Every Halloween, black cats are targeted by pranksters and superstitious people. But how did black cats become evil? At one point in ancient times cats, in particular black cats, were revered. It wasn’t until the middle ages that black cats began to be seen as witch’s familiars by Christians during the Inquisition, as many solitary women kept cats. Regardless of whether you cat is black or not, all cats are at a greater risk during Halloween. Between candy, Halloween costumes, prankster’s and increased vehicle traffic, your cat is more likely to be injured or killed during Halloween evening than most days. Here are some tips to keep your cat safe this holiday.
• Keep them inside and locked away from the front door – Because of all the trick-or-treaters, we open our doors more often than usual and are distracted while giving out candy. Cats often take advantage of this to run out the open door where they can be hit by cars, injured by pranksters or worse. It is best to lock them in a room where they can be kept quiet and away from the outdoors.
• Keep Candles out of Cat reach – Halloween can be a scary time for a cat and they may knock over pumpkins with candles, or other decorative candles, if they run to hide- not even shelves are safe if your cat is scared. Curious kittens could be burned if they try to play with the candle. Not only could your cat end up burned, but they could start a house fire.
• Ensure your cat’s costume is safe if you dress it up – if your pet is not stressed with having a costume, ensure that it is safe for them to wear. It should be non-flammable, not constrictive and have reflective areas. If they do get out, the reflective patches will help prevent an accident with a vehicle. There shouldn’t be any parts that could get caught on a fence without breaking away, and they must be able to see, hear and meow with it on.
• Make sure they have identification – In case your cat gets away, it should be wearing a break away collar with an identification tag that has your phone number. All cats should wear a break away collar because they could hang themselves from a tree or a fence if the collar was to get caught. Because their collar breaks away, you should get your cat micro-chipped as it is a safe way to permanently ID your cat.
Plan ahead to save yourself the stress of having to look for your cat or visiting your veterinarian and have a happy Halloween!
Dr. Ryan Ridgway
Dr. Lynn Smart