or electrocution.

5. Place candles beyond reach

A careless swipe of the tail, the pat of a curious paw or a nose that gets too close can lead to singed fur and whiskers or a serious burn. Make sure to place candles and jack-o-lanterns well out of your cat's reach. Another option is to consider battery-powered decorations instead of those that require open flames.

What to Do in an Emergency

In the event of an emergency, contact your pet’s veterinarian right away. They are familiar with with Halloween related injuries and can instruct you on caring for your hurt feline. You can also prepare by reading up on a few common injuries to know how to respond in addition to contacting a professional.

Burns: Douse the affected area with cold water, apply a cool compress, and contact your veterinarian

Stomach blockages or perforated intestines: You may not notice symptoms right away. Instead, it may take a day or two after your cat ingests a harmful object to observe a change in their eating and litter box habits. If you see a string protruding from your cat's mouth or anus, do not remove it. Your attempt to do so may further harm their intestines. In either situation, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Poisoning or chocolate toxicity: Your cat may become hypersensitive to stimuli such as light, noise, and sound, causing their pupils to dilate. Other symptoms include a rapid heartbeat, muscle tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity or difficulty breathing.

Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 if you notice any unusual symptoms in your cat. Collect a sample of the substance consumed, as well as any vomit or feces expelled. You will need to take these with you to the veterinarian's office.

Lost cat: A collar with an ID tag is a must if you allow your cat to go outdoors. It’s also recommended for indoor cats in the event they get out. A microchip ID tag permanently equips your cat with vital contact information should they end up at an animal shelter. If your pet does become lost, post flyers in your neighborhood and contact local veterinarians and shelters.

By following our Halloween pet safety tips and knowing what to do if something goes wrong, you’re taking the necessary precautions. Now it’s time to let your cat join in on the festivities by checking out costumes, collars, and toys a part of the Petco Halloween Collection!