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The Danger Zone

The Secret Language of Cats

5 Tips for Keeping Your Cat Safe On Halloween

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Header photo: bigstock/Mish_El

While Halloween can be a howling good time for family members of all ages, it can be downright dangerous for pets – from toxic Halloween candy to pet costumes turned choking hazards, be sure to know how to keep your pet safe and sound this Halloween! Here are 5 tips for keeping your cats safe this Halloween:

1. Ghastly Get-Ups

According to the National Retail Federation, 16.2% of pet parents will dress up Fido or Fluffy this year.  Be certain pets are able to breathe and move freely in their costumes and choose an outfit that doesn’t have extra pieces like legs, hats or pompoms, as pets may mistake these choking hazards for toys. Remember, too, that pets can become overheated and dehydrated in their disguises, even in cooler weather.

2. When Witches Come Calling

If you’re expecting lots of ghosts and goblins to ring your doorbell, make sure your pet isn’t tempted to dash out the door. Consider setting up a room with water, food, toys and a comfy bed where your pet can stay safe and sound. Also make sure your pet is micro-chipped and spayed or neutered in case the worst happens and they do get out. Constant visitors can also cause anxiety in your cat so again make sure they have a quiet place to hide and we would recommend using a calming pheromone such as ThunderEase to help keep them relaxed.

Calico cat wearing a Halloween costume

Photo: bigstock.com/Okrasyuk

3. Wrappers of Fright

Foil, cardboard and paper wrapping can cause just as much mischief as the candy inside! If a pet snacks on wrappers, they can become stuck in his guts, causing an obstruction that often requires surgery to remove. After bingeing on bonbons, be sure to toss trash in a lidded can well away from curious cats.

4. Afraid of the Dark (Chocolate)

Chocolate poses a whole pillowcase-full of problems for pets. While all chocolate is toxic to pets, dark chocolates are the most dangerous containing a higher concentration of toxins like theobromine and caffeine, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and increased heart rate and blood pressure. It can even be fatal depending on the amount ingested.  Milk chocolate has higher fat content which can trigger conditions like pancreatitis. The risk of chocolate toxicity during Halloween spikes 26% higher than at other times of the year. Be sure to keep the candy haul out of paws reach!

5. Raisin’ Hell

Some pet parents prefer to hand out raisins to trick-or-treaters instead of sugary sweets. While healthier for children, raisins are terribly toxic to pets. Even in small doses, raisin consumption can cause kidney failure. The risk of raisin toxicity is 84% higher during Halloween than at other times of the year. Be sure that any raisins are out of reach from pets.

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