Halloween can be a fun time for adults and children alike; however, there are certain things associated with this celebration that pose a risk to our cats. Read our advice on how to keep your cats safe during this time of year.
Many of us enjoy decorating our home with a spooky theme at Halloween. Cats are curious creatures and may investigate any decorations you put up. Young cats may be more likely to investigate and play with decorations, as well as indoor-only cats through boredom, if they lack enough suitable enrichment. As well as the risk of cats knocking down decorations, which may cause injury to themselves or others depending on the type of decoration, in some cases cats may even ingest them. String and string-like items are one of the most common types of foreign bodies that cats eat, according to vets, and can lead to serious problems such as causing the intestines to ‘bunch up’; surgery may be required to remove the object(s).
Therefore, decorations should be placed well out of reach of cats, and cats should always be supervised around them.
Cats may also be attracted to the flickering light of a candle which could result in burns to the paws or singed whiskers. The cat may even simply walk past and put its tail over the flame or knock it off a shelf, so be aware of these dangers. Using electric candles in pumpkins can minimize the risk to animals and children.
More information on foreign bodies can be found in our ‘keeping cats safe’ series: https://icatcare.org/advice/keeping-cats-safe/foreign-bodies.
Halloween is a time when chocolatey-treats abound. Although a treat for us, chocolate contains a compound called theobromine which is toxic to most animals. Cats would have to eat a large amount for the dose of theobromine to be lethal (around 560 g milk chocolate and 140 g dark chocolate), but even a small amount can cause signs of poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, depression or hyperactivity.
Chocolate should be kept well away from cats; remember that cats are good at getting up high so it needs to be shut away somewhere they cannot access. Supervise cats carefully if you do have chocolate out where they can reach it.
More information on toxic foods for cats can be found in our ‘keeping cats safe’ series: https://icatcare.org/advice/keeping-cats-safe-campaign/toxic-human-foods.
Download our poster!
Download our free poster for your cattery, rescue centre, vet clinic or local pet shop about the hazards of Halloween and Bonfire Night