by Nomi Berger
It’s that time again. For goblins and ghosts, pumpkins and pranks, and things that go bump in the night. But as responsible cat guardians, please ensure that your cherished companions aren’t innocent victims of Halloween’s fun and frolics.
Consider the following suggestions to keep your cats safe not sorry.
1. Keep candy out of reach of your cats. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, can prove toxic for them. Candy containing the artificial sweetener, xylitol, can also cause dire problems. If you suspect that your sweeties may have ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680 (fees apply in both instances).
2. Although pumpkins’ outer shells and decorative corn are considered relatively non-toxic, they can still produce an upset stomach if copiously consumed rather than simply sampled.
3. Keep wires and cords from lights and other decorations safely out of reach. If chewed, your cats might be cut or burned or receive a potentially life-threatening electric shock.
4. Festive, carved pumpkins with candles inside can be easily knocked over by frisky felines and a fire started. Curious kittens in particular run the risk of being singed or burned by a candle flame. Either keep them unlit, out of reach, or keep an eye on your pets’ wandering whereabouts at all times.
5. Don’t dress up your darlings in a costume unless you know that they’re comfortable being decked out — not stressed out — by putting on the “glitz”. The safest, albeit less sassy alternative is to opt instead for a Halloween theme bandana draped round their necks.
6. Keep all but the most social cats in a separate room when “trick or treating” children come to call. Even then, take care that they don’t daringly dart outside when the door first opens.
7. Should your cats “pull a Houdini” and vanish into the night, ensure that they have either been micro-chipped or are wearing a collar and tags for proper identification and a swift return to your anxious arms.
With some strategic planning beforehand, you and your precious puss-in-boots can be assured of spending the safest and happiest of Halloweens — together.